President Donald J. Trump hasn’t been in office two weeks and already he has created worldwide chaos! One of his first moves was to issue an executive order putting a temporary ban on immigrants, including refugees, coming from seven (7) mostly Muslim countries; Iran, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. Allegedly this move is to protect American citizens from potential terrorists. This does not ring true however, because we have not experienced terrorism perpetuated by individuals from any of these locales. We know however, that Saudi Arabia has possibly had some involvement in unsavory activities, but they were not included in the ban. This is because, as one Trump administration member stated, they are our friends.
The executive order that was issued for the ban has people all over the world upset, and has created havoc in many, many lives. In one situation, a woman who lives in the United States worked for a family here. She went abroad for a vacation to visit family, but upon returning home, she was not allowed into the country. This will jeopardize her job. There were many other people caught up in this malicious move. People are calling the ban “un-American” and there have been demonstrations at key airports. In New York, taxi drivers have boycotted because of the ban. The White House issued a statement saying that “Getting Ahead of the terrorist threats is key.” One hundred and nine (109) people have been temporarily detained, but the White House doesn’t see this as a big problem. They allege that immediate implementation is needed to keep “a lot of bad dudes from rushing into our country.”
This is an appalling turn of events. One woman who participated in the March on Washington the day after the Trump inauguration spoke with an elderly Jewish woman, a holocaust survivor, who was at the March. She told her fellow marchers that “this is the way it started” (i.e., the atrocities of Nazi Germany)! That is a chilling thought, because there are a number of other Trump initiatives that smack of the Nazi regime. With this move, the Trump administration has managed to demonize a whole religion. This is especially ironic considering the fact that the American colonists were fleeing religious tyranny in England ultimately resulting in the birth of this nation.
Another troubling situation that has arisen in the first week of President Trump’s occupancy of the White House is the removal of a number of state department employees and the appointment of Steve Bannon to the National Security Council. This is a strange move, and portends an administration that instead of playing by the rules, is bending them to suit its needs. Bannon is a scary individual, a proponent of the so-called Alt-Right who has been known to be racist. The other Trump appointees have all been people who want to deconstruct America and remake it in their image. If they get their way, the America that exists now will change to such an extent that we might not recognize it. This is not to say that we have had a perfect past, far from it. But the values espoused by this country are such that citizens expect certain things to happen, and because of our democratic principles, we have had access to the courts in order to remedy issues. Whether true or not, Americans, recent immigrants included, have come to expect fair treatment. This is why the current ban has ruffled so many feathers. It is being seen as a mean-spirited move; one that divides people rather than bringing them together. It could also have the unexpected consequence of endangering American lives by enraging and emboldening those who are actually terrorists.
Yes, a dark pall has fallen on America. To his credit, former president Barack Obama weighed in on the situation lauding citizens for supporting democracy by standing up and resisting those things that threaten democratic values. People who have not seen a need to vote or otherwise participate in civic processes need to take heed: if something exists (democracy) and you don’t nurture it, it just might go away! We could lose whatever gains that we’ve made. Hopefully, enough people will see the light and help prevent these negative changes from taking effect; if we don’t resist, we can’t win! A luta continua.