Reaction to Republican Pres. Donald Trump’s remark
disparaging conditions in Haiti and Africa generally shows not just the poverty
of liberalism, but the acumen of Louisiana’s GOP Sen. John Kennedy.
Last week, in the context of immigration reform,
Trump noted (using a saltier adjective) that policy should do more to attract highly-skilled
immigrants, rather than people from countries who typically do not have indoor
plumbing and who find themselves using outdoor facilities. The “hole” or “house”
comment (depending on who heard it) referring to the destination of excrement predictably
dominated the flavor-of-the-moment news cycle.
Of course, Trump could have spoken more
diplomatically. Of course, he didn’t because his personality is such that he must
attract attention, which he doubtlessly knew he would for the phrasing he used.
And, like trained seals, over the remark (apparently dutifully disseminated by
at least one Democrat present at the meeting of Trump and lawmakers) America’s
hard left in particular had a meltdown, which, given its perpetual stance of outrage,
An instructive Louisiana example comes from New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist
Jarvis DeBerry, who wrote it
confirmed his view that Trump was racist, as the countries Trump’s remark
disparaged have black majorities and almost all politicians ruling over them
are black. (Some sources say Trump lumped in El Salvador as well, but, even as
Hispanics technically are Caucasian excepting those with North American Indian ancestors,
the left divides the world between whites from economically developed states and
everybody else.) Yet, apparently it takes one to know one: DeBerry ceaselessly,
senselessly, and without any empirical support gratuitously injects race into much
of his commentary, so what does that make him?
The same tendency comes from the state’s Democrat
Rep. Cedric Richmond, who framed
Trump’s remark in the context of wanting to “Make America White Again.” He claimed
the remarks were “racially insensitive and ignorant.” Again, the enthusiastic
tendency demonstrated here to see many issues of the day through the lens of race
draws questions about whether Richmond can evaluate the entire political world
in a way not based upon identity politics.
More charitably, liberals tend to supply this
interpretation as an excuse for explaining the endemic failures of liberalism.
They must believe in an imaginary racist bogeyman hiding in the hearts of the
(white) mass public, straining to six degrees of separation to impute alleged
racism to any policy with which they disagree and to the disappointing outcomes
of liberal prescriptions, in order to keep the faith in light of the
overwhelming evidence illuminating the bankruptcy of their worldview.
DeBerry and Richmond, typically of the left,
therefore missed the entire point of Trump’s ham-handed, attention-seeking, but
incisive comment: cultures of those countries he derided tend to lead both to political
and economic dysfunction, producing largely low-skilled individuals with less commitment
to democratic values and civic virtue. Naturally, such people generally
speaking bring less potential to serve America and its people so, if as
currently constituted, the country’s immigration policy restricts numbers, then
what’s wrong with wishing more high-skilled immigrants whose social and political
values more closely adhere to American political culture would come here
at the expense of those others, regardless of race, color, or creed?
Stating the obvious on this point, as Trump did it
albeit in a way designed more to draw attention to himself that distracts from
the point, does not make one racist. If one thinks this does indicate racist views,
then one must embark upon self-reflection as to why one feels compelled to stamp
that interpretation on the event and must understand that this tells more about
the receiver of that communication than its sender.
That point Kennedy hit upon when
asked about Trump’s remark. Like Trump, Kennedy doesn’t turn down opportunities
to promote himself, although he does so in a more sophisticated manner that highlights
the policy rather than himself. But neither does he let remarks by Trump or
anybody else set his agenda – until he can get a little political mileage from
Asked by the media about the comment, Kennedy’s response
showed he understood the dynamics of it perfectly, in particular that its significance
came more in the reactions to it than in its making. Queried on whether the quip
constituted a “roadblock” to the immigration debate, Kennedy astutely said “If
it’s a roadblock, it’s because we let it be a roadblock,” and more generally
argued to focus on such remarks served as a policy-making distraction in which
he would not indulge himself.
Precisely. The constipated, unsustainable view
that most of America’s white majority runs around obsessed with race and that this
drives all aspects of their political behavior in largely negative ways does
more to prevent implementing solutions to problems plaguing America,
particularly its minority citizens, than anything else, exactly because it
distracts from a valid understanding of those problems. Kennedy comprehends
that. Now if only those who perpetuate the problems by their hijacking of these