Trump is a Racist. Stop Pretending Otherwise.

A picture of Trump at a lectern. Text on the picture says "Not just racist. A racist."

Here in January of 2018, this is the deal: I’m gonna judge you if you can’t admit openly and without reservation that Donald Trump is a racist. Not just racist, which is to say, he has some defense in the idea that we live in a racist society so we all participate in its racism whether we like it or not, but a racist, as in, he’s actively prejudiced against non-white people and groups, as evidenced by his words and actions, both before he was president but especially since then. If you can’t admit this here in January of 2018, when the evidence of his racism is piled up grossly upon the floor in full view of everyone down to the cats, then I’m going to go ahead and judge you for it. It’s long past time, folks.

(He’s also sexist and religiously bigoted and transphobic and classist, among many other bigotries, but let’s go ahead and save those for another time.)

Mind you, people are still going out of their way to pretend that the president’s comments yesterday about “shithole” countries isn’t really racist (“Well, they are shithole countries, not that I know anything about them, which conveniently means I can elide the centuries of racist colonialism and exploitation countries including the United States have engaged in to help make them so”) or how immediately contrasting those “shithole” countries with Norway isn’t racist (“There are brown people in Norway too, just ask Anders Breivik”) or when all else fails trying to change the conversation to be about whether the word “shithole” was actually used (it was), rather than acknowledging Trump’s entire position in the conversation was racist and “shithole” was just the juicy soundbite.

But we don’t have to be those people. Trump said a racist thing and he wants to keep people from these “shithole” countries from immigrating to the United States (as opposed to people from Norway) because he’s a racist. There are other reasons he doesn’t want them here, to be sure (Trump also hates poor people, as an example, and many of the immigrants are liable to be poor when they arrive), but none of those mitigates or obviates the racism. That it’s there too doesn’t subtract or divide its vileness. It adds and multiplies it.

At this point, there’s nothing to be gained by pretending that Trump isn’t a racist. Rather, the opposite: The willingness to deny Trump’s active, obvious and unsubtle racism suggests not just passive complicity in his racism, but an active participation in it. Trump’s folks in the White House yesterday suggested that his “shithole” comment would resonate with his base, which to be clear, is an explicit acknowledgement by the White House that it considers his base to be just as racist as Trump himself. If you consider yourself part of Trump’s base, you now get the chance to indicate whether or not you are as much of a racist as Trump.

And maybe you are! We do know that while not all Trump voters consider themselves racist, nearly everyone who considers themselves a racist voted for Trump. Maybe you’re one of the people who celebrates Trump’s clear and unambiguous racism. But if you don’t in fact consider yourself a confirmed and unapologetic racist, now is a fine time to make that clear. Even if you supported Trump before, it’s not too late to get off that rapidly-derailing train and to tuck-and-roll yourself clear of the continuing association with the man and his active racism.

And here’s the first test of it: Do you believe Trump is a racist? At this point it’s really a “yes” or “no” question, with no waffling qualifications needed. If you answer anything other than “Yes,” to that, well. You should really ask yourself why. And in the meantime, expect to be judged. By me, as noted. But, I strongly suspect, by others as well.

184 thoughts on “Trump is a Racist. Stop Pretending Otherwise.

  1. Notes:

    1. This comment thread quite clearly has the potential to be contentious. So take extra special care to be polite to each other. I have the Mallet on hair-trigger and will err on the side of Malleting. So be aware of that, especially those of you, regardless of what you consider your political leaning, who have a tendency to go off furiously on people. If you’re wondering if that’s you, it probably is. If you doubt your ability to discuss politely, sit out the comment thread.

    2. To get it out of the way, I fully acknowledge that you might not care if I judge you. That’s fine.

    3. Anyone hauling out “Well, what about the racism of [X]?” will probably be Malleted as well, as the subject under discussion is not [X]’s racism, but Donald Trump’s. Whoever [X] is, they are not currently president of the United States, Donald Trump is. If your big rhetorical play is to attempt to derail the conversation, feel free to sit it out.

    4. For those of you who ask what my neighbors in this Trump-voting area will think of my saying “I will judge you if you can’t acknowledge that Trump is a racist,” my answer is that I expect some of them will be annoyed, some of them will agree and many won’t care, depending on their own personal inclinations. I don’t think my proclamation will surprise any of them, as I’ve been talking about Trump, racism and the complicity of those who vote for him in that racism for some time now.

  2. As I read somewhere else, the only shithole here is the one pasted on the orange haired freak’s face. I want my country back from these racists and their sycophants.

  3. Hardcore yes. Ignorantly so is not strong enough verbiage. Dementedly so is closer. Abhorrently so nails it. At this point, if anyone doesn’t hate this man and what he stands for, they fail the simple test of humanity.

    Yeah, I know. (Covers head against plummeting mallet.)

  4. The “shithole” part of his comments is almost a distraction. What really makes it racist isn’t judging less-developed countries for being less developed (no matter how crude the terminology), it’s the fact that in Dear Leader’s view, people from those countries NEED TO JUSTIFY THEIR PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES in the way that our hypothetical Norwegian immigrant doesn’t.

    Sadly, though, I don’t think this will change anything. Trump being a racist has been obvious for a long time. If him choosing to blame “many sides” when one side had literal Swastikas and literally killed someone didn’t settle things in people’s minds, this won’t either.

    At this point, either you oppose Trump, or you are a supporter of racism.

  5. Of course he’s a racist. I took Maya Angelou’s advice years ago, and believed him the first time he showed me.
    Xenophobia is such a weird, silly thing in a country in which everybody started out coming from somewhere else. To quote my favorite line in Stripes, “We’re Americans! Our ancestors got thrown out of some of the best countries in the world!” At least I don’t look down on people because their ancestors got thrown out after mine did, or, worse, were stolen from their homes.

  6. He’s racist as his daddy was, he’s an asshole and he’s just plain bad at understanding, well, anything that doesn’t fit his idea of reality. What I find fascinating is that he denies, even when there’s video and audio to show he did it, that he did something. Hell according to the NYT, he asked if could fire a Surppreme Court Justice that he appointment…

    And everyone now expects both the US House and Senate not to mention a lot of down ticket races to swing solidly Democratic.

  7. I won’t say Trump isn’t racist, he’s clearly proven that point. He’s certainly not “presidential” either, which is another adjective I wish I could give him. However unpopular though, I don’t think this comment cements the claim or argument you made, and here’s my two cents learned from a pretty interesting life thus far as to why.

    I fought in Iraq for 15 months and Afghanistan for 7. Those are shit hole countries. Countries torn apart by religious and tribal feuds. Stymied politically, economically, socially, and developmentally by extremist governments/policies/religion where the most terrible things you can imagine happen all the time and “normal” isn’t something Americans can grasp. Does that make me racist to say so? No, I don’t think it does. I was fortunate enough to meet some very great people while living in those places who gave me hope for humanity even when its living on the ass end of the Earth. I’ve met people, smarter, stronger, braver, more beautiful, and kinder than me from every walk of life, religious creed, skin color, age, sexual orientation, whatever on my journey thus far. I am me, and I am fantastically low on the totem pole of human achievement and looking up at a lot of people better than me at everything who don’t share my physical traits. It was wonderfully humbling and I’m honored to have helped many immigrate to our nation from their previous nations. Good people, who maybe didn’t have the best educations, but cared for their families and communities the best that they could and worked hard to bring peace and stability in chaotic times. America needs more people like them. I’m sure they would readily describe their former nations as shit holes too. That’s why they left.

    Also, a note on educational titles. I met a guy with a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Warsaw in 1985. Warsaw, Poland, 1985. What the hell does a communist nation on the verge of collapse know about economics and how useful is his doctorate? Smarty guy, yes. Would I want him to help me invest or plan my retirement? No. No I would not.

  8. Yep, racist dictator wannabe! As Michelle Obama said-the Whitehouse reveals who you really are.

  9. Dear Michael,

    That word is not a distraction. It’s a well-established racist code-word, because what color are s.h.’s?? (I can’t bring myself to even write it out.)

    It’s a much more awful way of saying we’re “mud people.” Which is how the Aryan types refer to those of us who aren’t.

    They aren’t referring to how often we bathe.

    pax / Ctein

  10. Trump is a racist? This is not breaking news. There is no shelter from this shit storm, and in truth there never has been. The stench is on everyone riding the Trump train.

  11. I thought we all agreed Trump was a flaming racist the day he defended chalottesville nazis.

    Literal nazis, for fucks sake.

    As best as I can tell, everyone who defends Trump at this point is an absolute racist. And the others who voted for him now pretend they voted for Johnson.

    Just disgusting.

  12. @Troy Gordon: Trump asked why we would let in “people from shithole countries.” The implication there is that it’s the people that make the country a shithole, and they’ll do the same to the US if we don’t take steps to keep them out. It’s hard to characterize that as anything but racist, especially when he’s referring to Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations, and contrasting them with Norway.

  13. Being the contrarian [1] that I am, I spent the last several minutes trying to come up with some way to nitpick John’s thesis.

    Nope. Not happenin’.

    [1] And that’s not even getting into ancestry and such.

  14. @ctein

    All this talk over “code words” and “hand signals” for racists seems a bit to conspiracy for me. The racists I knew in college did care to use code words or hand signals. They were pretty open with who they hated and thought they were better than.

    In my experience, the presidents vulgar term is not based on the color of what come out. but the actual thing that comes out. I’ve heard it used for many contexts that have nothing to do with race.

  15. The good news is, we now know what to call these four years: The Shithole Presidency.

    You could see Jim Acosta struggling with saying on air that the President is a racist. He really didn’t want to, but he seemed to realize he could tell the truth or be forever known as a reporter who couldn’t tell the truth.

    On the other hand, after the campaign and the first year, is this still newsworthy?

  16. John A:

    You’re…. not trying to be the person that suggests that “shithole” here was not in context being used explicitly in a racist manner, are you? Because I don’t think that’s going to go very well for you. Please see the post for why.

  17. John said, “I’m gonna judge you if you can’t admit openly and without reservation that Donald Trump is a racist.”

    And we should fear that because why?

  18. I have the advantage of being from the East and being old. This has been blindingly obvious since the Central Park 5, simply obvious before that.

    There is a reason people back East despise him. There are plenty of racists there, but many of them despise him as a con man and petty cheat. Or as a blowhard if racism, cons, and cheats are tolerable together. Or as the kind of amoral asshole who thinks getting a friend’s wife in bed is one of life’s pleasures. Or as simply ignorant. Or as a liar so habitual even he does not know if he is telling the truth or not. Or as many other things on a long list.

    A completely loathsome person.

    But of course, both sides. And her emails.

  19. I wrote him off as “A Racist” the moment he equated Mexicans with rapists, and said a wall should be built along the Mexican border. He never mentioned building a wall along Canada, though.)

  20. (Apologies for the length, but I need to bloviate a bit!)

