On January 11th, 2018, It was reported that Donald Trump referred to various countries from which immigrants are coming to the United States as “shitholes”.
The fallout from this comment has helped to further expose the true colors of the right wing. The man himself and, by extension, the administration, have denied that Trump ever said this. This left right-wing media with a few choices. It would have been so easy for them to simply follow suit and deny this ever happened. This would allow them to be able to avoid charges of racism altogether (at least in this instance all while keeping their status as mouthpieces and propaganda outlets for the President). They could have also chosen to condemn the comment. Their “guy” is already in power and this would likely have little to no negative effect on how he is perceived given his long and storied history of racist rhetoric. Furthermore, it would at least give the perception of some moral backbone which most acknowledge they are completely devoid of. While the latter is preferable, if right-wing media had made either one of these choices, this article would have never been written. Instead, they chose to DEFEND the comments. Lapdog stooges such as Ben Shapiro and Jesse Watters made the case that, not only was the comment not racist, but it was actually the right thing to say.
This has been part of a sustained campaign by the right to destroy the concept of “decency”. They insist that racism, sexism, xenophobia, and various other forms of bigotry are a “thing of the past”. Those who level such allegations are derided, often preemptively, by labels such as “snowflakes” or “social justice warriors” (as if there’s anything wrong with fighting for social justice). On its surface, these claims/tactics are totally illogical- in the days of a KKK endorsed President, we should be on high alert for bigotry of all kinds. However, these acts are not done without a clear motive. Distancing the Republican Party and conservatism more generally from heavily substantiated allegations of prejudice facilitates both the party and the ideology being viewed more favorably and allows their ideas to win out in the long run. They claim to be doing all this in an attempt to fight back against “political correctness run amok” - this is nonsense. Racism is not politically incorrect- it’s incorrect. Calling, say Haiti, an impoverished third-world nation (thank imperialism, natural disasters, and oppressive U.S. backed leadership for that), a shithole is nothing short of grotesque. We ought not to fall into this trap.