Referring to undocumented immigrants by the outdated and bigoted term “illegal aliens,” Donald Trump wrote in an email on September 19 ostensibly sent to the New York Post and other publications from his post-presidential office that “the largest number [of refugees] in the history of our Country are pouring in by the millions.” He then added that the U.S. “is rapidly becoming a cesspool of humanity,” and that the situation at the border is now a “Crisis Crisis” rather than a border crisis which, per the Post, Trump claimed was exacerbated by approximately 14,000 Haitians who have sought refuge, however dismal, in Texas. (Per the Post, President Joe Biden has planned to return them to Haiti, despite the crisis in the country post-earthquake — a move which Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry has positively responded to, promising those returning that they would be welcomed and “not be left behind.”)
While Trump’s statement focused mostly on immigration, the term “cesspool of humanity” used to describe Americans is an odd turn of phrase, considering that the word “humanity” is used to positively denote the goodness in humankind and “cesspool” is used to describe a pool of literal filth. Translating it more directly, “cesspool of humanity” to describe the innate humanness of people — in this case, Americans as a whole — is a head-scratcher. While it might not be on par with “covfefe,” it is certainly puzzling.