I wondered if perhaps the administration was trolling us when it decided to issue an Executive Order (EO) restricting entry to the United States to (a) citizens and (B) visa holders from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia and Sudan. This is your new axis of evil. A combined 218 million people who, when they aren’t struggling to survive each day despite disease and war, are obviously bloodthirsty terrorists just waiting to cause the destruction of the United States.
Look, the world is a really scary place, but it’s a really fucking scary place if you’re a person without a state or one who is wanted dead by the State. We, as humans, do this not infrequently when the shit gets rough. We blame groups of people, saying that we lost our jobs or our spouses or our savings or our lives because they took them; because they exist. Japanese internment camps; the turning away of Jewish refugees from Europe; the Chinese under Pres. Arthur; the Irish and the Italians, to all varying degrees they’ve been ostracized or rejected because we thought that they would bring us (or commit against us) unspeakable harm. For the past 15 years it’s been Muslims. Nary a day goes by since 2001 that Muslims are on the lips of someone talking about destruction and violence. About how they’re bloodthirsty savages or how the religion’s existence is an existential threat to us all.
Now, the President has significant authority to set immigration policy when it comes to the borders, I won’t dispute that. And I agree that, if you can identify individuals that pose a threat to the US, you should keep them out. Let’s assume that the ban on these 7 groups of nationals is totally constitutional, I just don’t think it will work. ISIS is not in the invasion-of-the-West business; they just simply do not have the manpower or the desire to do so. It is far more effective to instill hate and fear in people and let their own prejudices and fears do the rest. Will some of those people be willing to attempt entry into the US? Sure, of course they will, but it’s just as likely that this hypothetical guy or gal is coming from Belgium, France, the UK, Russia or one of the former Soviet Union members, so this policy really does nothing to secure anything.
I keep hearing that this isn’t a Muslim ban, that countries with the most Muslims aren’t banned. If tomorrow I was able to issue an EO which said “no one from Israel is allowed a visa to enter the US” what the fuck do you think would happen? You would call me an anti-Semite for putting up a ban of Jewish entry to the US, despite the Jewish diaspora’s enormity. It doesn’t matter if there are more Muslims in Indonesia that in one of those seven nations. If anything, that turns the ban into an ethnic ban, rather than a religious one. We can have that fight too, if you want.
Can someone tell me what happens when a Kurd from Iraq seeks entry? The President added in his comments on the EO that the exception for persecuted religious minorities is intended to help Christians. If that doesn’t put a fine enough point on this being a religious preference or test, then let’s meet back here after DHS denies a Kurd, Yazidi or Zoroastrian, because it will most certainly happen.
I need to end this here and ask if this whole exercise of being afraid and angry is exhausting to anyone else? I mean, I’m not even one of those with a venomous tongue and I’m so fucking tired. I have to imagine others are too; I have to imagine that we could have put all this effort into something more useful. But I think it’s convenient and easy to hate on groups and restrict their rights than it is to enhance rights of everyone, to make your own situation better. It’s sloth that brings us to this state, not hate. Were we not lazy, we’d look into the numbers and realize that Donald Trump’s assets are conveniently unaffected by the ban. We’d realize that ISIS is taking every contextless tweet of Donald’s and live-streaming under the narrative of the US hunting down Muslims. It used to be that they had to twist our words and actions, lie to their prisoners (that’s what they are, those living under ISIS control), they had to spin our conduct to look like we hated Muslims. Now, they just need to retweet our President. Honestly, I think the ISIS marketing department is probably going to be let go because there isn’t any fucking work left, just tell your followers to follow @realDonaldTrump.