Trump may or not be a racist. (My own view is that Trump is devoid of any general principles, good or bad.) His referring to Haiti and Africa as “shitholes” in a conference that included many Trump-detractors, was another sign of his unfitness for office; not of racism.
I could imagine myself, in a free-wheeling conversation among a small group of close friends, referring to Haiti and Africa as “shitholes.” I would immediately be challenged about Africa, and I would have to amend it to “parts of Africa.” Otherwise, yes – these days, they are crappy places to be: Haiti, Somalia, the Congo, Eritrea. They’re shitholes.
Shitholes have been our country’s main source of immigrants. Ireland was a shithole in the 1840’s. The pale of settlement was a shithole in the 1890’s. Germany was a shithole in the 1930’s. If it hadn’t been for the Marshall Plan, Europe would have been a shithole after the War. Arguably, Greece beneath the thousand lashes of austerity (You! Will! Never! Stiff! the Banks! Again!) is a shithole. Venezuela, too.
The difficulty of claiming that “shithole” conclusively was a racist remark is clear to anyone whose mind is still in working order.
We have known from before the election that 1) Trump is an eternal font of outrageous remarks and 2) for some reason (an important one to figure out, it seems to me) he is impervious to any fallout from them. Trump’s actions, as President, have consequences, and thus affect his level of support. After another of his outrageous remarks has been revealed, reviled, reported ad-infinitum, and discussed by serious political analysts, the same number of people as before love him and hate him.
Why has the Left, from the center outwards, yet again wasted its energy and bored the country by excoriating vituperously, shrilly, simplistically and, worst of all, incessantly, one more stupid remark by a stupid man?
My pop-psy diagnosis: The Left is suffering from a psychological malady – mass hysteria, mass obsessive-compulsive disorder, or mass paranoia – whose symptom is mass self-harming.
P. S. - If you want to indict the Trump administration for racism, why not harp on its failure to succor Puerto Rico?