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Can Any Country be Called a Sh*thole Country? Point

Rodney Pascua, Sports Editor

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   On January 11, President Donald Trump had a meeting with Congress to discuss a deal for immigration policy. Allegedly, President Trump referred to some countries as sh*thole countries. The Oxford Dictionary defines a “sh*thole” as an extremely dirty, shabby, or otherwise unpleasant place (oxforddictionaries.com). Many people have come to the defense of the countries, claiming that President Trump’s comments are racist, and that there is no such thing as a “sh*thole” country. Although the comment made by the President is rude, it is not necessarily incorrect, or racist, to say that a country is a “sh*thole,” because there are countries that are terrible places in which to live.

   An example of a “sh*thole” country is Somalia. According to the Fragile States Index (FSI), Somalia was the most fragile state in 2016 (foreignpolicy.com). Somalia is one the world’s poorest countries, as over half of its population lives in poverty. According to the World Bank Website, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was estimated to be around 6.2 billion US dollars; Somalia’s GDP per capita was reported as just as low, about 450 dollars (worldbank.org). Only a third of the population has access to improved water sources (sources protected from outside contamination), and 76 percent of people use unimproved sanitation facilities (literal sh*t holes). Moreover, the CIA states that only 15 percent of Somalia has access to electricity (cia.gov). Violent crime is common place partly due to a lack of competent law enforcement. On top of that, the United States Department of State has labeled terrorism as a critical threat in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu (osac.gov). Basically, Somalia is an awful place to live in due to the extreme lack of wealth and the effects that come with it.

   Another country that is a bad place in which to live is a country that President Trump singled out, Haiti. According to the FSI, Haiti was the tenth most fragile state in 2016 (foreignpolicy.com). Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere with a GDP of 8 billion US dollars and a GDP per capita of 846 US dollars. 59 percent of Haiti’s people live below its national poverty line, and 24 percent of the population lives below the extreme poverty line (worldbank.org). Because of the lack of wealth of Haiti, infrastructure is poor. Over 70 percent of Haitians have to use unimproved sanitation facilities and 42 percent of them drink from unimproved water sources. Only 38 percent of the population has access to electricity. The amount of internet users is even smaller, only 12 percent (cia.gov). Due to the limited access to improved drinking sources and sanitation facilities, the leading cause of death in children and infants — and one of the leading causes overal

l– is diarrhoeal disease (who.int). Similar to Somalia, law enforcement in Haiti is poor due to lack of resources. As a result, crime statistics are underreported (osac.gov). In summary, Haiti, by Western standards, is one of the worst places in the world in which to live.

   Some people may mistake calling a country a sh*thole with calling the people sh*tty, and argue that a country is not a sh*thole, because it is culturally rich. They make the mistake of thinking that tourist destinations represent the country as a whole. This is beside the point. Senior Juan Leyva said, “When a lot of people think of Mexico, they think about the food and places like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. They don’t think about places like Sinaloa and Tamaulipas. These places are run by the cartels, and the rest of the country is ruled by one of the most corrupt governments there is.” When countries are referred to as sh*tholes, most people are referring to the actual physical state of the countries and their governments, not the people or cultures.

   Sh*thole countries exist. People need to swallow their pride, quit being politically correct, and admit that there are some countries that are terrible places in which to live. The people from these countries are not bad, but there is a lot to be done to make their countries better.

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Can Any Country be Called a Sh*thole Country? Point