Tags: Trump | DACA | Racist | Haiti | immigrationcomment

Trump Is Divisive, Not Racist

Trump Is Divisive, Not Racist
President Donald Trump speaks at the Conversations with the Women of America at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

By Tuesday, 16 January 2018 03:16 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Love him or hate him, give Donald Trump credit. No one else dominates headlines, knocking huge stories off the front page, like our president.

From relegating the Golden Globes to the back burner, to making a monumental story — the bogus threat of an incoming nuclear missile — irrelevant, President Trump has the unique ability to make everything about him.

But being an expert in that regard doesn’t necessarily make one successful. In fact, in the president’s case, it’s the opposite. Sadly, his expertise all too often results in self-destruction.

For those hoping that Mr. Trump would turn over a new leaf in 2018, think again. The president picked up right where he left off. First, he went to war against a book that paints an unflattering picture (threatening a lawsuit to block publication, making it appear as if he were trying to hide something). And then the president purportedly used an expletive to describe certain countries that he deemed undesirable for immigration to America.

Now engaged in yet another "I-said, he-said" moment, claiming that he did not use the derogatory term in question, despite a roomful of congressmen stating otherwise. And of course, because the countries he mentioned (Haiti and African nations) have predominantly black citizens, the charge of the president being a "racist" has been flying around.

However, and yes, there is a however, just because he used divisive language in a wholly inappropriate setting doesn’t mean he is entirely wrong.

Let’s look at this situation for what it is. Partisan politics has once again reared its ugly head. The single most important aspect that no one is discussing is why the proposed immigration reform bill, including much-needed provisions for the DACA (Dreamers) is apparently dead — yet prior to the president’s remarks, both sides were confident of passage.

Why the retreat? Because Mr. Trump used racy language? Sorry, but passing the bill and being upset at his language have absolutely nothing to do with one another.

Our elected officials must be able to discern the difference between policy and personality. One may not like the president. But if legislation is on the table that would benefit America, you pass it. Period. Refusing to do the right thing because of someone’s poor word choice is anathema to good public service, attempting to gain partisan advantage at the expense of the people.

And that is why Washington, D.C. is broken. To both sides — grow up! 

The president now claims he didn’t use the expletive. Guess what? It doesn’t matter. The jury is in — guilty. That is a situation 100 percent of his own making. He made his bed by hurling insults, issuing threats, using vulgar language, prevaricating, whining, and coming across as an overall nasty individual. Fine. That was his choice. And despite all that, he still won.

Unfortunately, that victory continues to reinforce his mindset that such behavior remains the formula for success — when the opposite is true. The president has not yet comprehended that winning a campaign (against perhaps the most unpopular person in America) and being a successful commander in chief are two completely different things.

The fact that he has achieved success on only a single issue (tax reform) — despite Republicans holding all the cards, is testament to that fact.

As a comparison, if Vice President Mike Pence or Gov. John Kasich stood accused of making such a remark, most people would give them the benefit of the doubt, because they are both gentlemen. But Mr. Trump, through his stubborn refusal to change his behavior, has cemented perceptions about his character.

The only thing that can improve the president’s dismal approval rating and save the GOP from a bloodbath in this year’s congressional elections is by passing popular legislation.

Yet because of his latest move, he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Perhaps someone should offer the "Art of the Deal" guru a primer on how politics actually work.

The president’s sentiments don’t make him racist. Consider this:

Should America prioritize immigrants from places such as Haiti? Absolutely not. The majority are poor and unskilled, as in most third world countries. That doesn’t mean America should shut the door entirely, and thankfully, we don’t. But we cannot save everyone who is oppressed and downtrodden, since that number is well into the billions.

Our economy is big, but not so big that we can simply absorb unlimited numbers of uneducated, unskilled workers from places such as Haiti, many of whom do not speak English.

The result would be massive numbers of immigrants going on the government dole for lack of work; an immense strain on an already-overburdened education system; municipalities pushed to the brink of bankruptcy trying to service populations not contributing to the tax base; and billions more added to the national debt.

It is critical to remember that America is the most generous nation on earth when it comes to opening its doors, as well over a million immigrants are granted permanent legal status each year  — far more than any other country. And tens of millions more are admitted on a temporary basis for employment and study programs.   

That said, the president clearly did not do his homework when he lumped the sub-Saharan African nations into his comment. In fact, they are some of the most skilled and educated immigrants in America, with 41 percent having earned a bachelor’s degree (compared to 32 percent of Americans and 30 percent of all immigrants). They are exactly the type of people America should be targeting for admission.

While we should certainly strive to help the most politically oppressed, provided they can be vetted, we should be prioritizing those who are highly skilled, well educated, and fluent in English. Doing so bolsters America’s national and economic security.

Just because the president suggested we accept more immigrants from Norway versus Haiti does not make him racist. Constantly invoking the racist label where it isn’t warranted devalues the term, hurting the real victims of racism and giving a pass to those who are bigots. It is human nature to lose interest in things the more commonplace they become. Labels are no exception.

Let’s be honest. If the president had said the opposite — that America should focus on immigrants from Africa and Haiti rather than Norway and European countries — would he have been similarly accused of being "racist?" Not a chance. You can’t have it both ways.

America was predominantly founded and built by white Europeans. People from those countries should not be excluded from emigrating here, nor their path made more difficult, in the name of "diversity," simply because they are white. Instead, all immigrants should face the same criteria: priority is afforded to those who can best impart an immediate and lasting impact on America, regardless of color, creed or country of origin. That is the fairest, most common-sense immigration policy, and one which places America’s self-interest first.

President Trump is many things, but calling him racist, even to those who are chronically offended by everything, is unwarranted and counterproductive. Instead, our focus should be on creating the America envisioned by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., where we judge each other not on the color of our skin, but on the content of our character.

On that note, if the president doesn’t change his character quickly — he will likely see his party emigrating from Congress, in record numbers.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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If the president doesn’t change his character quickly, he will likely see his party emigrating from Congress, in record numbers.
Trump, DACA, Racist, Haiti, immigrationcomment
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 03:16 PM
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