On January 20, 2017 Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. Running on a hardcore neo-conservative platform of isolationism, immigration restriction and reciprocity and perceived to have been given a mandate, President-elect Trump immediately tasked his incoming administration legal team with investigating the ratification of a constitutional amendment that would prohibit (temporarily or otherwise forever) the immigration of all Muslims to America. That was one year ago.
Since then, faced with the prospect of broken homes and increasing disenfranchisement, Muslim-Americans took to the streets in angry protest. Pockets of violence broke out sporadically with Muslims pegged by agitators as the instigators. Citizen factions on both sides began to be formed as battle lines were drawn across neighborhoods, counties and states.
The Friends of Trump Government group, spawned out of the more radical of the Presidents longtime followers, begin taking it upon themselves, with the tacit approval of the administration, to “police” Muslims already in the US. Those suspected of practicing Islam were placed on native “watch lists” while others already granted visas were locally re-vetted before allowing them to assimilate into society. In this way, all Islam is implied to be suspect and its follower’s radical jihadists.
Racial profiling becomes increasingly more prevalent as the homegrown violence increases and as IS abroad expands their reach. Everyday ordinary activities done by any faintly resembling an Arab are held to a higher scrutiny. Instances of discrimination begin to be reported as Muslims, or anyone faintly looking like one, are summarily barred from certain aspects of American life, such as purchasing a firearm, going to a gun range, buying gardening supplies or pursuing camping vacations.
Please excuse my highly speculative and imaginary narrative. I just want us to think about the possibilities of the results of a Trump presidency. What will happen to America? His latest salvo-bar Muslims from immigrating to the US-hasn’t, in my mind, instigated us enough towards doing just that. Even as Republicans and other fair-minded people reject his ideas, it’s not enough.
America has to be made fully aware of just what Trump is peddling, his end game. Right now, far too many are buying into his troubling plan without fully thinking of the consequences. As much as he’s correct in saying that we have to do things differently and better, he’s very, very much wrong with his path to that state of wellness. See, it’s a road America has traveled once before and we found out after the fact that we didn’t like it then either.
Japanese Interment in America (video)
According to the census of 1940, 127,000 persons of Japanese ancestry lived in the US at the time, mostly on the west coast. After the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and within two years of the census, in a move intended to relieve public fear and suspicion 120,000 of them-both Issei (first generation Japanese) and Nisei (second generation, American citizens)-would be shuttled off to one of the internment camps across the country located in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas or Arkansas.
Persons of Italian or German ancestry were likewise imprisoned under then-President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 (February 19, 1942). Under the aegis of the Department of Justice, the FBI and other agencies arrested and detained both supposed axis supporters and ordinary citizens; many of whom knew little of why they were there or what it is they were supposed to have done. It was the second most grievous violation of civil liberties to happen in America. The first was slavery.
Trump would have us believe that what he’s preaching is something bold, new and completely different. It’s not; hate, fear and the strategies that accompany them are as old as the world. Such approaches are almost always in danger of being hijacked by the baser aspects of human behavior: greed, jealousy and covetousness. It may all get wrapped up in a pretty package with a lovely bow on top and a label that says “National Security” but in its essence, it’s still the same nasty stuff that we know, in our hearts, isn’t good for the country, nor us. I’m just saying…