A nation of shitholes

GreatGrandpa

This is my great-grandfather. A farmer by birth, a carpenter by trade, a factory worker by necessity.

He came to this country in his early 20s, leaving behind his family and everything he ever knew to start a better life in America. Shortly after he left Bohemia, it no longer existed, as it was swallowed up through the consolidation of what became Czechoslovakia. He lived to be 100 and died when I was 12. His wife, my great-grandmother, lived to be 96 and they were married for more than 70 years. They had four children who lived and never moved from the house he built for them shortly before my grandfather was born.

WeddingGreatGrandparents

These are my mother’s grandparents, immigrants from Poland. I never knew them, other than through the tales my grandfather and mother would tell me. They would tell stories about family members back in the old country and have half the family rolling on the floor with side-splitting laughter. The other half? They didn’t speak Polish.

Factory workers, farmers, carpenters, barbers, artists and homemakers. These are my roots. Poland, Bohemia, maybe pre-1900s Germany. These are my lands.

These people were not the countries’ “best people” sent as emissaries, but rather as hard-working, hardscrabble people who wanted to make better lives for themselves. This country gave them hope. It gave them help. It gave them a new home.

Today? It never would have given them a chance.

A lot has been made of our president’s question about why we’re getting people from all these “shithole countries.” His indignation, venom and disgust flow freely in that two-word phrase and it represents how many people feel about these “Johnny Come Lately” immigrants who are just stealing from the “real Americans.” A lot of people believe this because they can’t see back far enough (or they just don’t want to) to understand that every, single person out there came from somewhere else (except for the Native Americans, who we shuffled around like the queen in a game of three-card monte). And every, single person who came here from elsewhere came from a shithole somewhere.

And the people who were here already had no problem letting them know that.

You had the “thieving wops and dagos.”

You had the “drunk, lazy Micks.”

You had the “stupid Poles.”

You name a group, you can guarantee the group that got here six minutes earlier already had a disparaging name for it and a “there goes the country” attitude about it.

People in this country essentially live this paradox:

I know where I came from and I know that it took a lot for us to get here and become who we are. My father, who in his later years has become more introspective, has noted to me a few times recent, “We were poor. I never thought about it at the time, but we were really poor.” My mother’s grandparents survived through the Depression because my great-grandmother rented rooms in her upstairs to workers from the slaughter house and the foundry. Her husband was a barber, and there wasn’t a lot of hair being cut at 25 cents a head back then.

They came at a time when I’m sure many in this country wanted to turn on the “No Vacancy” sign or at least they didn’t want “those people” here. To say now to the next group, “Sorry. We’re not taking any of you shithole immigrants” is unconscionable.

Those of us who came here from shithole countries need to stand up to this shit-talk from this asshole and speak to him in his native tongue.

“Pardon me, Mr. President, but fuck you.”

4 thoughts on “A nation of shitholes

  1. Isn’t the current president’s forebears from Germany? so that would be, “Entschuldigen Sie, Herr Präsident, aber Fick dich.” Which I am sure he has heard more than once. Especially the last two words.

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  2. celcus says:

    “Those who come hither are generally of the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation…and as few of the English understand the German Language, and so cannot address them either from the Press or Pulpit, ’tis almost impossible to remove any prejudices they once entertain…Not being used to Liberty, they know not how to make a modest use of it…I remember when they modestly declined intermeddling in our Elections, but now they come in droves, and carry all before them, except in one or two Counties…In short unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies, as you very judiciously propose, they will soon so out number us, that all the advantages we have will not in My Opinion be able to preserve our language, and even our Government will become precarious.” – Ben Franklin on “Stupid, Swarthy Germans”

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  3. gratuitous says:

    There’s the racist element, sure, but one other point that shouldn’t be obscured by President Trump’s foul-mouthed gibberish: These shithole immigrants are coming to the United States because they think they will reap more of the benefit of their hard work than they do in their current country. When it turns out they’re right, they often advance beyond native-born folks. This causes friction and resentment, and inspires suspicion that the newcomers got some kind of help that’s been denied the native-born.

    The result of this success, though, contra Franklin’s fear cited above, is that the newcomers really, really like the system they’ve come into, and don’t want to change it because it worked so well for them. But it’s in the interests of a certain segment of our society to stir up hatred and resentment, with dark mutterings against immigrants and hints that their success is due to some unidentified skullduggery.

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  4. Bob Belichick says:

    Yes. Poor Croatian immigrants to PA to work in the mills there and in Ohio. Who would have thought my cousin would make it to head coach of Patriots and then suppost Trump? Well, not raised that way as our parents grew up the hard way. Poor, like your family. Bill knows him because the star-fucker orangey let Bill golf for free all these past 20+ years. Next time I see him I’ll ask how it’s holding up on support of orangey.

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