Trump's Comments and My Mother

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The last brew ha ha with Trump is of course his comments about Haiti.  Furthermore, he doesn't seem to understand why we can't get more immigrants from the Nordic countries.  The truth is Haiti is a "shit hole" and as "shit holes" go people would love to be able to leave and go to another place far less of a "shit hole."  On the other hand Nordic people (and others from well developed countries such as NZ and Australia) generally have a better standard of living than Americans.  Other than the weather, not much motivation to want to uproot your entire existence and move to a country with different cultures or language (albeit most Nordics are fluent in English).

 

Since mass immigration started in the late 19th century its been mostly people from "shit hole" areas that wanted to come to the United States.  And since for so many years the US was the queen jewel of the world you get the picture.  First it was Europe, now its Central and South America.

 

So this brings me to my Mother.  She was the daughter of two uneducated Italian immigrants (she actually conceived post exit for the US).  Italian was spoken in the house, they ate Italian food and celebrated Italian culture.  She grew up in a coal mining town full of Italian immigrants.  Half the town were her distant cousins.

 

Then she gets a scholarship, moves away and discovers "America." These people don't speak Italian and eat hamburgers not linguini. Suddenly she's in culture shock and its the late 40s/early 50s so she must adjust, and fast. As a young woman she totally immerses herself in the American culture and spirit. She joins every civic organization, she votes in every election, she reads the newspaper faithfully each day.  She is at times embarrassed to let the world know she is the daughter of someone that can only speak broken English.  As a kid one time on a school field trip I let on that my grandmother couldn't speak English.  That night my mother was more livid that I've ever seen her.

 

The truth is that it wasn't until her mid life that she felt a real " full American" and a legit as a true citizen. 

 

Now that brings me to modern day.  Starting in the 1970s immigration shifted to southern regions.  In my grandparents time it was understood that children and then particularly grandchildren would lose ethnic identity ultimately becoming totally American. Like me, my background was an interesting oddity but never did I think "well maybe I don't belong in this country/"  With the Latin migration the "cultural shift" has been much slower.  Subsequent generations have held onto their culture and language.  Its why we see signs in English and Spanish and get the option to "presione el numero dos" when we call a customer service line. Live in a city like Miami and in certain areas its hard to find a English speaker.

 

While there has been a retarding of the cultural conversion, it without a doubt is now occurring with the newest generation.  Teenagers and young adults identify more with the American culture than that of their grandparents or parents home land.  While they still speak Spanish when at home when they are out together with peers its English only.  Their into football  not soccer and listen to American bands not their native Samba. Sure they still find their culture amusing but a trip to Disneyland is much more appealing than a trip back to the motherland.

 

Despite the immigration fearmongering, immigrant trends both legal and illegal are changing.  Stricter border controls (which started under Obama), fewer job opportunities (as automation takes away low level jobs and employers use E Verify), and what has become a more hostile environment to immigrants is slowing movement.  Mexico has net negative immigration. 

 

The more problematic part of immigration, which is rarely talked about is the abuse of HB1 Visas, which typically are young people from Asia being used for cheaper professional work.  $40K a year in the US (living 4 to an apartment) is better than what is $5K a year in India and China.  And for some reason Trump doesn't seem to be calling India or China a "shithole" and we don't seem to want to run those nice hardworking polite Asian immigrants out of town.

 

Finally, as newer generations come along and assuming new immigration continues on the same trend the Latin cultural influence will fade to the point of what we now have with Europe.  Eventually they will be just like me.  Heard the language when growing up but never really taught it and only a mild interest in my ethnic heritage.

 

As far as Donald Trump, he doesn't seem to understand the forces and motivation of immigration.  Middle class and Upper Middle Class people from developed nations will come on vacation to see Broadway, Disney and the beaches but to live here?  Other than the rich setting up a second home and dual citizenship, its not gonna happen.

