What Did You Say?


Rex Huppke

Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke wrote this article yesterday.  I think we all need to read this and ask ourselves these same questions.  I know my answers to the questions … I would like to hear the answers of some of Trump’s supporters.



Your response to Trump’s racist ‘shithole’ comment will be remembered

What did you say when President Donald Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations as “shithole countries”?

What did you say when the president of the United States followed that comment by suggesting he’d rather see more immigrants from countries like Norway?

Whether now or in the future, you will be asked this question: What did you say?

Did you call out the obvious racism behind those statements? Did you acknowledge that the leader of the free world — by title, anyway — had shown himself to be a white supremacist, casually expressing his dislike of brown-skinned immigrants and preference for white European immigrants?

Were you outraged that such comments from a sitting president were antithetical to the ideals that have always made America a beacon of hope and opportunity?

What did you say?

Did you speak out?

Did you denounce the comments, as Rep. Mia Love, a Utah Republican whose parents came to America from Haiti, did, saying in a statement: “This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation. … The President must apologize to both the American people and the nations he so wantonly maligned.”

Or did you keep quiet?

Take note, because you will be asked. Trump’s has been a presidency filled with jaw-dropping moments of offensive behavior, but this one will stand out over time, both for its profane nature and its naked racism.

So what did you say?

Did you look for excuses? Did you toss out a “Well, what about…” scenario you thought might take the heat off?

Did you scream something about “identity politics” and try to pretend that this is the fault of others, not the fault of the transparently racist old man in the White House?

Did you say he has a point? Did you say, “Well, those countries are shitholes, aren’t they?”

Did you forget how people once described immigrants from Italy and Ireland? Did you forget the words on a plaque in the Statue of Liberty?

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Did you forget those words, or just ignore them? Did you smile about a tax break and say nothing?

Did you not put the pieces together and consider all the other times Trump has shown us exactly who he is?

Did you tamp down memories of his calls for the execution of the Central Park Five, even after the young men, four black and one Latino, were found innocent?

Did you explain away what Trump was implying in this tweet from 2013: “According to Bill O’Reilly, 80% of all the shootings in New York City are blacks-if you add Hispanics, that figure goes to 98%. 1% white.”

Did you disregard his years-long birther crusade against the nation’s first black president? His description of Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals? His regular criticism that immigrants coming from predominately nonwhite nations are examples of those countries’ “worst people”?

Did you not let yourself see the pattern? Did you twist logic into knots and blame it on the media? On political correctness?

What did you say when our president called other countries “shitholes” and you had to shield your children’s ears from profanity on the nightly news?

What did you tell your children about this moment? How did you explain the president’s words?

Tell me, what did you say? Mark it down, let it be known. Because you will be asked this again someday.

And if you stayed silent, if you made excuses, if you tried to fool yourself into believing this is appropriate presidential behavior, if you let it slide because this presidency might somehow line your pocketbook, then you will be remembered as complicit, as one who stood by and let America’s decency get dragged through the mud.

And if you laughed, or if you smiled, or if you nodded your head in agreement, you will be remembered just as Trump will: as a racist, a fool and an absolute embarrassment.

You read what I said in my last post.  What did you say?

27 thoughts on “What Did You Say?

