By Ben Lewis
Predictably and sadly, in the days since President Trump’s comments about immigrants and their countries of origin, both left-leaning and right-leaning media sources have focused on the sensational, and have missed the substance. Especially since Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) issued a joint statement denying some of the specifics reported about the President’s comments, media outlets have retreated to their partisan corners in attempting to confirm or refute the exact words Trump used, while ignoring crucial bigger-picture issues. This crescendo of misaligned focus seemed to reach its nonsensical conclusion last night, as Washington Post White House Correspondent Josh Dawsey Tweeted the following:
White House official told me tonight there is debate internally on whether Trump said "shithole" or "shithouse." Perdue and Cotton seem to have heard latter, this person said, and are using to deny.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 15, 2018
Yes, dear reader. Two United States Senators are crying “FAKE NEWS, he said ‘shitHOUSE’ not ‘shitHOLE'” and the media is eating it up.
As for me, I couldn’t possibly care less whether the President uttered “shithole”, “shithouse”, or any other specific vulgarity. I already knew he was crude. Heck, the vast majority of his *supporters* will freely acknowledge that he’s crude. (And for many of them, his crudeness isn’t a bug; it’s a feature. They love it.) I DO care tremendously, though, that he seems to think that being from a poor country that is predominately black should disqualify someone from coming here. That’s what we should be talking about, and it’s disgusting that U.S. Senators and the media are instead parsing which vulgarity he used to describe said countries. Furthermore, some others are attempting to justify Trump’s words by pointing out that many of the countries to which he referred are, indeed, very poor. I’d direct anyone engaging in that particular argument to the words of conservative commentator Ben Shapiro:
We should all be able to agree to two basic propositions:
(1) It is inarguable that some countries are crappy.
(2) It is bigotry to suggest that all people who want to immigrate from those countries to America are crappy.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 12, 2018
Finally, I happen to be beholden to a Savior who loved me and gave Himself for me, and who was from a town called Nazareth that both the Romans and the Jews thought was an awful place. (“Nazareth, can anything good come from Nazareth???”) And as a follower of His teachings, I am reminded of a powerful one that speaks directly to what level of concern I should have towards those who are poor and from poor countries:
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”