According to President Donald Trump, I came from a shithole country. It’s a country with more than 5,000 years of history, not so much a shithole nation, but a long-lived civilization that has been run by shithole regimes.
Today, it’s a military dictatorship, under generals who for more than 60 years have been running Egypt as their inheritance from colonial masters. It is a military regime that acts like a landlord treating its own people as if they were second-class citizens renting the land in return for complete obedience and submission.
This regime has been supported, financed and weaponized by American administrations, regardless of whether led by a white or a black president. In the Arab world, we have numerous countries run by shithole leaders — Algeria, Tunisia. No one knows who runs destroyed Libya. Backward monarchies rule in Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, which is now run by a prince with a delayed adolescent temper. All of them are supported by the American military and American administrations.
Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi rode to power in Egypt on American tanks; now he is becoming the new Gaddafi of Egypt, turning the police and the army into his personal militias, and transforming the Egyptian parliament, justice system and press into whorehouses. From forced virginity tests to forced disappearances, the paranoid el-Sissi is violating every human right in the book, with the blessing of the American military-industrial complex.
Paying a visit to Trump, el-Sissi admired the president’s ability to do the impossible. All Trump had to say to the worst dictator Egypt has ever produced: “Love your shoes, boy, those shoes. Man!”
There has been much knee-jerk reaction to our 45th president’s latest potty-mouth outburst about immigrants from nonwhite countries. A congressional hearing has been trying to figure out what the orange elephant in the room actually said. Ever since he came to office, Trump has been insulting people of color — people from nonwhite countries that have been destroyed, exploited, attacked and turned into shitholes by the civilized white country that runs the same system under Democratic and Republican administrations. No one protested or cared that much until the racist Trump took off the mask and ended the charade of our racist system.
Now everyone is up in arms, trying to run for cover, knowing that the real problem is not just the orange clown, it’s the whole political circus. You can say all you want about the juvenile, childish, ignorant, xenophobic, Islamophobic Trump, but he’s only been exposing everyone, exposing the hypocrisy of a country that brought a racist, alleged rapist to the highest office in the land. A country that still mistreats blacks and immigrants, a police and justice system that is a shithole of racism and Islamophobia. A country still waging wars against nonwhite nations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iran.
America sees itself when it looks at Donald Trump. It sees a racist, and this infuriates people forced to see their own hypocrisy as liberals and civilized white Christians who are guilty of letting their system get away with murder — a system that not only incarcerates millions of young black men but also a system that, according to human rights organizations, has killed 4 million Muslims since 9/ 11.
The reaction to Trump’s foul talk has been mostly waged as a keyboard jihad on social media — jokes, tweets and feel-good venting. Not so much real action to fight to change our racist institutions or our foreign policy that wages wars on nonwhite nations, and installs and supports their shithole regimes.
Ahmed Tharwat is the producer and host of the Arab-American TV show “BelAhdan.” His articles are published in national and international publications. On Twitter @ahmediatv. He blogs at Notes from America at www.ahmediatv.com.