    The farther away someone gets from being Trump himself, the less human he considers them. His particular view of the universe is that it revolves around him. Everything else on the planet, humans included, is an object for him to own and use as he wishes. He reserves some respect for men who are exactly like him–cishet, white, ostentatiously rich–but only as long as they defer to him as the alpha. (He is, of course, deeply insecure–no one who isn’t would make such a fuss about trying to prove he’s the biggest/richest/best on every measure.)

    Sadly, some people like men like this and don’t see the inherent insecurity driving his ego, and for them, his racism and all the other nastiness are features, not bugs. They’re small-minded bigots themselves, and think that by hitching their broken-down wagons to him, they might win the asshole lottery and get rich and famous, too. They’re the legions of suburban Lexus drivers who attend get-rich real estate or MLM seminars, hoping to break out of that middle-management job and join the jet set. Or they’re the legions of desperate white working class who buy lottery tickets in the hope that they can win enough to pay the electric bill–the ones who bought the Reagan lie that broke white dudes will magically get living-wage jobs again once women and PoCs are out of the workforce. (This explains his women followers, too. They see him as the alpha sugar daddy, who will make it so their husbands can support them again.)

    Trump is a festering heap of half-sentient medical waste, but he’s more a symptom than the problem. Russian meddling and third-party-voting sexist lefties aside, he got where he got because of a few decades of the GOP in general priming that base (and building off of lingering sore-losering over the Civil War. And Manifest Destiny. And Puritans. And the Roman Empire, if we want to get BCE about it.) Even if we get rid of him, the overt, violent racism won’t stop (not that it ever did anyway) because his base will still exist, and so will the thousands of vile Republicans they keep electing.

    Absolutely, we need to keep calling him out when he does shit like this, but the truth is that no real progress is going to get made until we get rid of the Republican infrastructure that created and supports him. Until we get past the myth that bipartisanship is the only moral path, and recognize that that entire party and everyone belonging to it is irredeemably awful, we’re never going to get anywhere. Anyone with any decency has already left the party and at least gone indie. The only people remaining are either so far in denial that they probably don’t even know what year it is, or are actually on board with what it stands for, and has for at least two generations. I’m tired of looking for or being badgered into admitting that there are “good” Republicans. There aren’t. Not anymore. There may be some good *conservatives* (in the old-school careful-budgeting sense) left, but Republicans? No. I’d be perfectly happy without a single Republican office-holder in the entire country. I’d be happy if the RNC itself gets taken down as the organized-crime racket it is. Once we’ve got rid of them, the left can split into Blue Dogs and progressives and we can drag the Overton window back where it belongs. The country is being held hostage by the 30% who want to be just like Trump. If we’re ever going to get it back, we have to fight them, not just him.

  21. Most of my fellow New Yorkers have known him for what he is – a racist POS – for three decades or more, so nothing new here.

  22. @Pedro see point 2 of John’s first comment.

    @ Troy Gordon A conservative family member posted an article about how bad many developing countries have been and are and that we are being disingenious by being outraged at the “shithole” comment. I posted back a retweet from John Rogers. https://twitter.com/jonrog1/status/951820026872438785

    The point isn’t that many developing countries are struggling with poverty or corruption and whether or not that can be blamed on the history of colonialism or the effects of the Cold War or whatever. The point is, Trump would prefer immigrants from countries like Norway. (Of course, Norwegians are all saying “no thanks!”), I don’t know if “shithole” is a dog-whistle racist term. If it is, I doubt he is even aware of that; he was probably repeating something he heard or read. I don’t think it makes a difference. Everything he said was racist. He is a racist.

  23. John said, “DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM”

    A lawyer doubling as an SF writer.

    It’s the addiction to the small print exit clauses that gives it away.

  24. John A:

    Let’s get something clarified here:

    The racism isn’t bound up in the the word “shithole.” It’s the assumption that being born in a poor/underdeveloped/ place that is p[opulated predominantly by people of color makes you a lesser human being–tainterd and unworthy of the glory that is America–than if you came from a country such as, let’s say Norway–which just happens to embody the Aryan ideal espoused by the innumerable Trump supporters in the KKK and Stormfront.

    That’s racism, however delicately one tries to insist otherwise.

  25. You know… I know this is coming from a place of privilege, but I’ve gotten to the point where his racist outbursts aren’t shocking anymore. His inability to restrain himself from saying hateful things has been used in court as evidence against the travel ban, so he actually hurts his own cause when he does these things, and I take some grim satisfaction in that, but otherwise it all just blends into the cosmic background hideousness.

    But the word “shithole” suddenly being on every channel actually does shock me a little. I know it’s the wrong reaction to have – what he believes should be the story, not how he expressed it – but somehow that’s the bit that stands out.

    I remember saying back before the election that even if I wasn’t a democrat and didn’t share her values, I’d still be supporting Clinton because of the two major candidates she was the only one who would go away and competently do her job, whereas Trump would never, ever stop trying to be the center of attention, no matter how desperately he had to act out to do it. Even if you’re conservative, I said, can’t you see how utterly sick of him you’re going to be before long?

    And even so, I never imagined I’d see purportedly unprintable words showing up in every news channel chryon, and a discussion about whether that plays well with his base.

    I know that isn’t, or shouldn’t be, the real point. But I guess it’s the bit that I’m still not quite numb to yet.

  26. @ Troy Gordon

    Your perspective, as a soldier fighting an enemy within Iraq and Afghanistan, prejudices your opinion. Thank you for your service. But I think you’re wrong. A major (primary?) reason both of those countries have been riven by corruption and all the ills you outlined is because the U.S. has consistently interfered with their internal politics. The U.S. had a strategic goal of being able to extract oil from Iraq, and fight communism in Afghanistan. So instead of consistent policies designed to help the general population of each country achieve democracy, we (the U.S.) engaged in open wars, secret wars, and all the other nastiness associated with propping up dictators and/or other leaders repugnant to the ideas of democracy. Which led to both countries struggling so badly.

    I’d say you calling them shit-holes, is reductionist, not very accurate, but most importantly, it allies you with Trump whether you want it to or not.

    As to “normal” Americans not understanding how bad things can be in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m very confident Black Americans can relate. Sure, it’s not a perfect fit. While we don’t have IEDs on every other street, Black Americans do have the constant worry of dying much younger than Whites because of a wide range of social issues, much more likely to being unemployed and thus not having a stable place to sleep each night, and much more likely to be incarcerated by an aggressive policing body for long periods of time. Is it all war on the streets, with urban or other types of warfare? Of course not. But you don’t have to have been in an actual battle to “imagine” all the horrors.

    I strongly second everyone read the article by Mr. Coates in The Atlantic about how a racist Whiteness is the issue we need to keep our eyes focused on.

  27. He’s always been a racist, and he’s never hidden the fact. His actions have proven that since the 1970s.

    This is on top of being an egregiously garbage waste of human skin. He is a horrible human being and always has been. The only thing which has changed is that perhaps, finally, the Media which enabled him can no longer hide the fact. Sadly the Rethuglicans who also enable him seem completely willing to be complicit with his garbageness, because it exactly reflects their own.

  28. Yes he’s a racist; an unthinking bigot. I don’t think he has the brains to be a thinking bigot, I think his evil is more banal than that, but that he was steered into position by people who are actually, philosophically nasty.

    The distinction between being racist and being a racist is an interesting one to me. I ran into it in a conversation with my father:

    Dad: Vancouver has a terrible Chinese problem.
    Me: WTAF? or words to that effect
    Dad: they’re taking all the jobs because they’re working for peanuts
    Me: rant about exploitation of immigrants by employers and racism of people who won’t pay immigrants decent wages
    Dad: not listening
    Me: (had enough) – Dad, Vancouver only has a Chinese problem if you’re racist (emphasis emphatically mine at the time)
    Dad: utterly taken aback and offended that I’d accuse him of being racist.

    As far as he was concerned only bad people were racists, hadn’t we fought a war? and all that stuff. He completely didn’t think that what he was spouting was racist in any way and he was really upset that I’d accuse him of it.

    What is the point of that? I guess: Your president is an asshole in many ways. Many of the people who voted him in and steer him now, to the effect that that’s possible, are assholes too, deliberately. Many of the people who voted him in think that they aren’t, probably including Our Gracious Host’s nice neighbours. Do they enable assholes all the same? hell yes. Do we judge them all the same? absolutely.

  29. Dear John A,

    The whole damn diatribe is racist, no question of that. But “s.h.” is a long established and very well understood usage by racists to denote color as well as anatomy. You’ve never heard it? Well, now you’re a bit more educated.

    I couldn’t give a damn about your experience in college. Really.

    Accept that you’ve learned something new today and move on.

    Do. Not. Argue. Further.

    Really, you don’t want to find yourself in that corner.

    pax / Ctein

  30. Yes. He’s a racist. And Yes he’s been a racist since before he ran for President, and yes he was a loud and avowed racist during his campaign. And yes he’s refused to condemn Nazis, and said white supremacists are good people.

    Which only leaves the question how does he manage to keep finding new ways to shock us with his unpresidential, unprofessional “I can’t believe he said that in public ways?”

    And why hasn’t he been reduced to a smoldering pile of cinders by a bolt of lightning from the angry gods?

  31. Dear John,

    I never thought I would be, I COULD be, pushed over this line, but I have been–

    I no longer care how Trump leaves office. I will cheer anything that removes him from office.

    (… and… I am so NOT going to expand on that, so nobody even think of asking).

    I never thought I’d think that way. It breaks my most basic moral code.

    And I no longer care that it does.

    pax / Ctein

    [If you fear this is not oblique enough, John, feel free to mallet. It’s your home.]

  32. Agreed, but one thing I haven’t been hearing is this: If a country is a shithole, that’s all the more reason to let their people immigrate. I get the concerns about one terrorist getting in with them and blowing a bunch of us up, even if I mostly disagree with it. And despite the bleeding-heart stuff I just wrote, I’m also a libertarian opposed to handing them free stuff that came from tax money.

    But again, if a country’s a shithole we’re supposed to open our doors to them; otherwise, let’s take down the Statue of Liberty and sell it for scrap.

  33. BTW: I do find it interesting that (yes, recent talk perhaps — don’t make too much of this) he picked Norway as the contrast to whatever parts of the world he despises. Y’all know Norway, don’t you? Pillage, burn, rape, vikings, that Norway? The country that gave us the lovely word “quisling” Norway, for flipping NAZI without being invaded?

    Lest I be misunderstood: also the country that responded to Anders Breivik by reaffirming their dedication to civilization and openness instead of bloodlust. Pity we can’t live up to that example.

  34. Though He is a teetotaller, The Leader “governs” like the loudmouth drunk at the end of the bar- racist and stupid. Not only that, but He exemplifies the notion put forth by our honored host that “‘Straight White Male’ is the lowest difficulty setting there is” and in fact these people are his base, as well.

  35. I’m with a previous poster that the use of shithole, by Donald Trump, really isn’t all that racist. By Trumpian standards, at least. His talk of rather having norwegians is much worse, IMHO.