Comments

Bill H. Added Jan 13, 2018 - 3:42pm
 
Trump's comment was not only uncalled for from a person in his position, but has undoubtedly resulted in a major blow to whatever status we had remaining with the rest of the world.
Any true Patriot would find his comment as not only racist, but as a true indicator of why this man is unfit to hold office.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Jan 13, 2018 - 5:23pm
Trump seems to have a better grasp on this.
opher goodwin Added Jan 14, 2018 - 6:52am
Trump's rude, arrogant outburst was uncouth and vulgar. This is not the behaviour of anybody in such an exalted position. It is the language of trash. The sad fact is that it represents the views of a segment of America who feel they really are superior to all other cultures.
Fortunately most Americans would not be so rude.
Whatever you think you do not describe peoples' homeland in such a derogatory manner. It is demeaning.
Some of the biggest shit-holes on Earth are to be found in the United States and they've been created out of racism and poverty, violence, gangs and drugs.
That old biblical saying about removing beams from your own eyes comes to mind.
wsucram15 Added Jan 14, 2018 - 8:28am
You know George, in the town where I grew up..it was mostly Italian immigrants, first or second generation.  I learned how to cook from a woman born and raised in Naples, Italy.  Fascinating person, made everything by hand and the best food I have ever had.
My family was a mixed bag but were far from immigrants either, my Grandfather and brothers came from Scotland with his parents through Canada.  My Grandmothers family were natives, except for I believe her father who was French.
My fathers family came here long ago..and were here as workers and servants for many years. They were Irish.
So I was raised around immigrants and their stories of poverty coming here, their mistreatment and having to make their own way for what they had.
I dont think, in fact I know..none of them would speak poorly of someone who had to do the same.  No matter what the color of their skin or what" shithole" they came from.   Because many of them were treated the same way. 
I dont think I have ever been as disgusted by a human as the man in the white house and thats saying a lot from me. I have had some screwed up things happen.  But those things happened to ME. Not entire swaths of people.
I knew he was bad, based on his background, and I am sure this is not the worst of it, he is enjoying this.
 
Cliff M. Added Jan 14, 2018 - 9:32am
When I was a kid there were two languages spoke. In the home which was proper and respectful and street language where anything was acceptable. Trump obviously does not understand the difference or chooses to become obscene as a distraction from the current events.He changed the channel from Russiagate to crude and rude with his latest tirade.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 14, 2018 - 10:00am
I guess Trump has given up. He has realized that the Chinese are not going to leave Africa economically, and so he can quietly call African countries shitholes.....because the profit of their exploitation is not going to the US....
 
Side note: Obama had a big chance in Africa, but he fucked up by doing nothing. Maybe he has ordered to.
Dave Volek Added Jan 14, 2018 - 10:12am
Stone
That is a good angle I hadn't heard before. Africa has changed its colonial influencer from the USA to China indeed. Maybe Trump is the one authoritative person who figured this out--and cut America's losses.
 
Cliff M. Added Jan 14, 2018 - 10:16am
Stone, I believe Trump is just chattering to his biased, old white guy base. His rudeness lacks mass appeal so he is just singing to the choir.
A lot of old school, blue collar America is quietly being flushed down the tubes while being ignored financially and socially . Social justice for immigrants is a big topic while mainstream America rots and rusts away.Veiled populism is the Trumpspeak of today.
George N Romey Added Jan 14, 2018 - 10:55am
Trump plays to a certain base because it’s his “trump” card. The masses are being told the economy is doing fantastic. The Democrats have no alternative vision. Most Americans don’t want open borders. They want the borders secured and the bad element rounded up and deported. If Trump actually talked about now negative immigration due to better border security and efforts to rid ourselves of unwanted illegals he’d have much more support.
Micahel Dolan Added Jan 14, 2018 - 11:17am
Trump used words that were not acceptable-yes.
 
But all the Trump haters try again to destroy Trump foe what he said. But those who want him gone never ever call for the impeachment of Democrats like Bill Clinton who had cigar sex with a young girl gets away with it keeps his presidency.
 
Hillary is a 100%liar and thief-Foundation Hillary traitor for all to see-but Hillary never gets the liberal media to call for her arrest.
 
And the great Obama presidency-for America not so-Obama for eight years did great things for nations that hated America.Obama was a total BS-Artist. The all time Empty Suit-BS-Artist.
William Stockton Added Jan 14, 2018 - 11:55am
Plausible deniability.  Nobody has any proof but we can all imagine Trump saying "Shithole countries".   LOL  I think he is spot on.
 
This very well could be a planted story and Trump actually never said "shithole countries" other than when he endeavored to plant these words in the media.  Hilarious.  So funny to watch people go barking mad about two words that are actually correct.  There are shithole countries in the world.  
Jeff Michka Added Jan 14, 2018 - 2:41pm
Duhlan, the mindless Trump supporter sez: Hillary is a 100%liar and thief-Foundation Hillary traitor for all to see-but Hillary never gets the liberal media to call for her arrest.-Ah, soooo much different than a president who utters fewer truth than you do, Duhlan.  ALL ANGRY AND PUFFED UP OVER Hillary Clinton, awash with old, non-criminal news.  Any challenge to Trump is met with his base talking Clinton.  And you still go on over ex-presidents but give your "leader" kudos for just showing up....same ol crap from you.
Jeff Michka Added Jan 14, 2018 - 2:42pm
HE SAID SHITHOLE COUNTRUES, NOT SHIT FOR BRAINS RIGHTISTS, STOCKPOT.  So he wasn't talking about you...
George N Romey Added Jan 14, 2018 - 3:55pm
Haiti is a shithole. End of story whether Trump said it or not. Few illegal immigrants have come from the Caribbean. Expensive and difficult to get Visas and a round ticket make it out of the reach of the poor. 
Autumn Cote Added Jan 14, 2018 - 5:02pm
Please note, the more personal replies you offer the more likely your articles will remain popular and commented upon.  
Micahel Dolan Added Jan 14, 2018 - 5:03pm
Michka-Hillary Clinton called millions of people deplorable only a SHIT-HEAD could say that about people who disagree with her.
Obama-Shit Head-gave Iran terrorist billion dollars and he gave them nuclear weapons-That is a100% Shit Head. The Great Obama----
wsucram15 Added Jan 14, 2018 - 8:15pm
Who gives a shit what Hillary said?  She is not the enemy of the state or even in the same game.  That ended in 2016...damn let that shit go..
As far as shitholes..we have them here as well as assholes.  But you dont need to speak ill of people, especially when it hurts relationships with allies.
Jeff..you always give me a chuckle.
 
