Trump made news again with some racist comment, this time saying that Africa and Haiti are “shit holes” and we should have more people from “Normay” or…did he mean Norway? You know, white people. I don’t know how he plans on getting them here. Northern Europe to me is this haven of free health care, month long paid vacations, free nannies, endless ski slopes, and home-made furniture. I don’t think too many people are going to leave that place to clean dishes here.
I’m going to say something a little contrarian here: Those places are shitholes. But, the people who want to leave those shitholes and start fresh in America are part of a 500-year long tradition. Here are some people and large groups that also follow that tradition:
Hovhannes Miroyan and Luciag Chorbajian high-tailed it out of Armenia around 1915 to escape the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. You might know their grandchildren as the, um, “entrepreneurs” the Kardashian family.
Beginning in 1845, the Irish potato blight wiped out Ireland’s largest, and pretty much only crop. Over a million English speaking (well, sort of), Christ-worshipping, light-skinned immigrants were welcomed with less than open arms.
In 1979, David Tran, once a major in the South Vietnamese army, escaped the shitshow that was Vietnam after we were done with it. He made his fortune making the most American condiment ever: Sriracha.
When you think of lynching, you probably don’t think of Italians, but one of the largest lynchings was in March 12, 1891, when a lynch mob of 150 people hanged eleven of the nineteen “dagoes” who were tried but acquitted of the murder of New Orleans police chief David Hennessy.
Oprah Winfrey grew up in an American shithole, rural Mississippi, where she was raised by a single mother there until they moved into a poor city in Milwaukee. She was molested as a child, and became pregnant at only 14, only to have her baby die in infancy. She was able to land a job in radio when she was still in high school, then became a TV news anchor. Oprah Winfrey revolutionized television by taking daytime sleaze TV and making it an intimate and intellectual space.
And what list of shitholes would be complete without mentioning the 900 Jews aboard the St. Louis, a ship from Hamburg, Germany, that were literally turned away at the border trying to escape certain death at the hands of the Nazis, and the failing of bill in 1939 that would have let 20,000 German Jewish children refugees in above the immigration quota.
We need people from shitholes in this country. We’re not going to get people to leave Norway to pick apples, pluck chickens, and fuck Ray J. You know, the difficult jobs Americans won’t do.
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