  36. For me, this whole issue (and yes, I believe Trump is a racist–let’s get that out of the way) is complicated by personal history, and I can’t believe that more Americans aren’t ashamed of their own hypocrisy–or at least more aware of the general hypocrisy surrounding the whole immigration debate. My grandparents emigrated from what would have qualified as a “shithole” country at the turn of the last century. They were part of the “swarthy Mediterranean peoples” who were going to pollute the fundamentally “Anglo-Saxon” United States; they were lazy, illiterate, and criminal, and potentially terrorist; they couldn’t possibly become “real Americans” because they’d blindly obey a religious leader rather than the Constitution. And so on, and on, and on.

    Many of these things were quite true, as it happened. My grandparents were dirt poor and poorly educated. That’s why they came here. They had the gumption, the determination, to try for the better life that they believed was available here. And once they got here, the government didn’t really worry all that much about how they got in (I had at least one branch of my family tree that would likely qualify as “illegal immigrants” under today’s rules)–they were offered a chance at citizenship and the opportunity to work for that better life. And they (mostly) did just that. So who am I to try to bar the Golden Door to the current generation of people fleeing poverty and seeking a better life, wherever they come from?

    Gah. It makes my head hurt.

  37. No, I’m not arguing that Trump isn’t a racist. I’m saying that the word “shithole” by itself is not a racist term. Just because racists say or do something does not make that word or action racist.

    I think Trump has enough against him without the need to co-opt more things to be racist than they are.

  38. @ DC Sessions
    Norway certainly was invaded. The existence of a quisling faction doesn’t erase the brave fight the Norwegians made or the courage and suffering of their resistance through the occupation. Trump would be more attracted by the views of the murderer Breivik than Quisling.

  39. Let’s take this one further. If, still, someone supports such a blatantly racist person as Trump… *that person is a racist*. One doesn’t get to support Trump but wipe the shitstain of racism away. “Oh, I just support his policy on X…” is a fig leaf and a pretty small one at that. If you support a racist president for any reason, you’re fine with a racist being in that office. You’re OK with that person setting policies that may well be racist. Guess what that makes you? Right. A racist.

  40. Yeah, he’s racist. He’s still not going to get impeached, the Dems won’t take back the Senate, and he’ll get re-elected. Deal with it.

    #Calexit appears to be the only logical answer – we’re under-represented in the House, and massively under-represented in the Senate. Time to abandon the rest of the US to the Republicans and save ourselves.

  41. Yeah, it really is, though. Just as “mud” isn’t a racist term but “mud people” is, “shithole” isn’t a racist term but “people from shithole countries” most definitely is.

  42. The Chinese were the first people to have US immigration laws aimed specifically at them. In many ways, China was a shithole country in the 19th Century. Nowadays, folks aren’t able to apply that label to me or my relatives.

    But Trump and his ilk are not going to apply that same brush to us. They’re going to find other ways to hate us.

    Fuck the polite words. We know him and his kind. They’re racists through and through.

  43. Simply this, in echo of someone on Twitter yesterday: My European ancestors couldn’t get the hell out of the countries they were born in, and into America, fast enough. My neighbor’s African ancestors had to be forcibly dragged here in chains.

    Remind me again, which countries are shitholes?

    ::sigh::

    For decades, I’ve been trying to be kind and understanding towards racists who honestly and sincerely believe that the fact they “don’t hate [particular variety/ies of brown people]” and wouldn’t dream of calling them [corresponding racist epithet(s)] or lynching them or pursuing them in mobs to beat them up means they’re NOT RACISTS. They’d never do stuff like that! They can’t possibly be racists! They’ll even admit that “those people” are, you know, human beings. With (sorta) rights! (As long as they don’t move in next door or date their kids, etc.)

    I’ve been trying to be non-confrontational. To listen. To address the anxieties, the unfamiliarity, the emotional vulnerabilities. To take a positive approach, a retail, one-at-a-time, get-to-know-someone-different strategy.

    You can only whack your head against the bricks so long.

    Racists gonna racist.

  44. Not the Reddit Chris S. said, “#Calexit appears to be the only logical answer – we’re under-represented in the House, and massively under-represented in the Senate. Time to abandon the rest of the US to the Republicans and save ourselves.”

    Really? So, what’s the plan for the day after federal forces invade? Beg for military aid from Mexico? Canada? China? Russia?

  45. @evan, my point is that Trump could have replaced “shithole” with nearly any other derogatory adjective and the sentiment would have been the same.

  46. Very early on in this election cycle, those of us from NYC tried to warn the country who he was. We knew based early on from his actions against the now PROVEN innocent Central Park 5 that he was a racist scumbag. Plus his assistance tht Obama was Kenyan born.

    Following that I started saying that anyone who could ignore that and didn’t want to think of Trump as racist was, themselves, racist.

    I got some flack for that. No one wants to think of uncle Joe, or Bob the next door neighbor as racist. They have to deal with those people day in, day out, and they feel like they can’t because then Bob or Joe would hate them. If Joe and Bob burned crosses on people’s lawns, that’d be different. But they’re not REAL racists. Real racists burn crosses. Simply voting Trump and refusing to call out racism, that can’t be racist! That’d mean that so many Americans are racist.!

    Well, they are. They are racists. So many Americans are racists. We ought to learn to talk about things that way.

  47. The sort of shit Trump peddles is giving other racist fuckers like our little immigration czar Peter Dutton confidence to come out and make sweeping statements about those horrible Africans too. That’s the sad long term result of the man with the loudest voice being a racist.

  48. He has contempt for everyone who’s not white, male, protestant, a billionaire, conformist, and from the right parts of the north east. So, yes of course he’s racists but let’s be real. He has contempt of 99.99% of the world. Does the fact that he despises the vast majority of humanity make it better or worse that brown is one of the categories he thinks is beneath him? I dunno.

  49. John A: As I noted above, the word “shithole” is not at issue. It is the sentiment *behind* that word.

    Trump specifically stated he would prefer immigrants from a predominantly white country over countries predominantly populated by people of color, because those countries are “shitholes.” (Many of which actually aren’t, leaving our ambassadors there tugging at their collars and clearing their throats with deep embarrassment as they are rightfully called on the carpet over this),

    How is that *not* racist, or at the very least incredibly bigoted?

    You’re not arguing Trump isn’t racist…but you’re refusing to accept the evidence of it right in front of your face because he’s not standing there calling Hatians the N-word or something?

    Sorry, it doesn’t wash. I’ve seen too many actual racists use Trumps exact words to excuse their racism. (Not directed at you BTW, please don’t take it amiss.)

  50. Pedro – not sure what you’re thinking, but politically-negotiated exit of CA from the US is what I was thinking. Why do you leap to conclusions there? Let the leeching Republican states deal with the consequences of their own actions without us paying for it. Given the disdain the Republicans appear to have for California, they should be glad to see us go.

  51. @John A, digging yourself deeper into your hole of denial won’t make you magically correct. Just letting you know.

  52. @Ctein

    John A. describing his direct experience in the Middle East was *functional* and I thought respectful to most of the people he met. To wit, it is a functional shithole that *none* of us would want to live in. He did not attempt to describe *why and how* they ended up that way. Another poster gave a pretty clear history of *why and how* the US policy has affected the area.

    I fully agree with the various posters that those in “shithole countries” should have the ability to emigrate to the US. As one poster remarked about their family, those with the gumption to try should be given a fair shot. As with the Dreamers, we *need* folks like that – the ones willing to work hard, get educated and see their kids are educated. Folks who are willing to make that kind of sacrifice are *vital* to the future of the US.

    And, yes, rump (sic) is racist. Fortunately, it looks like the wheels of Justice are grinding, and rump cannot stop from bragging about his “high crimes and misdemeanors”. The republican leadership will also happily throw him under the bus once he is no longer useful. That does not mean Pence is better; however he is at least *sane*.

  53. @JohnA, et al:

    I think this particular discussion of “shithole” is beginning to veer from the useful, so let’s go ahead and wrap it up.

    Also, let’s wrap up the discussion of CalExit, please. It’s also not on point.

  54. TJ Swoboda, thank you. I was thinking that very thing today, as I meditated upon some internet jackass smugly declaring that “shithole” was nothing but an objective description of the sewage-ridden streets of Port-au-Prince (if I have that right), and I said to myself, “That makes it more important than ever that we help people out of that, rather than redoubling our efforts not to see their plight.”

    I came here to say that, and now I’m here to agree with you.

    Also: Yes, Trump’s a racist, and a lot of other awful things.

  55. First: duh.

    Second: it has been said that the problem with Bush junior was not that he was dumb but that he was incurious.
    With Trump one of his many problems is that he appears to be unthinking. I also believe he is not very smart but the pertnent point is that he chooses not to think. He is basically too lazy to enage fully, let alone deeply with the world.
    Racism is one of the evils that thrive in (subgroups of) societies and individual brains because of an unwillingness, often laziness, to engage, to be an empathetic human being.
    Trump, to put it more bluntly, is lazy, unthinking and not very intelligent. His racism is informed by that – but in no way less real or dangerous for that. As Bush showed in Iraq, for a powerful person to be incurious is a dangerous thing. Trump almost daily shows how dangerous power is in the hands of an unthinking man.

  56. @MSB, thank you for that. Nasjonal Samling party, Statspolitiet, and the NS-affiliated Hirden paramilitary organisation were not exactly popular, and I hear there were far more volunteers for Quisling’s firing squad in 1945 than would fit in that Akershus Fortress courtyard.

    My father was an emigrant from that country about fiftteen years before that, back when it was still the sort of dirt-poor backwater country full of desperate, ragged people that Trumpenführer would normally despise. But, I’ll tell you, if you could convince a couple million current Norwegians to do likewise and become USA citizens, which under present conditions is not remotely conceivable, I’m pretty sure they’d find a way to eject the Orange Menace’s lot of traitorous, racist autocrats in a month if it took a Constitutional Convention to do it, because they in fact do remember Quisling’s puppet Nasjonale regjering (‘national government’).

  57. @Troy Gordon: Having studied economics at the graduate level myself, I’d point out that there are many subfields of economics whose study does not qualify one to give advice on a financial portfolio, other than (perhaps) being a bit more numerate, and (possibly) more familiar with the idea of statistics. The Polish Ph.D. in your example may have been more qualified than many U.S. economists to give financial advice, or might not have been – too many variables to consider. Do you suppose that a microbiologist is unqualified to discuss theories about molecular behavior, given that he or she has not lived at that level of existence?

  58. Not the Reddit Chris S. said, “Pedro – not sure what you’re thinking, but politically-negotiated exit of CA from the US is what I was thinking.”

    Assuming the proposition passes, California can offer negotiations, but this offer will be rejected the split second after its made.

    To the extent California actually tries to bolt the Union, it will be forcibly blocked with federal troops, if necessary. Think 1865. The silver lining: Forcing California to remain in the Union will upset the Alt Right. (Small compensation, I must admit.)

    My point: the Imperial Capital will not allow California to leave the Union any more than it allowed the southern states to go their merry way in the 1860s. To think otherwise is to invite catastrophe.

