I’m old enough to remember when John Kelly being hired as Trump’s Chief of Staff was supposed to be a good thing. He was going to be the adult in the room. He was going to quell the chaos. He was going to rein in Trump’s worst instincts. We were all so young and foolish back then.
Fast forward to the distant future of less than one year later and Kelly has not only failed to lessen the chaos of the Trump administration, he’s also come out of the closet as a white supremacist, smearing his own “honorable” reputation by spitting on the foundational concept of America as a nation of immigrants.
Let me step back and tell you that the vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people. They’re not criminals. They’re not MS-13. … But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people. In the countries they come from, fourth, fifth, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English; obviously that’s a big thing. … They don’t integrate well; they don’t have skills.
“Modern society”? Does Kelly think immigrants will be confused by indoor plumbing and color television? Donald Trump is still amazed by the White House’s phone system, his staff couldn’t initially figure out how to turn on the fucking lights, and none of them apparently know how to use a spellchecker so perhaps Kelly should not cast aspersions on the “rubes” from other countries while being surrounded by a team of them himself.
But the incompetence of the Trump administration aside, Kelly seems to have forgotten that it wasn’t all that long ago that his own people, the Irish immigrants of the 1800s, were once considered “overwhelmingly rural” and unwanted because they were “also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society.” In fact, the Irish were considered slightly better than animals:
I am haunted by the human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible country…to see white chimpanzees is dreadful; if they were black one would not see it so much, but their skins, except where tanned by exposure, are as white as ours.
A creature manifestly between the Gorilla and the Negro is to be met with in some of the lowest districts of London and Liverpool by adventurous explorers. It comes from Ireland, whence it has contrived to migrate; it belongs in fact to a tribe of Irish savages: the lowest species of Irish Yahoo. When conversing with its kind it talks a sort of gibberish. It is, moreover, a climbing animal, and may sometimes be seen ascending a ladder ladden with a hod of bricks.
I’ve met plenty of Irish-Americans. I’ve met plenty of Irish people visiting America. I’ve spent a week in Ireland (lovely place, bleh weather). I can’t recall any of them looking like apes. They certainly didn’t act like one, even when drunk (or at least moreso than anyone else does when they’re tanked). That didn’t stop “white” Americans from going batshit insane when about 4 million of Irish fled from famine to seek refuge in the United States.
They weren’t going to be able to integrate. They had no skills. They spoke another language (as well as English). They had a foreign religion (Catholicism). They weren’t educated. They were poor. Ireland just wasn’t sending their best people.
Kelly’s ignorant screed against today’s immigrants is the exact same bigotry his own ancestors faced when they came to America looking to start a new life. I’d say he should be ashamed but he clearly sacrificed any sense of decency or integrity when he joined Team Trump and within months was lying to the public about Frederica Wilson (D-Fl) in order to protect his master.
The bottom line is that this is just more of the same white nationalist crap Trump’s administration is known for. Kelly is the “good cop” (he doesn’t think they’re criminals! What a nice guy!) while Trump is the “bad cop” (MS-13! Rapists! American carnage!) but both are just racists with too much power and too little oversight. Get out to your polling place in November and send them the message that their days of unchecked bigotry are over.
I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.