Looking Through the Lens of a Shithole

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

So inquired Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States, this past Thursday at a White House meeting with a cadre of U.S. lawmakers concerning immigration policy. His words, more a declarative than an interrogative, were in response to a proposal to grant the benefit of the visa lottery to heretofore underrepresented countries in Africa and Temporary Protective Status nations, including Haiti.

Straightway, I denounce Mr. Trump’s reference and what, for me, is the hardly-veiled inference that folk of color are unworthy recipients of the largesse of American access to opportunity and the belief, encoded in our Constitution and expressed in the heart of the best of American history, that all people possess the graces of God-given dignity and gifts to offer the nation.

I do not and will not condemn the man, that is, proclaim Mr. Trump as beyond the reach of divine redemption. By faith, I am called, compelled to reckon that the right of eternal judgment rests in the hands of God and God alone.

That said, I cannot, must not ignore and, thus, decry the impetus that Mr. Trump’s contemptuous characterization grants to folk who hold fast to the false prejudicial view of the inferiority of people of color. In the name of love and justice, I condemn all cultural, ethnic, and racial bigotry as inimical to the life and being of God.

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