  59. What strikes me about this whole conversation and many other conversations I’ve seen online is that so many people feel free to refer to other people’s homes and birthrights as “shitholes”. I don’t know about you, but if someone told me that I came from a shithole I’d be personally offended. I don’t give a good goddamn if you come from Valhalla and live in a palace of gold and sup on ambrosia every night. You do not have the right to tell me that my home is a shithole.

    So maybe those of you who are so adamant that X country *is* a shithole could take a step back and realize that you’re talking about the homes of fellow human beings. The countries of their birth. And no matter how bad their governments may be, no matter how lacking their technology or infrastructure may be, no matter how depressed their economy might be, you don’t have the right to demean and belittle their homes because those homes don’t live up to your high-and-mighty, holier-than-thou standards.

    /rant off

  60. [quote]Mind you, people are still going out of their way to pretend that the president’s comments yesterday about “shithole” countries isn’t really racist (“Well, they are shithole countries, not that I know anything about them, which conveniently means I can elide the centuries of racist colonialism and exploitation countries including the United States have engaged in to help make them so”) or how immediately contrasting those “shithole” countries with Norway isn’t racist (“There are brown people in Norway too, just ask Anders Breivik”) or when all else fails trying to change the conversation to be about whether the word “shithole” was actually used (it was), rather than acknowledging Trump’s entire position in the conversation was racist and “shithole” was just the juicy soundbite. [∕quote]

    Jonathan Katz made a compelling argument as to why that “I don’t know why it is what it is” ignorance is cultivated by white supremacist IQ45 supporters and other racists – and given the fact that it is both MLK birthday weekend and the 50th anniversary year of his death, I tried to boost that signal

    https://backtalk.kinja.com/carey-institute-fellow-jonathan-katz-puts-the-deliberat-1822036490

  61. [Deleted for a clear attempt at trolling and/or a total inability to fundamentally apprehend reality that will inevitably lead to derailing — JS]

  62. At this point, the only people who can’t see that Trump is racist are the ones who’ve forgotten to cut eyeholes into their sheets.

    Re Words You Never Thought You’d Hear On Television: “shithole” is the new “blowjob”.

  63. Hey John,

    After I posted my reply I saw that you’d already nuked the poster I was replying to. I’m good with my reply going away along with the troll if that suits you. Happy Friday :)

  64. Uh. Some of my best friends are… Norwegian. And most of them are po’d at grandpa for emigrating to the country formerly know as the land of the free.

    Of course _rump is a racist. It didn’t take “s____hole” to demonstrate that. He’s no more racist now than he was when he stood up for Nazis, when he hounded an American citizen for his birth certificate, when he railed about those “thugs” in Central Park.

  65. [Deleted a second time. Folks, to be clear, it’s not actually up for discussion in this thread whether or not Trump is a racist. He is, by word and action. If you want to say you don’t think he is, you have the rest the Internet to do it, but I’m not planning to indulge such an obvious counterfactual here. Jo, I do thank you for being polite about it, however. — JS]

  66. One thing no one seems to have noticed about the Norway thing is…the only reason he said Norway rather than some other Northern European country, I would guess, is that the PM of Norway was in the White House the day before the shithole hit the fan. Short attention span, you know.

  67. The problem is that racists dont think they are racist == “having a unfounded prejudice against skin color”.

    The problem is racists think they are racist == “the only ones to not let ‘political correctness’ prevent them from speaking the truth about skin color”.

    You’ve got worfully ignorant people who think they have secret knowledge and are fighting a conspiracy of white cowards. Theres no way they will give up their story for the truth. To admit the truth, they would have to give up that they are smarter and braver tgan everyone, and accept they’ve been violently ignorant and cowards.

    Once you’re a racist, it’s almost unheard of that you give up that story. Its too costly. You would have to give up the idea that you are a plucky rebel and admit that you’re just a foot soldier for jabba the hutt.

    No one wants that kind of demotion. Once a racist, 99.9% are always a racist.

  68. @ Rick Moen
    Thanks. My pleasure. Don’t know if you saw really excellent film about the invasion and pursuit of Haakon VII, called The King’s Choice. A lot of really visceral footage of what it would feel like to have a lot of foreigners chasing you and shooting at/bombing you and your people while you’re trying to figure out what the hell to do. In Norwegian/Danish/German with subtitles of course.

  69. Scalzi may mallet me if I’m off topic, but, if you are an American unhappy about the racist(s) in the White House, the best thing to do is register to vote in the 2018 (and 2020) elections. If you’re registered, help others to do so, and help get out the vote on Election Day. (Of course, you should do the same if you think Trump is the best thing since sliced white bread.) All citizens should fulfil their duty, right and privilege to vote.

  70. What’s most annoying about much of the American media coverage of Trump’s “shithole countries” comment is their dancing around calling Trump a racist. Faux News folk such as Jesse Watters (he of the racist trip to Chinatown segment) of course defended Hair Hitler’s words. But why does USA Today call the comment a “crude description?” Or the New York Times say “disparaging words?” Or the Wall Street Journal sanitize the phrase as a “vulgar comment?”

    Do these news outlets think that by not straightforwardly calling Trump a racist, they’ll retain the love of only slightly bigoted readers? At least Al Jazeera gave Trump a good reaming in three different pieces.

  71. To answer the question “Do you believe Trump is a racist?” that you posed in your final paragraph,

    Yes, Trump is a racist. As I have said since late 2015. I do not merely “believe” it; I know it unequivocally.

    Also a moron, a fascist, a self-aggrandizing narcissist, a pathological liar, and several other descriptors.

    But since you didn’t ask about those others, I will simply reply “Yes, Trump absolutely is a racist to the very core of his being.”

  72. I must have missed something from the news. But how did Norway get dragged into all this? Since my default stance is to mock Norway (seriously, it’s in the instructions you get with citizenship here) I need to know if I should go with that or commiserate with them.

  73. Had it turned out that Hitler had been frozen in his bunker these last decades, and the thawed him out and he ran for President against Trump, well… I might consider voting for Trump. Beyond that, no. Being racist probably isn’t even the worst thing about him.

    I say this in advance, because as far as I can tell the “shithole” comment comes from CNN via “a White House Source.” He didn’t say it on camera, and the person who says he said it isn’t willing to put his name behind it.

    Trump gets away with a lot and part of the reason is that his enemies overstate their case. They make an accusation against him that is 99% true. His defenders demonstrate that 1% is not true and attributable to malice towards, and that invalidates the other 99%.

    I personally think it’s pretty clear that Trump is far enough down the racist spectrum to consider him a racist in general. His past words and actions and words aggregate together to such a degree that know benefit of the doubt needs to be given.

    My concern is that should this source recant, prove to be unsubstantiated, or be otherwise made up than Trump et al can claim that ALL racist claims against him are made up and attributable to malice.

    So, unless I’m missing something (which is always a strong possibility,) I don’t think the current status of this story changes anything with regards to The question of Trump’s racism to those who still consider it a question.

  74. [Deleted because attempt at sarcasm leads me to believe this was meant as trolling. If you want to convince me otherwise, Derek, try again, making sure to contextualize your question in light of the president’s recent set of comments and where and how they were made. Thanks — JS]

  75. @Thorkell Sigvaldason
    Trump was apparently casting about in his mind for acceptably white foreigners on a day when he happened to have a meeting with the Norwegian PM. I’d call Norway collateral damage here.

  76. Yes. trump is a racist.

    He clearly disparaged nations where the populations are what we would call Black/Latino/African dark-skinned descent. He clearly praised a nation in Norway where the stereotype is pure Euro-Caucasian blonde-haired blue-eyed White.

    Never mind the politics of it. Norwegians are notoriously Socialist, far to the Left of most American Liberals. Never mind the reality that a lot of immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean tend to be better educated and harder workers (and more culturally conservative) than home-grown White-Americans.

    trump is a racist.

    65 million Americans – at the least – have been screaming that since 2015.

    And the Republican Party revels in it. There is no other excuse for their silence and complicity.

    The Southern Strategy given human form.

  77. attempt at sarcasm leads me to believe this was meant as trolling

    I’ve commented here before and I’ve never trolled you. I tried to lighten the tone in an attempt to soften the expected irrational backlash. I’m completely serious. Is it racist to call Haiti “Hell on Earth”?

  78. Derek:

    If you’re not trolling, at appear you’re being somewhat disingenuous at least with your question, and you’ve forgotten the part where I said “making sure to contextualize your question in light of the president’s recent set of comments and where and how they were made,” which did not appear to do. So, you know. Stop being disingenuous with your question, please.

  79. I previously argued that Trump wasn’t racist, he simply didn’t care about anyone who didn’t have the last name of Trump. I would like to apologize to those people with whom I argued. I was clearly wrong and you were absolutely correct.

  80. In anticipation of an encounter with a “I am not a racist” family member, I decided to analyze the phrase “Some of my best friends are [insert non-middle-class white] I changed the phrase to be “Some of my best friends have freckles” That fits me. I realized that the phrase in context indicates that people with freckles are somehow inferior. That because I make friends of them, I am somehow superior. So yes, Trump’s “I’m the least racist person you’ve ever seen” means that he will do business with ANYONE. However, he always does it from a (subjective) position of superiority. If the party he is negotiating with can CLEARLY demonstrate that they are richer, more successful. more LOVED, the Donald would collapse into a sad wind-bag and walk away from the negotiations, saying, “I really didn’t want that anyway” [see Aesop’s fable – The Fox and The Grapes]

  81. The guy seems amazingly clear cut and direct when he dislikes something – and then there’s his cautious wiggling around when discussing the subtle problem of neo-Nazis.

    It doesn’t seem to me to be up to debate anymore. At a certain point, an issue is so settled that to argue theother side MUST be not even delusional, but simply insincere.

    Makes me want to pass a law saying he needs to get the words from the Statue of Liberty tattooed on his tiny little hands… if there’s room.

  82. It is not my intent to be disingenuous, sarcastic, or troll you. I was trying to limit the number of words I used to make my point as simply as possible. That was a terrible choice and I apologize. We’ve had strong disagreements before, but you never resorted to deleting my comments. If this is too much, delete it, and I’ll just walk away.

    Trump’s usage of the term is vulgar, inflammatory, ignorant, wrong, stupid, etc., but it is not racist. Haiti has been described as hell (on earth) for more than a decade and the conditions there are still heartbreakingly terrible. If one is explicitly racist, the other is too, because they are synonymous. But neither terms are racist, only context matters:

    You’re…. not trying to be the person that suggests that “shithole” here was not in context being used explicitly in a racist manner, are you?

    The term is not racist by definition, so what about the context? Of course it’s not explicitly racist in this context. Trump thinks that Haiti is ultra poor (it is) and that poor people from poor countries can’t be productive members of America (he’s wrong). The tweet by Frank Luntz that rebuts Trump on this exact point.

    “But again, if a country’s a shithole we’re supposed to open our doors to them; otherwise, let’s take down the Statue of Liberty and sell it for scrap.”

