If politicians and the media were honest, almost everyone of them has used exactly that term to describe totally dysfunctional states…
‘S***HOLE COUNTRIES’: Report Says Trump Blasts Immigration From Haiti, African Countries
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that President Trump met with members of Congress over his prospective immigration deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan. Trump presumably wants to trade amnesty for so-called DREAMers for funding for a border wall, an end to chain migration, an increase in E-verify mandates, and an end to the so-called diversity visa lottery, which favors immigrants from non-European countries.
It was this last point that got President Trump’s goat during the meeting, according to the Post. They reported that Trump lost his temper and stated, “Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” He was apparently referring specifically to African countries and Haiti, and he contrasted those countries with Norway. Just this week, the administration removed protections for refugees from El Salvador.
With that said, the implication that Trump is a racist because he favors some countries over others is somewhat silly. The diversity visa lottery assumes precisely the same thing — that countries that are worse off ought to send us more citizens because they are worse off. Critics immediately leaped to call Trump racist on the basis of his “s***hole” statements — the suggestion being that he’s not evaluating the quality of countries but the race of those who inhabit them. The idea is that Trump must want to ban Africans, and so he’s using the excuse that they come from “s***hole” countries.
That’s assuming facts not in evidence. There are indeed countries that could crudely be termed “s***holes.” Haiti has a life expectancy of 63 years, an annual per capita income of $736, and a 61% literacy rate. Haiti is not a well-run country. It’s a mess. Some countries are worse than others. To suggest that all countries are equal in quality or governed decently would be counterfactual in the extreme. It would also be counterfactual to suggest that if we were going to judge a priori which countries’ citizens would be most likely to assimilate well to American culture and values, citizens of those countries that are governed in ways more akin to those of the United States wouldn’t have an advantage. The average British citizen will likely have an easier time integrating to American culture than the average Russian citizen, for example. That has nothing to do with race. Not all countries are equally Western, and that does have some impact on the learning curve of the average person from those countries.