Racists are lazy.
There is no way around that realization. It takes some effort to view people as individuals and then weigh the good points against the bad points to make a determination about the quality of each individual. It is far easier to paint groups of people with a broad brush and take the individual assessment out of the equation. It is much easier to accept or condemn them as a group basing the decision on factors such as race or religion, or, for that matter, any of a host of other considerations such as income, country of birth or ancestry, level of education or any of a myriad of other subjective factors.
When it comes to race, that is a real easy one; it's as easy as distinguishing black, maybe brown, from white, no research necessary.
The easiest way to identify a racist is the use of the phrase “I'm just saying what everyone else is thinking.”
How many times have we heard that particular phrase or similar ones used by the current occupant of the White House? During his Charlottesville comments, for example, President Donald J. Trump infamously said: “There was blame on both sides and I have no doubt about it and you have no doubt about it. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent.”
He then added: “Nobody wants to say that. I'll say it right now. I know it and you know it.”
The great philosopher George Costanza famously stated when referring to the art of lying: “It isn't a lie if you believe it.” Well, Mr. Costanza was wrong. It is a lie whether you believe it or not.
When Trump claims that he is not a racist, that he is the “least racist individual that you have ever interviewed” I believe that he might very well believe that he is not a racist. He would be wrong.
Rule of thumb is that when an individual has to tell everyone how smart he is, he is likely not very smart since if he were, he wouldn't have to tell anyone. People would be able to deduce it on their own by witnessing the individual's intelligence.
Likewise, anyone who must proclaim that he is not a racist is more than likely a racist because if he weren't, his words and deeds would make it clear that he wasn't. Donald J. Trump is both a racist and not very smart, regardless of his protestations to the contrary. He is a racist, whether he believes it or not, based on his actions and words.
From the very beginning of his presidential campaign he made it clear that he looked upon black and brown people a bit differently than he does white people. Who can ever forget his now famous, or should I say infamous, kick-off of his presidential campaign when he proclaimed that Mexicans are “bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Fairly broad brush, don't you think?
On the topic of Mexico, there was also his inability to understand that a federal judge born in Indiana could not be qualified to hear a case involving him just because of his Mexican heritage. Often, individuals mistakenly believe that all other individuals look at things the same way as they do. Apparently Donald J. Trump is one of those individuals who assumes that his own prejudices would naturally be deployed by others, including this federal judge.
The evidence of Trump's racism is quite extensive. The pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a bit of an indicator since Sheriff Joe racially profiled Latinos. So is Trump's reference to those previously mentioned white supremacists in Charlottesville as “very fine people.” Likewise is his reference to a Hispanic Miss Universe as “Miss Housekeeper.”
These examples, however, pale in comparison to more recent events.
During a recent White House meeting on immigration reform, Donald J, Trump inquired as to “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Specifically he was referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries. He went on to call for less immigration from Haiti and Africa in favor of more immigration from, of all places, Norway, a quite obviously predominantly white nation.
Well, at least his ignorance is consistent. Just a short time ago he was quoted as saying immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS” and he also speculated that immigrants from Nigeria “ wouldn't want to go back to their huts once they come here” even though it is well established that Nigeria sends some of the most highly-educated individuals to our shores.
The particular significance of Trump's blatant racism at this point in time is that the Temporary Protective Status, or TPS, for individuals from nations such as El Salvador, Haiti, Sierra Leone, and Liberia who came to the United States seeking refuge due to some natural disasters or political upheaval is about to expire. Add to that the need to address the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival or DACA, which became a major issue when Trump chose to place a self-imposed end date of the Obama Executive Order (wonder why).
This action may result in close to 800,000 individuals who came to this country as children and know of no other country as home losing their status and face deportation to a country in which they barely know, if at all.
All this brings to a head the issue of American values and whether we are truly a country of opportunity regardless of skin tone.
As for Norway, how out of touch for anyone to actually believe that Norwegians are waiting in line to immigrate to the United States. Really? Why would anyone from Norway want to leave a country with universal health care in favor of a country without it? Why would anyone want to leave a nation with tuition-free universities for a nation who rejects that idea out of hand as socialism? Why would anyone want to leave a nation with strict gun control and an average of less than 10 gun deaths per year for a country with weak gun laws and an average of more than 16,000 gun deaths per year?
Still not convinced? Consider this: The murder rate in Norway ranks 76th among the world’s nations; the United States ranks ninth. Norway's national poverty rate is at 10 percent; the United States is at 16 percent. Norway ranks 21st in primary education among nations worldwide while the United States ranks 53rd. Life expectancy in Norway is 82.1 years while the life expectancy in the United States is at 78.7 years. The gross domestic product per capita in Norway is $70,800; in the United States it is $57,500.
Get the idea? We flatter ourselves while turning our backs all too often on what really separates us, or at least used to separate us, from every other country on earth: our values, our ideals.
If you want to know why anyone from Norway would consider immigrating to the United States, the answer is easy: they wouldn't!