    This is the kind of rational response that is helpful. Saying, falsely, that this one Trump comment is racism is decidedly unhelpful in light of the hundreds or thousands of more pertinent comments he’s made.

  83. “Saying, falsely, that this one Trump comment is racism”

    This is where it feels like you’re being disingenuous, however, because this “one Trump comment” doesn’t exist in a vacuum. His long history of racism in act and word belies it, and also clearly in the context of the meeting as well.

  84. @Al –

    I say this in advance, because as far as I can tell the “shithole” comment comes from CNN via “a White House Source.” He didn’t say it on camera, and the person who says he said it isn’t willing to put his name behind it.

    Sen Durbin and at least one other person who was in the room have come out and said yes, those are the words Trump used. Google it and there’s an interview of Durbin on CNN or MSNBC or one of those talking about it. So let’s move past the BS “not willing g to put his name behind it” garbage.

  85. I’ve talked to people who voted for Trump, and for the most part, they don’t regret it. They don’t care that he’s a racist, or any -ist. But either they bought into the idea that Hilary Clinton is EVIL, or that someone like Gorsuch on the Supreme Court is better than a Supreme Court with Garland, or that Obamacare is not working (usually someone who either is on Medicare, or on company insurance, or made too much to qualify for subsidies), or that he’ll sign any anti-abortion legislation that crosses his desk, or that increased deficits to give big companies and rich people tax cuts will eventually benefit them, or that the Federal government is too big and we really needed a Cabinet where none of the Secretaries believe in the department’s mission, and besides, we should give Trump more time and let him do the job he set out to do, because we did that for Obama.

    Just because Trump is a racist, and they voted for him doesn’t make them racists. Many of them knew that, or at least suspected that before they voted for him. But if you try to suggest that they might be also because they still support him, or even that they should stop supporting him because he is, I guarantee they’ll just get defensive and double down on their support. They just need to figure it out on their own without the prodding from often self-righteous Trump haters.

  86. @Bruce – If you vote for a racist knowing he’s a racist and will enact racist policies, them you’re saying that either you support those racist policies or you don’t care that they’re racist and will harm people. That makes you racist, whether actively or passively is really immaterial.

  87. But he got that award in New York forty years ago! That must mean he’s not racist. (head in hands)

    After reading a paean to Trump (how he’s making government smaller and helping the little guy and being fiscally responsible), I have to assume that his core doesn’t care what evidence there is – it’s all “fake news” or made up or “out of context” or something. He could show up at a press conference in a white hood and tiki torch with a written invitation to hold a lynching with the majority members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Fox would say “well, he didn’t say the victim had to be black.” It doesn’t seem like any evidence is going to change their minds. At some point, unless someone they care about (not one of them dumb libruls) holds an intervention for them, and explains exactly what a mess they are making of themselves and for others, they’re not going to stop, They’re going to stupid themselves and us to death.

    At some point, the few Republicans that are left with consciences might want to ask why rational thought and argument were a reasonable sacrifice for the counter-revolution. This is what happens when you tell people repeatedly that facts and evidence are irrelevant, and they actually believe you. Now, you have a set of people who prejudices are unmoored from evidence and consequence, and led by a President who hasn’t had to worry about the consequences of his actions and doesn’t believe he should ever have to. This seems like something that can’t end well.

  88. As someone above said I am also old (hate to admit that) and from the East. We’ve known who and what he is for decades . The people who support him may not consider themselves racist but they certainly condone it and are willing to look the other way.
    I can’t believe what our country has become. When did we become a nation of people who have no empathy or compassion? I have seen the most hateful, vile comments about the mudslides in CA and I feel like crying at the inhumanity on display.

  89. Bruce – They aren’t going to, I think. They’ve spent an awful lot of time ignoring what they don’t want to believe to stop now. I don’t know that contempt from anyone who isn’t already convinced that Trump is an bigot and anus with delusions of humanity and competence is going to help – it just that lots of people can do nothing else, or have mouths and must scream. The only hope is that their leader and their support of him will embarrass someone whose opinion they care about, and the light comes on in their hearts.

    At some point, if someone judges that other people’s lives and the principles of their nation are an acceptable cost to achieve their political ends, then there is no reason to hold them separate from the consequences. They knew that their souls and the lives of others were part of the bargain, and they chose him anyway. There is no reason to spare them contempt.

  90. @Msb: At the same risk of sanctioning by the Dread Topicops and for the same reason: Word. Don’t just register, check your registration. And then vote your conscience.

    As I’m fond of pointing out (as does, IIRC, Our Good Host), the deciding factor in the 2016-11-08 US general election was the fourth faction in this list:

    27.2% voted Трамп/Пенс
    28.4% voted Clinton/Kaine
    3.4% voted third-party
    41.0% didn’t vote at all

  91. >> The silver lining: Forcing California to remain in the Union will upset the Alt Right. (Small compensation, I must admit.)>>

    To my eye, the alt-right only cares about states’ rights if it’s a red state doing something they approve of. Pushing blue states or municipalities around with the full power of the federal government is something they actually applaud. See: Sanctuary cities.

  92. You know, there’s this great big hunk of sculpture in New York harbor bearing an inscription that, well, explicitly begs the people from the shithole countries to come here. What qualifies as a “shithole country” will vary with time — Ireland in 1847 certainly qualified, as did pretty much all of Europe during the last few years of Ellis Island. But that inscription is poetry, which requires reading, and that explains everything right there.

  93. Dear Derek,

    “The term is not racist by definition, so what about the context?”

    Sigh, for the last time, because if saying it three times doesn’t get it through some people’s skulls, what’s the point…

    In this context, it **is** explicitly racist. “S.h.” is a term used by white supremacists to describe the groups they more politely (ahem) refer to as “mud people.” It is what they think to be a clever color reference.This is not new; this is something they’ve been doing for years. That you’ve not heard of this does not make it less true.

    To attempt to argue the word doesn’t convey exactly and explicitly that, in the context Trump used it, would be like saying that a government that announces it is going to “cleanse” its population is intending to improve public hygiene. ‘Cause, yeah, you looked up “cleanse” in the dictionary.

    And, even if you still want to be stubborn about this, **implicit* racism, spouted over and over again, ought to be bad enough.

    Stop. Just stop. We’ve moved way beyond the “well, he isn’t quite as bad as you think” cant being remotely entertaining.

    pax / Ctein

  94. @Kara: Telling someone they’re a racist because they passively support a racist primarily for other reasons is going to cause you to lose your argument with them because they’re going to stop listening to you. My point is that if you’re going to criticize Trump to Trump supporters, you can’t make it about them, even a little bit. And as much as OGH urges people to stop supporting Trump because of his overtly racist remarks, I think the people who voted for him in 2016 and still support him now are mostly people who are going to tune you out when you suggest that supporting a racist makes you a racist too.

  95. @Hap: Feel free to have contempt for them, but don’t expect them to ever change their minds on your account.

  96. Peter: The New York Times editorial this morning says (in part)

    Where to begin? How about with a simple observation: The president of the United States is a racist. And another: The United States has a long and ugly history of excluding immigrants based on race or national origin. Mr. Trump seems determined to undo efforts taken by presidents of both parties in recent decades to overcome that history.

    Mr. Trump denied making the remarks on Friday, but Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who attended the meeting, said the president did in fact say these “hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly.”

    Of course he did. Remember, Mr. Trump is not just racist, ignorant, incompetent and undignified. He’s also a liar.So the mainstream media are finally using the word “racist” to apply directly to Trump.

  97. Derek: “Trump’s usage of the term is vulgar…, but it is not racist.”

    As legal representation for the defense, you’re quite cute as you furiously look in your dictionary reciting definitions, trying to avoid looking at the burning cross next to your client, Mr. Trump.

    Dictionaries provide definitions. If you want to figure out INTENT, then you need to look at the words and actions of the SPEAKER before and after the term in question. Intent is not in the dictionary, its in the context of the words and actions of Trump who defended Charlottesville nazis, tried to ban Islam, called all mexicans rapists, and questioned Obama’s birthplace.

    Bruce: “we should give Trump more time and let him do the job he set out to do, because we did that for Obama.”

    Question 1: Are you saying the people behind the birther nonsense that started before Obama was elected, you’re saying those people gave Obama time to do his job? I’m a bit confused as to which planet’s history you are refering to.

    “self-righteous Trump haters.”

    Trump defended murderous nazis, called mexicans rapists, was a birther conspiracist against America’s first black president, attacked two gold star families and veterans, tried to ban an entire religion, constantly attacks the press for reporting the truth, has more than a dozen women accusing him of sexual assault, bragged on two different recordings about committing sexual assault and getting away with it.

    And the one issue that bothers you enough that you call it out is that some of the people attacking Trump are “self righteous” and “haters” who hate him for no legitmate reason? Is that your play here? That there is NO LEGITIMATE REASON TO HATE TRUMP?

    “They just need to figure it out on their own without the prodding”

    Are you saying that if we leave Charlottesville Nazi’s alone, that they will figure out on their own that their racist worldview is immoral and unjust? I’ve read some nazi apologist nonsense before, but you, sir, have taken it to the olympics.

    Bruce: “Telling someone they’re a racist because they passively support a racist primarily for other reasons is going to cause you to lose your argument with them “

    How does one actively vote a Nazi into office while only “passively support”ing them? Are we using different definitions for “active” and “passive”?

    Bruce: “Feel free to have contempt for them, but don’t expect them to ever change their minds on your account”

    Maybe you should hold the “passive” Nazis supporters responsible for still supporting Nazis rather than blame everyone else for not changing their minds for them. You’re giving Nazis a pass and telling the Nazi critics they aren’t doing Nazi-whispering correctly?

    Rick: “And then vote your conscience.”

    This is the battle cry of third party voters. It is intended to portray their vote for a third party as somehow “pure” while folks voting for one of the main parties are “sheeple”. Third party presidential voters have the most undeserved self-righteous act of any voter. Their vote helps fascists win, but they think they’re better than all other voters.

    “the deciding factor in the 2016-11-08 US general election was the fourth faction in this list:”

    this is the battle cry for third party voters to avoid any responsibility for the effect of their vote. “It wasn’t MY fault that Trump won. I voted Johnson. The people you should blame are the people who didn’t vote”. Yeah, how about this. How about we hold each voter responsible for HOW THEY VOTED AND THE REAL WORLD EFFECTS OF THAT VOTE, rather than pretend that a vote for “conscience” somehow releases the voter from the effects of their vote and try to shift the blame to someone else?

  98. @Troy Gordon, that’s not the correct way to try and win a No-Prize. If you want to correctly explain why the facts actually show that POTUS’s comments do not support racism, you have to weave all of the facts into an outlandish explanation. Ignoring facts, or inadvertently making the situation more problematic, is right out.

