Everyone said it couldn’t be done: there was no possible way that Donald Trump could follow up on his racist policies, including building a wall on the Mexican border and instituting a Muslim ban. Some people may have thought that the Constitution would block him from attempting to put these policies into effect.
Well, despite all our best efforts, it happened.
Over the last two weeks, President Donald Trump has signed 17 executive orders from topics as diverse as the construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines to the now-infamous Muslim travel ban.
The ban will cut off access to non-American citizens and visa holders in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, which currently affects about 90,000 people.
While some of these executive orders are within his rights, such as removing the Affordable Care Act and permitting the construction of the two most controversial pushes towards fossil fuel dependency, some people feel Trump has now blatantly abused his power. Banning people of Muslim majority countries, then later giving explicit priority to Christian refugees, is not just beyond insanity, but it violates the separation of church and state in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
This is not what America is supposed to be. This does not even define who is an American. We, as a nation, were built on the backs of immigrants — people who came into the country fleeing from religious persecution, or even just seeking new opportunities in a new country that everybody believed in. Why would we want to deny the same opportunities to this generation that our ancestors were once given, that Donald Trump’s own ancestors were most likely once given?
The answer is simple, yet complicated. Fear. It is the primary emotion and tactic used by the Trump administration in order to control the masses, even on the campaign trail. Chants of “build the wall” were encouraged, and those who protested silently were kicked out. Even the acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, who was fired shortly after she made a statement that she was not convinced “the executive order is lawful” regarding Trump’s Muslim ban. She was branded “an Obama administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration” by the Dana J. Boente .
So, what can we do to stop this from being put into full effect, considering the fact that some of the biggest names in government have already stepped up and fallen to Donald Trump?
Well, I believe we can take a page from the Chinese, or more specifically, their translation of “crisis”, which is composed of two characters. One character means “danger”, and the second translates to “opportunity”.
With every crisis, there comes a danger and an opportunity. We have already seen the danger. Donald Trump has made it perfectly clear that there is a massive group of people who are in danger in more ways than one (persecution, potential racist attacks, etc.). Now, it is our time, no, our opportunity to rise up. Not in a massive protest, no, because Trump has demonstrated that he will not listen to the people of this country.
It is time to step up and show the rest of the world that America is not defined by the man in charge. We must love others in order to undermine what Trump is trying to do. What we need to do now is take the opportunity to increase our kindness and generosity to those who are affected by the travel ban. Take them into your homes, feed them, talk to them, comfort them. It is our duty, as Americans, to defend the oppressed.