Jan 22, 2018
Yup, Donald Trump, the U.S. president, used that word to describe Haiti and the entire continent of Africa, while praising countries like Norway.
The words are bad enough, but they are symbols of something much worse: the vicious ideas that Trump and others like him try to peddle. Everybody who saw the comment knew immediately the racist message Trump was sending – black immigrants were not wanted, and white ones were.
The countries Trump denigrated are all poor. So let’s talk about why they are poor – the truth which demagogues like Trump trample on.
U.S., Spanish and French capitalists stole the wealth produced by labor in Haiti and Latin America. That’s what impoverishes them.
Let’s talk about the European and American slave traders who stole 20 million human beings and their labor power from Africa. Let’s talk about the colonial system which drained Africa’s mineral wealth to enrich European industry. Let’s talk about U.S., French, Dutch, British and German armies that ransacked large areas of the African continent in order to steal its gold, coltan, platinum, oil, diamonds, uranium, and rare earth metals.
Who are the people who come from what Trump calls “shithole countries”? These people are all the migrants, stolen as the slaves were from Africa, or driven to leave their countries by the poverty that capitalist armies enforced on them. Not only Haitians but, in earlier years, British paupers, the Germans, Irish, Italians, Polish, Jewish – and all the others. Mexicans saw a big part of their country stolen from them, and the people with it.
Your ancestors came here from somewhere else. And most of them came from what were called in their time, “shithole countries.”
Donald Trump – and his race-baiting, racist spewing ilk – would like us to forget our history.
Above all, they want us to forget that if we are becoming more and more impoverished in this country – if THIS country is becoming more and more of a “shithole” – it’s because the capitalist class is stealing an ever bigger share of the wealth our labor produces here.
We, the working people, have the forces needed to stop this impoverishment. We can make the vast fight required to let us impose what we need. But to do that, we need class solidarity, unity of all our forces – which we won’t have if we let vicious demagogues set us at each other’s throats.