    So, e.g., saying that the “shithole” comment was OK because you’ve been to some countries that you perceive as “shitholes” ignores the fact that POTUS described the entire continent of Africa as consisting of “shithole” countries. Our host has already pointed out why that’s factually inaccurate, but, er, if you’re trying to explain away these remarks as Not Racist, you probably want to elaborate on how calling all of Africa a “shithole” isn’t racist. You’re also leaving out another fact; that POTUS called for more immigration from Norway, a country whose only superficial difference between Haiti, El Salvador, and most of Africa is that the population is the majority of what Americans consider to be “white people”.

    Understandably, a No-Prize isn’t easy – I mean, the whole point is you’re trying to retroactively turn something that was an embarrassment into something that makes perfect sense, for just about no reward – but if you’re gonna take the shot, don’t half-ass it.

  99. Comment for @Bruce and other current defenders of Trumpists. I think John S did a nice job with “I’m a MAGAist, not a racist” more than a year ago. But if that argument seems insufficient, try this:

    Consider your friend who considers Trump’s racism unimportant compared to his nuanced take on health care policy and/or Constitutional law and/or when life begins. Now ask if she would still vote for Trump if he constantly disparaged people from _her_ ancestors’ countries of origin. Or if he constantly vilified the people who went to _her_ church. Or if he was, for example, a non-white who said the social problems in the heartland are because the US already has too many white people. Would she still vote for him? No? Would that be because no one has a right to talk about her race/ethnicity/religion that way? That would be my guess, anyway. Except there are other races/ethnicities/religions that aren’t worthy of that respect. There’s a term for people who believe some groups are more worthy of basic respect than others. It starts with ‘r.’

    As to the argument about judging people, I’ll stipulate that insulting someone to their face usually doesn’t prompt the person being insulted to do immediate self reflection. But giving them a pass doesn’t either. And I think there’s a lot of evidence that when people begin to realize they’re opting into a group that’s being increasingly villified–racists, homophobes, tobacco company workers, etc–they start first to duck their heads and mumble when the subject comes up and then, at least many of them, consider not being part of that group. When Trump voters stop getting a general pass on his racism, some of them will start wondering why. Until that happens I don’t think they will.

  100. way back when, doctors discovered a link between smoking and lung cancer. As a result, the government heavily regulated smoking and started a large anti-smoking campaign. Smoking was banned in public places. The dangers of smoking were part of health education. Heavy restrictions were put in place against cigarette advertising.

    And by “way back when”, I mean 1930-1940s Nazi Germany. No, seriously. Adolph Hitler hated tobacco products and the Nazi’s heavily regulated cigarettes.

    So, to the people who argue that you can support a Nazi for non-Nazi reasons and it’s morally justifiable, like they could support Hitler because, hey, he was ahead of his time for regulating cigarettes, I just have to say….

    REALLY???

  101. Hey Troy, I would not trust any of your acquaintances with non-Polish doctorates either. The economy in the West has collapsed at least once since 1985.

    The real question is why would people from “bleep” countries want to emigrate to one that seems hell bent on going to “bleep” itself. The answer, apparently, is that many no longer want to do so, but would rather go some place less obviously dysfunctional and poorly managed. Trump is in his own person the solution to the problem his followers perceive.

  102. [Deleted for responding to deleted post. Greg, if you want to recast this comment more generally, go ahead and try — JS]

  103. Yes, well said.
    (P.S. I believe you may have left out an “in” in the opening para., “… that we live in a racist society so we all participate [in] its racism whether we like it or not, …”)

  104. “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” – John Kenneth Galbraith

    I would just add that bigotry is one of the most selfish things someone can do.

  105. Responding to one tiny error in @Greg’s latest diatribe:

    “the deciding factor in the 2016-11-08 US general election was the fourth faction in this list:”

    this is the battle cry for third party voters to avoid any responsibility for the effect of their vote.

    Greg, go back and look at the list again. The fourth faction on the list was the plurality of eligible voters who didn’t vote at all.

  106. Last year I visited Morocco in the spring, and enjoyed it so much that I went back to see more of it in the autumn; there are many things which can be said about the country, but shithole isn’t one of them.

    The claim that people should not describe racists as racists because they will be offended, and thus carry on being racists, is one of the most bizarre aspects of all this; no one making this claim is providing any alternative path to follow. They just don’t want racists to be described as racists…

  107. I always say that if you think saying “I’m not a racist but” erases your racist statements and actions – you are a racist. That phrase is not a magic spell.
    These days I would add If you think say “Trump’s not a racist” erases his racist statements and actions – you might be a racist.

  108. John: I didn’t see Andrew’s comment before posting above.

    Andrew: As far as I can tell Greg was making the valid point that people voting outside the two main contenders put Trump into the White House.

    If you wish to discuss the number of people who didn’t vote at all then it’s a different argument…

  109. Racist? No, no, a thousand times no! Donald Trump lacks the mental capacity to be a racist. (Not that it requires a Mensa level intellect.) Imagine the damage he could do if he were capable of rationalizing his behaviour? A self-aware Trump would border on super villain!

    I sort of feel sorry for the guy. It’s like the “affluenza” defence rich kids are using in court. His privileged upbringing failed to teach him right from wrong…and that words have consequences…and that all people are created equal…and…well morals, I guess.

  110. @Greg, I hope you’ll not mind my demurring against your set of interpretations of other people’s comments, finding many of them far-fetched and contrary, perhaps hoping to be provocative? It seems to me you have inserted meaning to particular words that their speakers (at least, speaking for myself) clearly didn’t intend.

    ‘Vote your conscience’ can serve as an example: First, I’m pretty sure you understood this to be mostly a conventional courteous phrase (a lazy writing trope, I’ll freely admit) connoting the speaker’s desire to avoid partisan polemics and respect the listener’s right to decide without being harangued. Second, to the extent this clichéd phrased actually contemplates a conscience, assuming that conscience is necessarily clueless about basic electoral mechanics, e.g., Duverger’s Law — frankly, assuming that the conscience is a stupid one — is to state a glaring non-sequitur. And, equally frankly, I hope and expect you knew that when you wrote.

    The claim that “the deciding factor in the 2016-11-08 US general election was the fourth faction in this list” allows third-party voters to evade responsibility is equally logic-challenged, because nobody would consider sensible the excuse ‘It doesn’t matter that I voted for Jill Stein the Putin tool because 41.0% of qualified voters didn’t show up at all’. That excuse would justifiably be considered idiotic. Meanwhile, you were flagrantly ignoring my implication that, for 2018 and 2020 USA elections, very likely the easiest way to deal with the approximately 30% Trump racism-loving diehards is to motivate that 41.0% to show up and outvote the old men shouting at clouds. Moreover, speaking for myself at least and I hope for most people, it really doesn’t matter whom to blame for 2016. I care a great deal more about fixing the near-future. I hope you agree?

  111. Andrew: The fourth faction on the list was the plurality of eligible voters who didn’t vote at all.

    Yes, I noticed.

    This is the “third party voters blame non-voters”, in pictoral form:

  112. I wasn’t aware before this thread that Captain Combover’s choice of phrase was a “coded” racist comment. I thought he was being blatant about it, the way he’s been doing for years.

    (I’m also not convinced he’s smart enough to use codephrases to hide his beliefs from those who don’t share them.)

  113. Stevie: The claim that people should not describe racists as racists because they will be offended, and thus carry on being racists, is one of the most bizarre aspects of all this;

    This may be the most depressing webcomics I’ve ever read in my life. But if you read it, you HAVE to read it all the way through.

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe

    Imma still call nazis “nazis” though. Because the goal isn’t to “convert” nazis. The goal is to point out the nazis to make friends aware that nazis are there, to help and protect the things we care about.

    Or to quote the immortal words of Rose Tico: We’re going to win this war not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love!

  114. Dear Leah,

    Heh. Point taken!

    This, though, sends us down the rabbit hole of trying to divine Trump’s mind. Is he really a compulsive liar, a conscious con man, or persistently delusional? Dunno, but we know he frequently lies, as in “makes declarations that are contrary to established and easily-knowable fact.”

    S.h. isn’t really code. It’s not like it’s a nice remark disguising something reprehensible. He isn’t hiding a thing! Whether Trump gets its double-level meaning or not hardly matters, because we know the company he keeps and so where he picked up that bit of rhetoric. It’s really only a degree, of whether he was being explicitly racist or EXPLICITLY racist.

    Now, if he said he was preparing a “final solution to the Muslim problem,” that’d be code.

    I’ve noticed more newspapers today are calling it out for what it is– racist. It seems like it just took them a while to decide there was no way to slide over this one.

    pax / Ctein

    ~~~~

    Dear Rick,

    Save your breath. You’re trying to argue with a fanatic who is looking for a scapegoat, and facts will never get in the way of that.

    In the specifics of this election (rather than abstract drum pounding) 3% of voters voted for Johnson and 1% for Stein. If they’d all voted with their closest main parties, instead, that wouldn’t have been a Clinton victory! That’s just magical thinking promoted by zealots, that somehow those Johnson voters would’ve flocked to Clinton. Based on zero plausible argument, just a “I really want it to be so,” line of reasoning.

    Wanna play the what-if game? *IF* two or three times as many people had voted third party, THAT would likely have thrown the election to Clinton.

    But it’s a profoundly stupid game, a tantrum being thrown by people who are make no sense because, well, they need to throw a tantrum. The winning move is not to play.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  115. Racist? He’s actually a textbook psychopath. He only cares about himself and is therefore prejudiced against everyone and anyone who isn’t directly stroking his ego, making him more money or giving him more power. Like a lot of psychopaths he’s quite charasmatic when he wants to be and that’s what attracts some people. So yes he’s racist, but that’s just one simplistic aspect of his personality, he’s also homophobic, anti semitic, etc etc.

  116. Mat:

    I sort of feel sorry for the guy. It’s like the “affluenza” defence rich kids are using in court. His privileged upbringing failed to teach him right from wrong…and that words have consequences…and that all people are created equal…and…well morals, I guess.

    We’ve had our share of “silver spoon” Presidents. Some good, some bad. Bush41 and Bush42 were certainly born to wealth and power; Kennedy likewise, and both Roosevelts. None were remotely the total waste of skin and oxygen that the present occupant of the Oval Office is, and I can’t see that we should give them extra credit for overcoming the horrible handicap that a privileged origin confers.

    That is, after all, what you’re proposing: that we should grade the rich and powerful on an easier curve than we do lesser mortals. Add another application of the Scalzi Privilege Setting: you not only get an easier game but the scoring is adjusted in your favor as well.

    Sorry, can’t buy it.

  117. I don’t believe Trump is racist by the classical, historic meaning of the term.

    His language is blunt and crude often. But you typically know where he stands on issues .. but sometimes his position is dynamic.

    The racist term is applied by the MSM and progressive types at the drop of a hat in recent years. So much so that it has lost much of its impact. I think these days being termed a racist is a rallying cry for progressives to keep their group think in line. They need something to keep the resistance alive and the hope for the 2018 elections.

