As with many, if not most, of the reported obscenities to have emerged from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the latest raft of divulged vulgarities are based upon anonymous sources with one exception. In addition to the unnamed, faceless rats who leaked President Trump’s recent, “shithole” comments, there is one verified witness of our fearless leader’s alleged latest debacle, senior senator from Illinois and dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, Dick Durbin.
The Daily Wire was quick to note Mr. Durbin’s tenuous relationship with the truth in the specific context of his history of deceptive disclosures regarding the inner workings of the White House. It’s not a flattering testimonial for Mr. Durbin and it flies in the face of contradictory accounts from Republican Senators Cotton and Perdue who were also privy to the meeting in which President Trump allegedly made his remarks.
At this moment that’s all they are, alleged remarks. It’s an alleged anecdote made public by nameless finks.
But the question of whether or not President Trump actually said Haiti and African countries are shitholes, is academic. One way or the other, the words are out there and the mainstream media is in full blown meltdown mode. And maybe there’s some merit to that seeing as how particularly crass and uncouth this current verbal miscue is.
Words have meaning and they’re important but they lose all meaning and importance if they are misreported, or worse, if they’re wholly fabricated.
President Trump may not have said such things about Haiti and Africa, but it sounds like something he’d say and that’s proof enough in the kangaroo court of public opinion. Even to a die-hard Trump loyalist it comes across as authentic considering our president’s history of using impetuous and colorful language. The die-hards love it as much as the big mouth bleeding hearts hate it. More than that, the die-hards want it to be true as much as the big mouth bleeding hearts do.
Suppose the finks and an inveterate liar from Illinois are telling the truth. Suppose the die-hards and bleeding hearts get their wish and President Trump did in fact refer to Haiti and Africa as shitholes. It’s not a clever insult, it’s completely unambiguous, it’s a brick through a stained glass window (not unlike the above illustration). It’s crude and heavy handed coming from the most powerful man in the world. It may have serious implications on the world stage, not from Haiti or Africa of course. We funnel hundreds of millions to them every year. In the grand scheme of things, they need us a hell of a lot more than we need them and it’s been that way for a very long time.
Haiti has received billions from the United States through various NGOs such as the American Red Cross which is said to have a history of mismanaging the allocation of aid money. The aid could theoretically be distributed directly to Haiti’s government but the problem isn’t the Red Cross, the problem is Port au Prince has a troubled history of corruption, administrative ineptitude, and political violence.
This is not to say Haiti hasn’t gotten a raw deal throughout the course of its history. Indeed, Haiti has a long and undignified record of being taken advantage of by a great number of colonially-minded European powers from its nascent days in the early 19th century to the present.
For our part, President Jefferson could have sided with the Haitian slave revolt and helped push France out of the Caribbean. That would have been a far more politically correct reaction than Jefferson taking a hands-off approach. But in 1804, the slaves of Haiti defeated Napoleon without our endorsement, allowing our country to double its landmass with the ensuing Louisiana Purchase.
In all fairness to ourselves, Haiti didn’t need us and we didn’t throw our support behind France. This could be taken, and often is, as the inherent racism of our forebears. Or it could be seen as shrewd politicking in a day and age when men of great power were required by necessity to do terrible things for the cause of expanding and protecting our civilization in its infancy. It’s a lesson our founders learned during our own revolution and it was reiterated for President Jefferson when Haitian soldiers massacred upwards of five thousand ethnic French colonials.
The story doesn’t end there. Fast forward a century to the administration of brazen racist and progressive icon, Woodrow Wilson. It was he who ordered the occupation of Haiti and it was future leftist hero, FDR, then as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, who orchestrated and implemented the policy. Fast forward again, this time almost a century, to the Clinton Cartel using their foundation to loot and pillage the western portion of Hispaniola for their own personal gain.
And what of the eastern portion of the Island? The Dominican Republic is a relatively stable and successful nation compared to its nearest neighbor to the west and it has achieved this despite a history as rife with colonization as Haiti’s. What’s the difference? Haiti was, at its inception, far more ethnically diverse than the Dominican Republic but we’re two centuries past that, those days are over.
Some folks just have all the luck. Or do they? North Korea is a catastrophe compared to the miracle of capitalism to its south and in President Trump’s alleged words, North Korea most certainly qualifies as a shithole. It’s a shithole on its own and it’s a shithole in comparison to South Korea. It’s definitely a true observation and perhaps it could be said in all manner of less boorish ways. But shithole is the word we’ve got so that’s what we’re going with. And shithole in the case of North Korea isn’t racist and it’s not racist in the case of Haiti.
Ultimately, luck and miracles have nothing to do with it. Some nations have the discipline, economic acumen, and moral virtue to overcome the worst instincts of our frequently depraved human nature. And some nations don’t have such meritorious traits. This isn’t a racial distinction, this is a cultural one.
As the Dominican Republic rose, Haiti festered, both under similar conditions. Both countries are recipients of America’s largesse. Even under US occupation Haiti saw roads and bridges, hospitals, schools, and all manner of infrastructure constructed in their territory for their benefit. But it fell into disrepair.
Haiti suffers from endemic illiteracy (don’t let the illustration above fool you) and some of the world’s worst infant mortality rates. Poverty is the norm and brings with it slum housing, disease, starvation, and crime. If any country in the world deserves the moniker “shithole”, it’s Haiti. It’s an unfortunate word to use and perhaps Trump loyalists shouldn’t be too gleeful when they make use of it, but if the shoe fits, right? If nothing else, it highlights the willingness of our president to call a spade a spade and to do so in plain language familiar to us common folk.
Maybe President Trump said what Durbin and the finks and the MSM say he did, or maybe he didn’t. We won’t ever know, we can’t know. But we can know one thing for sure: Haiti is a shithole. Haiti is a shithole and everyone knows it. The die-hards know it and the bleeding heart big mouths know it too. Only one side of that Janus-faced arrangement is honest, for better or worse.
Original artwork by Jesse Comeau