If We’re Running A Marathon For The Title Of Shithole Country, The Winner Is…

I was away during President Trump’s alleged remarks calling Haiti and other foreign Nations “Shithole Countries.” While you’d think I would have achieved the state of numbness where I’d believe just about anything The US President says, I try to keep my reactions based on provable facts rather than hearsay or extremist propaganda, democratic or republican. Both have extremist factions that attempt to create a narrative that shapes our collective opinion. It was bound to happen when passions run this strong and the divide between us is reaching civil war status.

But, he said it. He did, indeed. I’m not shocked. In fact, I’m shocked most people seem to be surprised by the statement. Many Americans have come to expect this by now. We’ve had everything from Nuclear Button bragging, and a Trans Military Ban by tweet, to calling the White Nationalists who ran a vehicle through protesters “Very Good People.” He’s called women names, made fun of the disabled, stripped away protections for LGBT people and throws temper tantrum on social media while the world tunes in like they’re watching a hilarious reality serious with no real consequences. Yes, we’ve become a bit desensitized to President Trump.

But the “Shithole Countries” remark hit pretty hard. Just as hard as the Trans Military Ban via Tweet. It seemed to come out of nowhere. I remember being on his feed reading his daily tantrums when he fired off the first of those missives…

The “…….” scared me. I knew something was coming. Was it some new Marshal Law? Was it another redaction of an Obama era law? Was he going to make Black Americans and White Americans walk on different sides of the street? I waited, even called my friend… “He’s doing something,” I said, panic evident in my voice. One might write me off as quite silly for being so anxious over an impending, unfinished tweet, but you don’t live beneath the rule of this hate-motivated ruler who has no compassion or interest in the lives of people like me, being middle class, being a Transgender woman, suffering from conditions like anxiety and depression. So, I waited for 9 agonizing minutes…

He literally just passed his own new law on twitter. While I watched. Banning Transgender people from the military. I have Trans friends in the military, and immediately I was sent reeling with grief as I recognized their livelihood, the means they rely on to care for their families and their patriotic enthusiasm to serve our country was jeopardized. I should have expected that we, as Trans people, would be his target, but the reality is, he has so many- in fact, everyone who is not wealthy, white, male, straight, cigender or christian.

I should have not been so stunned by the revelation. I knew he had already redacted protections for Transgender students in school. He also carried the dubious honor of being the first President in history to attend the Value Voters Summit, a radicalized hate convention that targeted LGBT people and decried the diminishing numbers of White Christians in America in their speeches.

Now back to the to that “Shithole” Countries remark. Let me just make a few more things clear:

Flint, Michigan still has no drinkable water. Their water is contaminated by high levels of lead that has made thousands of the residents sick. The Majority of the Flint population are Black Americans.

The state of Puerto Rico, essentially leveled by Hurricane Maria, was left without electricity for 111 days. Relief Resources were cut off by the American President as residents had to fight for survival in contaminated waters, dangerous debris and find shelter amidst the turmoil. President Trump visited and passed out paper towels, only to return to his posh estate in Florida and insult the Puerto Rico Mayor, a woman. To make matters worse? Armed federal agents moved in on Puerto Rico — not to provide relief, but to seize equipment used to provide electricity. The majority of the residents of Puerto Rico or non-white.

Instances of hate-motivated violence toward LGBT and Black Americans has skyrocketed in America. Meanwhile, Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been tried and convicted for profiling, arresting and subsequently torturing Latino Americans in Arizona.

We have Mega Corporations building pipelines through precious Native American Reservations- A pipeline that was originally supposed to be routed through Fargo, North Dakota, but was uniformly rejected by the white city council members, thus, the Native Americans have found their water sources at risk of contamination instead. While former President Obama rescinded their permit to build the North Dakota Oil pipeline after a long and arduous standoff where thousands of Americans, including veterans went to Standing Rock to lock arms in solidarity with the Native Americans on their land, President trump restored the permit to build and arrested the protesters, then razed their camps.

Let’s not forget Trump’s proposed Muslim Ban, which he colors as a Travel Ban to minimize acts of terrorism. However, his list only bans nations where the Muslim faith is the majority. He’s also asked for an increase in police patrolling and surveilling Muslim neighborhoods.

In the single year since Donald Trump has been President, he has redacted most Obama Era executive Orders, including an attempt to replace the Affordable care act, which will rending millions without access to Healthcare, which the wealthy lawmakers believe is a “Privilege, not a right.” He’s gutted social security and medicare, removed Arts and Culture studies from schools, appointed an unqualified cabinet of leaders who bought their seats by donating to his campaign- people like Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, who funneled federal grant money away from public and inner city schools to private, white schools and religious schools.

He chose to ban seven words from the CDC in any communication or requests sent to the White House, including the words Transgender, Fetus, Science-based, Evidence-based, vulnerable, diversity and entitlement. Essentially excising Women, the poor, minorities, science and facts, as well as vital discussions on inclusiveness from his administration.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We‘ve not even touched on the infamous Wall, or the attack on undocumented immigrants. We’ve not mentioned his erasure of any mention of Global Warming from the White House Website and removing America from the Paris Accord. It’s taken less than a year for Trump and his radicalized fanbase to render America, effectively, a third world country. One where most of us our now refugees on our own soil. We have become America: The land of the sick, the poor and the uneducated. Future generations will suffer greatly as we continue down this rabbit hole of elitist control.

So, which country is the real shithole? It’s you, America. With the disregard of your own constitution and of all your citizens, all mostly immigrants who traveled through Ellis Island to find potential and promise in your founding.

I leave you with the words inscribed on the tablet of The Statue of Liberty. A gift from France intended to be a representation of Hope. America has forgotten these words…

“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-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright phaylens@gmail.com https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co

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