One of the things that Trump’s “shithole” comment reminded me of is his long track record of blindly attacking and denigrating those who have shown far more courage, strength, endurance and moral character than he could ever summon up in his wildest dreams.
I think back to a year ago, when Rep. John Lewis said that he would not attend Trump’s inauguration and Trump responded by tweeting out:
Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!
Now if there is anyone in this entire country who cannot be accused of being all talk and no action, it’s John Lewis. At 25 years old, he led the march across the Edmund Pettis bridge in Selma, Alabama to demand voting rights for black Americans. His reward for that most American of actions, one that was guaranteed and protected by the Constitution, was to have his skull fractured by a policeman’s billy club. In a world with far too few genuine heroes, Lewis surely is one.
Contrast that with Trump, a man born into wealth and privilege that is unimaginable to virtually anyone else. And what has he done with that power, money and influence? Discriminated against blacks in housing so blatantly that even the Nixon administration recognized it and charged him with it. Fed into bigotry in every imaginable form. Turned all of life into a story with himself as the mythical (in both senses of the word) hero. Cheated hard-working tradesmen out of the money he agreed to pay them. Bragged about his treatment of women as sex objects for his pleasure and nothing more. If we’re going to take the measure of a person from the courage, both physical and moral, that they have shown in their lives, John Lewis is a million times the man that Trump could ever be.
Now tell me, who has shown more strength, courage and endurance, those Haitian immigrants or Donald Trump? They have fled poverty, torture, the destruction of their entire lives, to come to this country to build a new life for themselves and their families. While Trump’s life was laid out for him on a silver platter, propped up on his daddy’s money, those Haitian immigrants started from scratch in a country they didn’t know, often not even speaking the language, and worked tirelessly to feed themselves and to send their children to school so they can have real opportunities that their parents could only dream of.
Why do we need those people, Trump asked congressional leaders in the oval office — and by “those people” he meant dark-skinned people rather than those white Norwegians he would be so much more comfortable being around. I dare say we need them far more than we could ever need Donald Trump. We have more than enough pampered, privileged white dudes who — thank you, Ann Richards — were born on third base and think they hit a triple. By any measure, that hard-working immigrant from Haiti or Nigeria or Vietnam is a million times the human being than Trump could dream of being.
And that, my friends, is why he attacks them, demeans them and wants them kept out. They are a daily reminder of all that he is not and will never be.