  1. I was not surprised. I would not be surprised that there a number of people agreeing with him.
    I wonder how they would feel about the notion that most of the world feels he is shithole leader.
    Of course they’d be in denial. People on the way to ruin usually are.
    He knows though, deep in his tawdry little heart, he knows; it’s why he won’t come to the UK, he’d face a whole bucket load of truth and he can’t handle that. Nope he’ll stay in his little bunker spouting delusions.
    Show your heart USA in the mid-terms.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree … he IS a shithole president. Tolerance of him and his ugly mouth, defending him, supporting him … I see all of those as a form of crimes against humanity, for he is a threat to the very planet we live on. No, he won’t visit the UK, for it might hurt his ego to see millions of people who have no respect for him. Here, he can ignore those of us who despise him, for he has his little band of loyal followers, but there, I think he would have none. Although rawgod tells me of a Canadian friend of his who obtained U.S. citizenship just because he thought Trump was so great. Sigh. The world gets a little crazier every day. The rabbit hole just got deeper. I don’t like myself very much when I find myself wishing for a person to die, y’know?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hard fact Jill: It’s a natural feeling-based on defence. The important thing to do is to push it down. We are flawed creatures (He’s a prime example of how bad that can get). We just have to say ‘I will be better than….. (in this case ‘Trump’).
        Oh we have Trumpophiles in the UK, though I think they are more concerned with stabbing back at those who are against him, his big fat body being a sort of cultural battleground between Left & Right, they aren’t much opposition- I’ve been up against them…bit like shooting fish in a barrel….they never reply to me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am truly surprised to hear that there are Trumpophiles im UK … I always equate the Brits with ‘dignity’, and there is not a single dignified cell in Trump’s body! You’re lucky yours never reply … mine do, and in such a mature way. The Fcebook message I awakened to thins morning was something to the effect that I was a “huge black sow with a tiny black heart”! I guess I was supposed to be offended, but I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to be offended! Such logical arguments they present, eh?

          Liked by 1 person

          • No Jill the UK has per capita a noticeable number of bungos, so yes we are bound to have Trumpettes.
            Oh Wittgenstein would be so envious at such eloquence. Yours is the correct response.
            I am tempted to mix it on Facebook with both Right & Left but with a rare(ish) surname that might lead to my family members getting flak. So I don’t bother.
            Though I might close down one day and come back under another name, although apparently F/B don’t care for that much.
            I would so enjoy annoying both sides, both there is so much more pressing stuff to do.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, I am often tempted to get down and dirty in the muck and play with the rest of the piggies, but then there is an hour or two wasted that nothing was really accomplished. But, having done it a time or two, I must say it’s fun every now and again. I just don’t see how some of these people do that all day long. Be sure to let me know if you do have some fun with it, though!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes they do. In the UK they gather together in little Left or Right gangs huff ‘n puff, playing a game of ‘I’m the most outraged on this topic!’ And then pretending someone else has made a ‘good comment (but not as good as theirs)……Pfft!😴

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yeah … I have better things to do with my time, and I can never even get those things done in a 20-hour day as it is! I have petitioned the courts for an extra 6 hours in each day, but so far they haven’t stopped laughing long enough to give me an answer. So no, I won’t be playing the one-upmanship on Facebook anytime soon. I always end up getting called names, or “un-friended” anyway. 😀

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it boils down to one issue, whether or not you have any decency. To abhor fully anything that man utters shows you have the decency to care about others. To make excuses for, to find the humour in or to start with,’I don’t agree, but’ shows how little decency is left in your heart. What was once thought to be dead and buried has been showing itself more and more and has been encouraged by ‘Il Presidente’ and the Republican Party who don’t mind racism on the streets. A decent people will clear their country of the racist Hydra and ensure it can’t come to the fore again. If you can’t reclaim the U.S.A for decency I suggest you start applying to move to Canada now.
    Huge Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My exact first words were, and I quote: “What the fuck!!!!!” And following that was a long list of expletive deletions that made the first comment seem like pablum. Desperation Theatre is feeling the pressure of the backlash to his previous phrases and tweets, and he is fighting in the only way he knows how, by shouting louder and more violently, and more STUPIDLY. The more mistakes this azzhat is making, the more desperate his denials, the more controversial his retaliation. He thinks he is making the public forget about past indiscretions by giving them something new to make us forget, but all he is doing is showing more and more of his true essence. He has lost control of any semblance of humanity anyone might have been struggling to hold on to. I have been known to give him a lot of backhanded credit, saying that no matter how assinine he is, he is being that way for a reason, such as trying to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in order to stir up the hatred in the middle East and start a war in the area to get rid of Muslims and Jews at the same time. It would have been a brilliant tactical move on his part (for the racist community, not for the rest of us) had he understood what he was doing. But I now withdraw the word “brilliant,” because even if he knew what he was doing, sitting on the sidelines watching the show he himself caused to occur, hoping his complicity would go unnoticed, he has now by his “SHITHOLE” proclamation made himself so obvious he cannot hide any longer being the veil of political opportunism. DONALD TRUMP HAS TO GO! No matter how that is brought about. If you cannot impeach him, SHOOT THE BASTARD! I’ll gladly pay for the bullet…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I fully agree he needs to go, and sooner than later. I will stop short of advocating for his shooting, however, for I do not wish to have scary men in dark glasses knocking on my door. 😉


