vast majority

White House chief of staff John Kelly tells NPR:

The vast majority of the people that move illegally into the United States are … 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.  They’re not bad people.  They’re coming here for a reason.  And I sympathize with the reason.  But the laws are the laws.

I hardly know where to start when trying to think of a response to racist bullshit like this.

For a start, the vast majority of people who move to the United States are doing it because they’re desperate.  Desperate to get out of a country where gang warfare threatens them or their family, desperate to climb out of poverty, desperate for something better.  I can’t think of too many other reasons that would motivate others to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles, often at great peril to their personal safety, to risk arrest crossing illegally into another country.  I don’t have a citation; I’m only using common sense to figure this out, but if John Kelly can spout his own made-up bullshit on the radio, I’m not to worried about spitballing.

“Not people that would easily assimilate” is a cute euphemism for pointing at “those people” with a smirk.

“Overwhelmingly rural people” describes a lot of people from communities in the heart of America.  I can’t believe this comment alone didn’t get Kelly buried in hate mail before the sun set.

“They don’t speak English; obviously that’s a big thing.”  As genealogist Jennifer Mendohlson pointed out today, at least two of Kelly’s ancestors lived in the United States for decades without bothering to learn to speak English.

“They don’t have skills.”  Those ancestors of Kelly were a wagon driver and a day laborer.

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