    Heck these days I’m told I am racist & privileged because:
    • I’m white
    • I’m educated, as an engineer, no less
    • Live in a mostly white neighborhood (not counting well off people from India)
    • I live in the mid-West
    • Don’t have any close friends who are people-of-color
    • I support Trump’s policies
    • I’m a conservative Republican

    I think Trump’s statement the other day was perfectly heard and understood by his supporters and underlines his position on immigration:

    • Control our border via a wall / fence / advanced technology
    • Move towards a merit based approach to allowing immigrants into our country … stop the lottery system
    • The ‘chain’ system of allowing an immigrant’s extended family is silly. If a proposed immigrant has merits, and can support the immediate family, then that would likely be ok. But not siblings, parents, in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, etc.
    • Given the above the DACA would likely be approved.. Giving the progressives a good pool of likely voters!
    • I suspect that some years after the first three bullets, above, are in place .. there will probably be some form of amnesty for the millions of illegals in the US now.

    I personally think that the US needs a reasonable flow of immigrants to keep our economy growing and to have sufficient tax base to support our budget deficit and debt problems. But the immigrants must be reasonably employable, productive and the process needs to be controllable and well managed to best serve the interests of the US.

    Those are the general points of Trumps position on the immigration topic and is why I support him.

    His blunt comments are alarming to many who expect him to follow the MSM and progressive standards. But you can look at how Bush, Romney and others were ground up and spit out by the MSM to see what they would love to be able to do Trump. Its entertaining to see how Trump is mostly playing and beating the MSM at their own game.

    Go Trump! Continue to focus on what you said that you would do during the election! Maybe tame down your remarks and tweets a notch!

  118. @Gary If all of your bullet points are, in fact, Trump’s true beliefs with regard to immigration and he is really wanting to move to a merit system, why would he be whining that the U.S. should be accepting fewer immigrants from s*hole countries and more immigrants from countries such as Norway. Is he perhaps suggesting that people from Norway have more merit?

  119. Actually, several of you misinterpreted my posts. I think Trump is the worst president we’ve had in the last 100 years, maybe in our entire history, and I believe he’s a lying, racist, religious bigot and a hypocrite. The first paragraph of my first comment was the responses you’re probably going to get if you criticize Trump to people who still support him, like Gary.

    To repeat my point, people who still approve of Trump are in denial over what being a racist is, they don’t believe that if they support Trump because they like the rest of his policies, even if they consider him a racist, that makes them racists too, and to suggest that they are racists because they support Trump is only going to make them stop listening to anything you’re going to say.

  120. @GARY just illustrated exactly why even Trump supporters who think they reject racism are still with him. They will simply rewrite reality in their heads, and decide that what Trump REALLY meant was [thing they support] and any contrary, negative interpretations are simply the wrongity lies of liberals / Democrats / SJWs / whatever.

    Look, we all know that friend who dated a nightmare of an SO? And that friend was impervious to anyone pointing out their SO was horrible? Doesn’t matter how carefully you explained the dude/lady was a trash fire, or how much evidence you had of their bad behavior; your friend would angrily insist you were making things up, you were jealous, you never liked the SO anyway and you’re being unfair to them.

    It’s the same thing. There is literally nothing you can do to logic a Trump fan out of supporting him when their support was never about logic.

  121. Bruce: I didn’t think contempt would convince Trump people that he is what he is. After a year in office and plenty of public history before that, his character and intent are overdetermined. Any assumptions that he isn’t a racist (or lots of other things) are not from a lack of consistent information, but a lack of willingness to internalize the information that does exist. You can’t make someone accept something they do not want to accept. You hold contempt as an appropriate response.

    As a secondary reason, you try to make what he is as clear as possible to people who may be convinced of what he is (and what the people who enable him are, as well) so that they may possibly be motivated to act against him and his intentions. Lots of them would prefer to vote Republican, but if it’s clear how badly they’ve sullied their reputation by supporting and enabling Trump (and how their strategies found an apotheosis in Trump), maybe they’ll align under McMullin, or find some other way to take their party back. Everything starts with honesty. If you can’t speak honestly, then you’re screwed. You can’t make other people care.

  122. GODS, yes, he’s racist!How many video clips do we need to see of him snubbing people of color when shaking hands in crowds and lines? But this one is so over the top that we’d never have expected anything this clearcut. He does have a talent for digging way below the bottom of the barrel, it seems.

    And yeah, I’ve already seen people trying to backpedal and jump backwards through flaming hoops of snot to come up with an explanation of why Trump–and they, for supporting him–couldn’t *possibly* be racist. They all seem to be white for some reason. Hmmmmm, must be a coincidence.

  123. ctein: “You’re trying to argue with a fanatic”

    Third party presidential(3pp) voting is indistinguishable from STAYING HOME and not voting at all. And yet, 3pp voters imbue it with magical powers. 3pp voting is like “hopes and prayers”: it does absolutely nothing while enabling the 3pp voter to feel he performed a miracle. 3pp voting is a flat earth religion and 3pp voters are its ardent followers. Third party voters talk about their experience like they’re one of the “chosen ones”. Who’s the fanatic?

    “3% of voters voted for Johnson and 1% for Stein. If they’d all voted with their closest main parties, instead, that wouldn’t have been a Clinton victory!”

    nope. not even close.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/10/politics/gary-johnson-jill-stein-spoiler/index.html

    But had the Democrats managed to capture the bulk of third-party voters in some of the closest contests — Wisconsin (10), Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16) and Florida (29) — Clinton would have defeated Trump

    3pp voting has 2 possible outcomes:
    Heads: 3pp voting too small to affect the outcome
    Tails: 3pp voting could have voted main party and stopped a fascist but didn’t.

    And because no one knows ahead of time how close the election will be, its a gamble. But you know whats funny? It’s mostly a gamble that 3pp voters make with other people’s lives at stake, not their own. Why? Because third party voters are far more likely to be whites who don’t have to suffer the direct effects of allowing a fascist in office.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/third-party-voting-nonwhite-millennials/

    white millennials support third-party candidates at higher rates than nonwhites do

    minorities are far less likely to vote third party because they understand the gamble AND they understand THEY ARE THE ONES WHO PAY if they lose that bet.

    But not white people. Nope. For a white person to vote for a third party presidential candidate, they get to feel good about themselves because they voted their “conscience” and that makes them special, one of the “chosen few”, and if they are wrong and could have stopped a fascist, well, hey, maybe next time. No skin off my back. Literally.

    The thing with people who don’t vote, they generally contend to defend their not-voting with one rather lame argument that boils down to “tweedle dee or tweedle dum, makes no difference”. But at least they don’t get all high and mighty about not voting. Third party voters though? Gawds. They’re religious fanatics. They’re flat earth nutjobs. Mathematically, they have the exact same effect as not voting at all, and yet, they hold themselves as so much more special then the rest of us “sheeple” who vote for a main party. You could have stayed home and not voted at all and had teh exact same effect on teh election, but voting third party is like finding Jesus. It makes the recipient holier than thou.

  124. Yes. Trump is racist. More importantly, what is he distracting us from? (He always does this and we always fall for it.)

  125. Dear Gary,

    I have no ideas whether you are racist or privileged and I truly don’t care. This is a conversation about Trump. It’s a bad idea to make it about you — fundamentally off-target and that’ll only encourage ad hominem attacks. It is not likely to work out well for all concerned

    So, just your first sentence and nothing more:

    “I don’t believe Trump is racist by the classical, historic meaning of the term.”

    A second bad idea — trying to play dictionary-lawyering in this group. Collectively, the knowledge within this group of correspondents of vocabulary, its connotations, and its denotations is staggeringly large and far exceeds that of any single mortal individual (with the possible exception of William F Buckley). Dictionary-lawyering is pretty much a guaranteed fail.

    To quote Merriam-Webster in this particular, “When discussing concepts like racism, therefore, it is prudent to recognize that quoting from a dictionary is unlikely to either mollify or persuade the person with whom one is arguing.”

    But, since you brought the can opener to the party, here are some worms–

    What do you mean by classical and historic? Because I got taught what prejudice and bigotry meant back in elementary school in the 50s. I’m going to go with the more generalized word, bigot, because racist is a subset of that and Trump is bigoted in many other ways.

    What I was taught back then — please note that was before the 60s revolution, and a whole bunch of later stuff you probably didn’t like; we’re smack dab in the middle of the Donna Reed era — was pretty simple:

    It was stereotyping and denigrating people based on their race, ethnicity, or religion. And/or encouraging others to do the same and/or to discriminate based on race, ethnicity, or religion.

    That was it. Very simple and concise. And obviously not entirely adequate — it clearly constituted the minimal case. Like I said, the 50s.

    (By way of example of the not-adequate part — back when I was in elementary school, bigotry specifically included disparagement. Today most people with a minimal social conscience would cringe if someone said “I’m really glad my banker is a Jew — they’re so good with money.” Back then people would have argued if that was really bigotry because, y’know, a compliment.)

    This is what Trump does all the time. There’s no coding or dissimulation involved, there’s no need to read between the lines; he’s explicit and upfront.

    Care to rebut? If you’re smart, you’ll just duck and cover. If not, I’ll likely leave it to others to finish the job.

    Oh, and just in case you’re contemplating a third bad idea — no, you do not get to pick one single definition (out of several in a dictionary) that happens not to apply to Trump and assert that that is the only one that counts. Really — don’t think people will let you get away with playing at that elementary a level.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  126. Greg,

    Yeah, yeah, more of that magical thinking that claims that a conservative libertarian republican was siphoning off Clinton votes.

    Sure, you go on believing that. Seems to make you happy.

    I’ll stick with the real world.

    Ctein

  127. As an op-ed I read yesterday pointed out, Trump’s outburst demonstrates conclusively that his views on immigration are NOT merit-based.

    Being Norwegian is not meritorious, and Norway is not a skill.

    The fundamental difference between being from Norway and being from Haiti, Nigeria, or El Salvador is not merit, it is that Norwegians are white, whereas Haitians, Nigerians, and El Salvadorians are not.

    Trump’s statements leaves absolutely no room for doubt that his position on immigration is based on race, not merit.

    As for whether or not he is a racist… Although Trump’s statement on immigration 2 days ago was appalling, I am bemused at some media treating this as a revelation. Trump’s words and deed have evinced racism for many years. His latest statement is shameful, but not a new or surprising sort of position for him to embrace.

  128. “Heck these days I’m told I am racist & privileged because:”
    Wee lamb, however do you manage?

    “• Control our border via a wall / fence / advanced technology”
    Nope. Stop right there. Those slashies out this entire thing as disingenuous nonsense. Your president promised you a wall. He was very, very specific. We know, because people asked. Not a fence, not “advanced technology”. (Like, what, exactly? Cameras? Trip wires? A guy at the airport?) A wall. A physical, vertical barrier, so tall than no one will be able to scale it – unless they have, like, a rope or or something, some form of “advanced technology”. That was the whole selling point., because fences and “advanced technology” have been in place since the Bush administration. That you want to try and moderate your expectations now makes you out to be either a fool or a liar.

  129. Gary,

    I said much the same thing, but my comments were deleted. Anyway, just wanted to say you’re not alone. Truth to power. Right on.

