By Maria Mellor
In two weeks of being president, Donald J. Trump has shocked the world with what he has managed to achieve. He told us what he wanted to do as president when he was campaigning: build a wall and ban Muslims amongst a multitude of other vague right-wing promises. We shrugged it off as nonsense, then when he was elected, as unachievable faff he would never be able to achieve. Yet just by signing a document he was able to show us what the next four years in the USA will be like: intolerable.
The so-called ‘Muslim ban’ indefinitely prevents all Syrian refugees from entering the United States as well as citizens from seven predominantly muslim nations for 90 days. As soon as his pen left the page the act was set in place, meaning that people got off planes to find that they were unwelcome. They were detained, some for over 24 hours. It must have been like waking up in some nightmare land where liberal values have been stripped away leaving only bigotry and insolence.
America has always been a huge paradox in my mind – they so often claim to be the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’ yet the election of Trump as president has shown only cowardice and the limitation of freedom. Freedom is only available to old white men, much like President Trump. In doing what him and so many others like him want, he is taking away rights from those who need it most. To quote Hamilton: everything he does betrays the ideals of their nation.
It all just adds to the social discourse of the dichotomy between East and West. Supposedly this ban will help protect the US from ISIS, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it just adds fuel to the ISIS hate-fire, allowing them to recruit more members who feel demonised in society. After all America has made it very clear that people who practise Islam are not welcome. Trump has pinned the crimes of a few on millions of innocent people.
What really highlights the true nature of the travel ban is the ‘case by case’ nature of not letting refugees into the USA. Preference is given for Christian over Muslim refugees from the Middle East. Trump claims that the ban will help “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US”. People actually believe that the source of all terrorism is Islam, which is entirely stupid. They just love to focus on the few terrorists who identified themselves as Muslim, and ignore all the white Christians who shoot up schools, or the American military who go and bomb civilians in Iraq and Syria. Surely this act directly infringes upon the first amendment: freedom of religion.
There are seven countries the ban applies to: Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Somalia. The ban outlines people from these nations as potential threats, yet it completely excludes the nationalities of those behind the 9/11 attacks. If you’re going to be a bigot at least don’t be hypocritical. There are claims that Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia were excluded from the ban because Trump has business interests with them. He doesn’t want to offend their leaders. He probably is thinking of himself before his country.
I’m still in shock over how this was allowed to happen, as I’m sure so many others are. Every single news article that gets published about the man make me want to be sick. A video came out last week of Trump kicking Spanish-language journalist Jorge Ramos out of a press conference. With more blatant racism (or perhaps xenophobia in general) Trump’s aide told the reporter to “get out of my country” – unaware that the gentleman is a US citizen. The footage is supposedly from 2015, but it just serves to highlight the intolerable nature of the now-President and the hate he generates.
At least we know that with every ounce of hate he generates for people who aren’t rich, old, white men, there’s a wonderful backlash of far more sensible people taking to the streets to swear, scream and yell at the guy.
Hundreds of thousands of people across the globe are up in arms over what Trump is doing. Don’t be complacent, shout about what you believe in. A lot of people are saying that it’s pointless protesting in this country, as the whole thing is technically nothing to do with us. I disagree wholeheartedly – there’s a big difference between one country showing their disgust and the whole world. Why should we stand idly by and witness the discrimination of our peers. Hopefully Theresa May will see the protests and see that she can’t be so spineless when it comes to dealing with Trump. Her country is not happy with what’s going on in America and she shouldn’t be happy either. I’m still waiting for her to go all Hugh-Grant-in-Love-Actually on his ass: “a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward, I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the President should be prepared for that.”