ICYMI: Greg Sargent: “Trump Just Denied His ‘Shithole’ Comment. In The Process, He Confirmed the Worst”

ICYMI: Greg Sargent: “Trump Just Denied His ‘Shithole’ Comment. In The Process, He Confirmed the Worst”

In a new column posted this morning, Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, uncovers the true revelation behind Trump’s latest, racist remarks:

Multiple TV journalists have flatly declared that Trump has revealed himself as a racist. It’s good that it’s now safe to say this on prime-time television, but we already knew that. What this episode also does is shatter the endless euphemisms and dissembling that Trump and his allies have employed to obscure a related truth: that the nationalism at the core of Trumpism is heavily driven by a reactionary backlash to the current ethnic and racial mix of the U.S. population — it is white nationalism, despite all the what-me-racist protestation to the contrary.

Trump’s comments also reveal that this basic truth is shaping the White House’s policy stances in the current immigration debate, something that is also being obscured with all sorts of rhetorical trickery. Trump’s comments have upended the negotiations underway over a deal to protect the “dreamers.” But it can no longer be denied that Trump opposes the deal at least in part because it does not do enough to resist or roll back ongoing racial and demographic trends.

Sargent’s entire piece is a must-read, available online here and included below:

President Trump is now denying that he ever described developing nations as “shithole countries.” But he is acknowledging that he did use “tough” language in the context of the debate over whether to take in people from said shitholes, and in so doing, he is only confirming that the mask has now been torn off for good.

Multiple TV journalists have flatly declared that Trump has revealed himself as a racist. It’s good that it’s now safe to say this on prime-time television, but we already knew that. What this episode also does is shatter the endless euphemisms and dissembling that Trump and his allies have employed to obscure a related truth: that the nationalism at the core of Trumpism is heavily driven by a reactionary backlash to the current ethnic and racial mix of the U.S. population — it is white nationalism, despite all the what-me-racist protestation to the contrary.

Trump’s comments also reveal that this basic truth is shaping the White House’s policy stances in the current immigration debate, something that is also being obscured with all sorts of rhetorical trickery. Trump’s comments have upended the negotiations underway over a deal to protect the “dreamers.” But it can no longer be denied that Trump opposes the deal at least in part because it does not do enough to resist or roll back ongoing racial and demographic trends.

Consider the particulars of the current immigration talks and Trump’s response to them. In the White House, a bipartisan group of senators yesterday presented an agreement that would grant protected status to the dreamers who were brought here illegally as children, pump more money into border security, tweak family-based immigration and end the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” which distributes visas to countries with historically low immigration rates, many in Africa and Central Asia, channeling those visas to some U.S. residents with temporary protected status (TPS)from countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti, a program Trump is rolling back.

Trump reportedly reacted to a discussion of that last component of the deal by saying: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” before suggesting the United States should instead allow in more people from countries like Norway. Trump now claims he only used “tough” language about this deal, but his reported comments illuminate his actual policy stance: Trump is, in fact, rejecting the deal because it lets in too many people from what he thinks are “shithole countries,” or lets too many of them remain.

Trump objects to the agreement because he claims it makes so-called chain migration (family-based immigration) and the lottery system “worse,” meaning we must take in “large numbers of people” from “high crime … countries which are doing badly.” That openly concedes that Trump wants fewer people from those countries here.

The meaning of this is plain. Trump has claimed he objects to the lottery program because it admits terrorists, but he still objects to the deal reached on it because it still allows people (those with TPS) from the wrong countries, the “shithole” countries, to remain. He wants more funding for the wall, which is symbolic, yes, but that’s exactly the point: As Frank Sharry of America’s Voice puts it to me, the wall is a “middle finger to Latin America,” a statement that “we don’t want your kind.” It’s a middle finger to shithole countries, but more to the point, it’s a statement that we don’t want the people from them.

Trump also opposes the current deal because it would restrict family-based immigration (in which current immigrant citizens or permanent residents sponsor relatives for entry) only for the parents of the dreamers and some others, whereas Trump wants much greater reductions in family-based immigration. But as Dara Lind points out, while this debate is complicated, this functionally means large reductions in the numbers of people from countries who already have large immigrant populations here — which means resisting trends shaping our current ethnic and national mix.

In light of Trump’s apparent claim that he wants to prioritize people from countries such as Norway, the uglier white nationalist cast of all of this is inescapable. Trump’s fellow travelers have gone to great lengths to obscure this basic reality. In a now-infamous exchange, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked White House immigration hard-liner Stephen Miller whether Trump’s policies are designed “to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country.” Miller reacted with outrage and repeatedly cast the goal as reducing the mere numbers of immigrants — ostensibly to protect U.S. workers from competition — which he said was in keeping with previous periods of lower immigration.

It is very hard to disentangle the goal of reducing the overall numbers of immigrant arrivals from the goal of shifting our current ethnic and racial mix. But Trump has now left little to no doubt that the real animating impulse is the latter.

Source: http://americasvoice.org/press_releases/greg-sargent-trump-comments/