  130. @Stevie: “Andrew: As far as I can tell Greg was making the valid point that people voting outside the two main contenders put Trump into the White House.”

    Leaving aside the question of whether it is valid, I was pointing out that Greg replied to Rick Moen’s post, which absolutely was about the 41% of the polity who did not vote in 2016, and tried to spin his remarks to be about third-party voting. I don’t know whether Greg was being inattentive or disingenuous, but either way he misrepresented the post he quoted.

  131. @ Gary
    If the US did not permit family reunification immigration (not “chain” immigration), Trump’s mother would not have been admitted (she joined a sister who had previously immigrated) and your hero would not exist.
    Thanks for a courteously phrased version of “La, la, la, I can’t hear you.” Nothing you said has anything to do with Trump’s racist words or actions. You’re proving Scalzi’s earlier point.

  132. The wall is a total red herring of course, 600,000 people overstayed their visas in 2016. Most illegals now come in on a visa and don’t leave, so of course a wall will make no difference.

    E-Verify would, but of course the Republicans kind of pretend to support it, but don’t actually as it would cut off their donor classes cheap labor.

  133. Jo: There are not that many Trump policy supporters who seem to post here, since it is populated with folks who believe exactly the opposite and who are quick to pounce! I do think Trumps comments aside, that his policy changes that are being enacted .. i.e. tax changes, bursting economy, and other future laws and executive orders … will be recognized by more than a few of these progressive types solid voters of the past that said changes are benefiting them. Witness the historic low in black unemployment (is that racist?) and the lower Hispanic unemployment (is that racist?). May make for an interesting election this year!

  134. I am a foreigner.
    I can imagine my fellow foreigners saying, “Yes, but is he racist enough that people are saying “don’t re-elect?” I haven’t read “don’t” yet in any newspaper. In sports American coaches will try different players. Not in their politics.

    Let us remember how Bush got back in, and how for both Afghanistan and Iraq the Americans kept the same leader in power throughout their occupation. Americans just don’t like to risk changing leaders.

    For American readers: Besides venting my spleen, I am writing this to challenge you to break with precedent.

  135. @Msb, thank you, or perhaps I should say ‘tusen takk’, for your recommendation of that film (Kongens nei, translated into English as The King’s Decision but literally translating as The King’s ‘No’), not only a meticulous and thoughtful re-creation of a pivotal historical period but also timely for our age — being a reminder of what it’s like to have public figures mindful of precedent, respectful of democracy from beginning to end, and taking one’s responsiblities seriously. I hastened to watch it last night, and can likewise recommend it highly — not, of course, to Дональд Дж. Трамп, who lacks the attention span and can’t even spell ‘moral statute’.

  136. will be recognized by more than a few of these progressive types solid voters of the past that said changes are benefiting them

    The pro-rich-people changes do in fact benefit us coastal elites! Maybe not so much y’all in the less-prosperous heartland, of course.

  137. Much as I agree with most of these posts, I think many are a little off the point. My take from John’s piece is not that Trump’s recent statements prove (to us) that he’s a racist. Obviously anyone who seriously considered that question had all the proof they needed at the beginning of his campaign. I think the point is that his recent statements eliminated any semblance of plausible deniability for his supporters as to whether he is (and therefore they are) racist. By Friday, anyone who claimed Trump was not racist moved from the realm of “Climate change denier” (very weak position) to “Holocaust denier” (odious position contrary to all possible evidence).

    Therefore these people deserve scorn either because a) they activity support someone who believes racism should be a fundamental basis of national policy; or b) they willfully refuse to consider any possible evidence that they actively support a fundamentally racist national policy. After Thursday’s statements no one can claim ambiguity. Saying, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?” “Take them out,” during a national policy discussion eliminates any possible ambiguity. Only a racist could continue to support someone who does that.

  138. Shrug, yeah, he is, and the stupid kind racist.
    Me, I think that the hundred yard dash is the best race because it’s long enough to require endurance and short enough to require speed. Worst race would be a marathon because didn’t the first guy to win it /die/? Yeah, no thanks, not competing for That prize.
    .
    IIRC from some study of genes that actor who’s bald scalp is about german dark milk chocolate (I’m so hungry) colored* is a closer millionth cousin (or so: billionth?) of mine than The Dick.
    .
    I think of The Dick as not a racist, or con artist, or fucker who destroyed a few small business’ by not paying his bills but as a dick: When he focuses his one good eye on something he will do whatever he can to obtain his goal. He does not notice or care about anything but what he wants.
    Also, I hope the secret service steals his coke so that his early morning tweets will be sane, tho 2 b fare could be prostate problems.
    .
    And I seem to disagree with everybody on what The Dick has said about the shitty Korea: The shits that are its rulers start an “I made a boom boom thing” every time their army has to plant food because the farmers all starved to death.
    .
    * I’m bad with names. you know, that guy in the adventure movies. the white fool said “this will be fun.” dude his father’s age disagreed.

  139. Dear Mythago,

    True, for some of us lefties. (That we will be financially better off, that is.) But it strikes me as well beyond wishful thinking to imagine that’s going to make us more likely to vote for the current version of the Republican Party. Very few people will stray far from their ideological core for modest financial gains. (That’s not just a left thing.)

    I have a recollection that John wrote a column on just this matter sometime back. Perhaps someone else here has a link to it… or can let me know that I’m imagining it.

    All of which is wandering rather far afield from Trump being a racist.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  140. Jo, maybe you’re not up on current events, but Donald Trump is already president, and the Republican party controls both houses of Congress. That’s both elected branches of government. You can’t “speak truth to power”. You are in power.

  141. Is now, always has been, always will be.
    I hope whoever made the Not My President T-shirts is now making a Not My Shithead version.

  142. ctein: Yeah, yeah, more of that magical thinking that claims third party presidential voting is somehow different from staying home and not voting at all. Sure, you go on believing that. Seems to make you happy.
    We have “get out the vote” drives because staying home and not voting is stupid. But third party presidential votes, whooo boy, those are MAGICAL I tell you. Absolutely no different than NOT VOTING AT ALL, but boy howdy listen to those third party voters beam with pride when they tell you how they did a bunch of work for the same payoff as not voting at all.

    Andrew: Greg was being inattentive or disingenuous,
    hey, mr third party presidential voting is functionally the same as not voting at all, but so much more AWESOME cause how AWESOME it makes third party voters feel: I responded to your kvetch. You either were inattentive or didn’t want to grasp the issue.
    Lemme slow it down for you:
    I said the blaming the fourth faction in this list (the people who didn’t vote) is the battle cry for third party voters to avoid any responsibility for the effect of their vote. And that’s exactly what I meant.
    I even made a multi-color chart and got Kurt Vonnegut to write my report about his book.
    https://memegenerator.net/instance/81090769
    But you missed THAT too. So let me slow it down even further. click on that link right there. See the twit in the middle of the teeter totter? He’s not doing squat to affect the outcome of who becomes president. He is a third party voter. His effect on the election is identical to the two yellow faces at the bottom who sat out the election and didn’t vote at all. i.e. ZERO effect. And yet, when people yell at the third party voter for voting third party and letting RED team win, the third party voter’s reaction is BLAME THE NON-VOTERS. You know, the FOURTH FACTION on that list?
    Third party voters have the exact same effect on the election outcome as NOT VOTING at all. And when people call them on their wasted vote, the third party voter confirms that he doesn’t understand math, and thinks he is somehow different than NOT VOTING at all, because he blames the non-voters. BUt he’s functionally identical.

    Nǐ míngbái ma?

    light blue==third party voter==middle of the teeter totter==zero affect on outcome==same as not voting.
    yellow == non-voters==sat out of the election completely== zero effect on outcome of election.

    light blue==yellow

    But light blue blames yellow for red winning.

    The third party voter blames the fourth faction for the election outcome, taking ZERO RESPONSIBILITY for the fact that his third party vote is NO DIFFERENT THAN NOT VOTING AT ALL.

    I’ve replied to you at least twice and this is yet another. I can only assume that you’re not grasping this as a response to your kvetch, because your worldview insists that voting third party has some great, amazing, world changing, soul saving, makes you the chosen one, kind of effect. And showing that its the same as not-voting-at-all likely bounces off like the legend of how the natives of australia couldn’t see Capt Cooks ships because they were so alien.

    Third party presidential voting is the “hopes and prayers” of voting. It’s the same as doing nothing. But it makes the voter/prayer feel really pious about doing nothing. And when the winner of the election is a fascist and people complain to the third party voters that they could have done something to stop the fascist, THEIR RESPONSE IS TO SHIRK ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE NULL EFFECT OF THEIR THIRD PARTY VOTE AND INSTEAD SHIFT BLAME TO THE NON-VOTERS INSTEAD.

    Clearly, I don’t expect a third party high priest to admit he worship’s a false god, a god that isn’t there. I don’t expect you to give up your notion that your of the chosen people, marked for heaven. But can you at least grasp now that I have indeed responded to your original kvetch multiple times? I’m certain you will disagree with the content of my point, but I did in fact respond, including a multi-colored graph, while you keep kvetching that I’m ignoring you.

    I replied, as short as succinct as possible, and you missed it. And since you keep hammering on about it, now I’m hammering back because that seems to be the only way to get your attention.

    I replied to your kvetch. My original point was correct. You likely didn’t get it because it clashes with yoru worldview.

    savvy?

  143. Gary: “I don’t believe Trump is racist by the classical, historic meaning of the term”

    When people want to get away with being a little bit racist and try to not get called on it, they redefine “racism” to mean someone who burns crosses. It gives them some wiggle room to be a bit skeptical of dark skinned people without being, you know, *racist*.

    As for “privilege”, I personally dont like the word, but I agree with the concept. A wise man summed up the concept perfectly thusly:

    “None of ya would change places with me! And I’m rich! That’s how good it is to be white!” –Chris Rock

    Thats because no matter how crappy your life might be right now, everyone understands that being black would make it just that much worse. As long as thats true, racism is present enough, and its real enough, that being white puts you at an advantage.

    I dont like the term because its origin is a special right granted that no one else gets, with the implication that taking the right away is the solution to make things equal. I think the solution is getting rid of racism so that most whites would switch places with a black person because race didnt a actuslly matter. But “privilege” doesnt connote that. But, likeI said, the issue is real enough. No white person would switch places with Chris Rock, cause thay know theres that chance some racist would commit violence against them.

  144. The silver lining to this is that the meeting where the comment occurred was “viewed as largely successful” by the democrats and republicans who were at the one hour meeting.

    This morning (Sunday) in the funny papers in “Zackhih” a granny noted “deepening divisions” yet that we can “still be civil.” Yes.

    From Canada I’m reading “I’m Right and You’re an Idiot” by James Hoggan subtitled “The toxic state of public discourse and how to clean it up.” In 22 chapters, each written by researching and interviewing an expert, from marketing spin doctors (my term) to the Dalai Lama, he shows how dialogue and change is possible. I suppose the 22 (and more) named experts could lead one to further reading. I just thought I’d put that out there.

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