      • That’s why I said it. If they can find me, I’m sure they won’t be wearing raincoats or dark glasses, not this time of year. I’ve got a friend at the Airport who promised to warn me if gun-toting strangers in balaklavas, buffalo-hide coats, and fox-fur mukluks come into town. He promised to tell them I moved to Antarctica…

        Liked by 1 person

          • No need to worry about me, my friend. I often disappear from public view, but only to get away from stripping myself of my spiritual energies… Having said that, if your feds to get me and smuggle me over the border to Guantanamo, for instance, I’ll be okay, dead or alive. I give you a poem about how I feel about death:

            Today I saw a movie
            A movie about a man
            A man who was black
            Black as lead

            Leadbelly was the man
            The man hated him
            Him they wanted to kill
            To kill him dead

            But he broke loose all their chains
            And died alive

            The chains put on Leadbelly, literal and figurative, kept him well confined within a set of limits that led only to his death. But he refused to be chained, and chose his own time and method of death. His life was a tragedy, the world lost a great talent the day he died. But his life was a beacon to all, because he stared death in the face, and laughed.


  4. I heard what he said and had an immediate and visceral reaction. I became nauseous and angry all at the same time. I sat in absolute horror when Fox news tried to downplay and discard the hatred our president showed through his comments. I called all my congressmen and senators demanding they support Robert Muellers investigation with NO MORE waffling on about “how great” America is under this fascist’s rule. I wrote letters and faxed them to the same congressmen and senators just in case they decided to ignore my calls. I called my local indivisible office and sent copies of the letters to them. I called my local resist movement office and did the same and asked when the next demonstration would be held and how can i help get it going. I wrote to the democratic national committee and told them under no circumstances make the next election cycle about DT but to have viable platform…environment and how to fix what has once again been broken; education, how to take it back from the far right..I told them to get off their asses, find their balls and call out the racism for what it is. Call out the lies for what they are. Stop hiding behind semantics and tell the damned truth! And, sorry about the post of a response.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Mr Trumps remarks show a singular lack of understanding of human nature. Why would anyone in Norway want to up roots when they already have one of the world’s highest living standards. The only thing that will cause people to uproot and even leave their loved ones behind is the chance of betterment. Many polish men working in the fields of the UK send money home to help their families.
    Since Brexit farmers have been up in arms , not that they love foreigners , but that they like plenty of cheap Labour. Universities have been begging for exemption for foreign students , not that they are attached to foreigners , but to fill lucrative places.
    Examine the world, the turmoil is men and women fighting to improve their lot and they are pitted against men and women determined not to let anyone share what they have.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Dear Jill,

    I go a bit further. Whoever covers for the president on his racist words yesterday morning at a meeting about the issue of immigration, is a racist. There is no in between for me.
    This has been a complaint that I have had against the republican party since 2013. They created the environment where President Trump could become president.


    Liked by 6 people

  7. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I wasn’t surprised because it came from HIM. Yet, every fiber of my being recoiled in disgust …. I remembered, as many times I’ve had, a quote from Maya Angelou :
    “When someone shows you who they are, believe them … the first time.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • I miss Maya Angelou … can you imagine what she would be saying if she were still alive today? Many thanks for the re-blog, dear friend … hopefully people wake up and start to listen, really listen, and hear what their “leader” really is. I’m not sure what he is, but I know all the things he isn’t, starting with he isn’t a humanitarian or a kind person. Sigh. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Or did a person sit in mute horror, because they have experienced trauma as a result of discrimination – as part of this wronged group or any other – and the trauma is trauma because it took away its victims ability to speak the wrong? I feel for anyone for whom that was the case. I’ve been there – albeit as a result of hatred of a different group of people. These kinds of comments take the voice from their victims. Staying silent is thus becoming complicit in that silencing. It matters as much that we say something – even if imperfect – on behalf of those who have been too frightened to speak any longer as what we say. We must say something for those who can’t.

    Liked by 2 people

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