Dave -Africa..didnt change its tune, SEF is correct..Obama blew that one and Bush also, since China has been in Africa since late 90s but definitely early 2000's.   We were also there then, but only in joint ventures and no where near the scale. As was the UK. 
 
George.."most" Americans dont believe in "border security" as in "a wall".  They agree that we need something, but not a wall.  The opposition for that is very high (about 60%). But with the Visa stay overs being such a problem for decades, thats where we need to put resources.
 
Katharine Otto Added Jan 14, 2018 - 9:13pm
What amazes me is that everyone is making such a mountain out of a molehill.  If the media didn't play it up so much, few people would fixate on the words Trump uses.  But the media is obsessed with the man, to the point of ridiculousness.  
 
A. Jones Added Jan 14, 2018 - 9:49pm
The last brew ha ha with Trump . . .
 
"Brew ha ha" is an exotic variety of coffee bean, roasted in such a way as to cause laughter after drinking it.
 
The correct spelling of what you meant is "Brouhaha."
 
But please – continue.
Mahendra Kent Added Jan 15, 2018 - 3:20am
If China is doing such a good job in Africa, why are they not taking refugees? Is it because they don't want to go from one shithole to another? People seem to feel China is doing such a wonderful job. When there was British influence in Africa there were hardly any refugees issues. Give China five years in doing what it is doing and then judge the situation. Too early to call. Why African countries not controlling their own destinies? Always relying on some country or other. Oprah should take a residence there for ten years. 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 15, 2018 - 1:00pm
Cliff
 
Stone, I believe Trump is just chattering to his biased, old white guy base.
 
You could be right there. I think I interprete too much into him :-)
Stone-Eater Added Jan 15, 2018 - 1:03pm
Dave
 
Africa has changed its colonial influencer from the USA to China indeed.
 
Yep. And although the Chinese are exploiting the continent too, they are clever enough to build infrastructure to get goodwill, instead of bombing and regime changes.
 
Actually, it's simple. Give something and you get something !
Stone-Eater Added Jan 15, 2018 - 1:13pm
If China is doing such a good job in Africa, why are they not taking refugees?
 
Which refugees ? The ones we got here in Europe are caused by the West and not China. And especially by the US by its useless war tries against enemies they created themselves by their clumsy behavior. As far as I know, the Chinese didn't invade anything in the last decades, certainly not outside of their backyard. And if they would - remember how the Japanese actioned in China before. And Japan was always allied to the West.
 
You get off this subject. It's not about who is where but about who fucked up economic chances. Obama had a historic change in Africa. All the world welcomed him in good belief. But he didn't deliver.
 
That shows that a US president is merely a puppet. The old masters of the cold war (Russia) were stronger than him - IF he even wanted to change that McCarthy belief or the hunger for Russian resources.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 15, 2018 - 1:16pm
historic chance...sorry :-)
Micahel Dolan Added Jan 15, 2018 - 4:43pm
Black jobs during one year of Trump has been great-under Obummer black jobs for Blacks was to wait for your government hand out check. That is the Democrat party way of keeping Black people dependent on them for---------VOTES. DEPLORABLE DEMOCRATS------
Mahendra Kent Added Jan 15, 2018 - 5:19pm
Africa has the right to determine who exploits them. Let Africa try Chinese domination. Judging by the way China treats its own citizens, it is highly unlikely that they will treat Africans any better. Under Chinese domination Africans will be slaves in their own country. Chinese silenced Islamic voice recently in their country. Are the people in the impression that they will be treated better? God bless Africa and God bless China. May be Africa will be exploited one way or the other unless they take control of their own destiny.
Micahel Dolan Added Jan 16, 2018 - 10:55am
The Death of America????----may come because we have a government run by corrupt-crooks- liars and traitors who sell out America for dollars-The Foundation Funds never stop.
 
But the one Foundation that got stopped was the one that had its president hopeful-Beaten.