Tag Archives: trump

Trump Rants on Twitter… Again

Once again, Trump has taken to Twitter to address his grievances with the latest debacles, news, and world affairs concerning him. No surprise there, as this seems to occur on an almost weekly basis, which is something we should talk about. For now, let us ignore the specific subject matter of Trump’s latest Tweets, though they do merit attention and consideration, and concentrate on the fact that this is how Trump deals with any backlash or negative criticism.

Donald Trump is, unfortunately, our president, and he should act like it. This man is meant to be the figurehead of our nation, and the singular person that the rest of the world looks to and sees America, and what do they see? An angry man that response to every piece of negative criticism like a child. This man is supposed to be running our country, yet he appears to spend too much of his time concerning himself with the opinions of others, and rushing to Twitter so he can bash and decry those he does not like. This is a man that resorts to, essentially, pointing his finger, calling someone names, and saying they are a liar. He is doing precisely that to James Comey, who is releasing a book on April. 17 that details his (poor) experiences with Trump and had an interview on the 15th about this same book. Given the numerous issues and problems facing the government and America as a whole, not to mention the recent missile strike in Syria (which should be mention), Trump has better things to do with his time than concern himself with a book.

Frankly, Trump only seems to really care about his image. This is not news, by any means, but it bears repeating. His actions seem like that of a desperate man doing his best to discredit any who oppose him for fear that people might actually realize what a horrendous job Trump has been doing. This man may be the President, but he does not act like one or seem to hold much, if any, respect or regard for the position. Simply put, Trump is president in name only.

Ronny Jackson, Good at Fixing People, Bad at Fixing the VA

Continuing the new normal in the United States, President Trump has fired by tweet the current Secretary of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), David Shulkin. As his replacement, Trump has nominated his personal physician Ronny Jackson. According to Shulkin, he was completely blindsided by this decision. Experts indicate that the decision was likely related to Shulkin’s resistance to the Trump administration’s desire to privatize major parts of the VA hospital systems.

Ronny Jackson served as the personal physician to President Trump, President Obama, and the second President Bush. Before that, he served as a doctor in the navy. By all accounts, he is a competent physician, but that does not qualify him to serve as the new director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is the second largest federal agency, second only to the Department of Defense. The VA employs 377,805 people all across the country. Shulkin, the past director, served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. He had the experience required to manage a system as large as the VA. Ronny Jackson has never been in charge of more than a dozen or so people in his capacity as the white house doctor. His appointment follows President Trump’s pattern of nominating people who he likes regardless of their qualifications. This is a recipe for disaster in the already troubled VA. Our veterans deserve better. I am calling on Republicans, who always support the veterans, to reject this nomination and demand that President Trump nominates a qualified secretary.

Trump’s Transgender Ban

Once again, Donald Trump is trying to ban transgender people from serving in the military. Trump has recently signed a memo that would ban transgender people who have undergone, or are requesting, a gender transition. His previous ban was blocked by federal judges, but Trump is making another attempt, though this one is trying to limit only certain transgender people in an attempt to make it pass. The new ban also allows transgender people to be banned if they have experienced gender dysphoria. Essentially, the new ban would ban virtually all transgender people, or at least a vast majority.

Needless to say, this is vastly unfair and blatantly transphobic. The gender of an individual has no impact on their ability to serve in the military. Frankly, whether or not a person is transgender should be inconsequential to their ability and potential. There is no legitimate reason that transgender people cannot serve in the military; this ban is nothing more than a hateful and pandering gesture on Trump’s part. What good does it do to ban people from serving their country? Why deny them their own agency?

Trump and his ban disrespect transgender people’s very existence because the ban suggests that their presence somehow has a negative impact on people. It does not consider what they do and how they act, just that they are transgender, and that is somehow wrong, according to Trump and his ban. Trump seems to believe that transgender individuals will cause a distraction among the military because of their gender dysphoria and they will not be able to “stand ready.” This coming from the man who is, frankly, a walking disaster and a constant distraction from the real issues with his many scandals and numerous Twitter rants.

 

Photo from Splinter News

Trump Threatens to Silence NBC

In yet more frightening news from Trump, he threaten to revoke the National Broadcasting Company’s (NBC) broadcast license. NBC recently released a report that claimed that Trump wanted to increase the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal “tenfold” back in July. Trump has since released several Tweets that called this fake news and threaten to revoke the company’s broadcasting license. There are a lot of issues with this and, when you think about it, it is actually kind of terrifying.

President Trump accuses NBC of being “Fake News.”

The best case scenario is that Trump is once again throwing a tantrum and blowing a bunch of smoke like he always does whenever anyone criticizes him, something that happens a lot given all of the opportunities he provides to do just that. This means our president is an insecure man who is incapable of behaving like a rational adult and instead waves around a proverbial gun at whoever displeases him. That is a disaster waiting to happen and vaguely reminisce of a baby playing with hand grenades.

The worst case scenario (one that seems all too likely) is that Trump is very much entertaining and considering the idea of abusing his presidential powers to censor whoever he likes, whoever speaks against him or his government. This is dictatorship, this is fascism, this is terrifying. When there are so many other important issues to be concerned with, what does it say about our president when he is focusing his attention on a news broadcasting company that said something he did not like? Why is it that anytime any public group criticize (and only when they criticize) Trump, he calls it “fake news”? This is not a man with the best interests of the people in mind, this is a power-hungry dictator waiting to devastate our country. What if NBC is just the start of his attempts to destroy freedom of speech and the freedom to criticize the government? There is nothing solid yet, no direct action has been taken, but this does not bode well for our country or the next four years.

Political Trouble in the World of Sports

There have been several days of controversy and criticism since NBA player Stephen Curry suggested he would vote against accepting Trump’s invitation to the White House. When Trump heard about this development, he decided to un-invite the entire Warriors basketball team and has since sent out a number of tweets regarding both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL). The latter is the result of Trump’s comments that NFL players should be fired for taking a knee during the National Anthem and the resulting protests from NFL teams such as the Steelers.

Stephen Curry – Photo from NBA.com

The Steelers decided to remain inside of the locker room during the performance of the National Anthem. The head coach of the Steelers, Mike Tomlin, stated that he did not want the team to feel divided and that, essentially, he wanted the team to stay out of the politics going on. However, being absent during the Anthem is something of a political statement in and of itself.

Trump has stated, both at his rally in Alabama and on Twitter, that he believes anyone who does not stand up or takes a knee during the Anthem should be fired. He has also stated on Twitter that the games have been losing viewers because they are “boring” but people would keep watching if the NFL teams were loyal to the U.S. That being said, Trump is probably not the best person to give commentary on how viewership has increased or decreased for sports teams. Or in a position to really give any commentary at all. What the President has to do with a NFL game or NBA team is unknown, especially when he has more serious matters to attend to. Regardless of what Trump says, and in fact because of it, many players and teams are now making a stand and/or protesting, such as a number of players at the Jaguars and Ravens game in London. Perhaps it is time to listen to what other people have to say about why they are protesting, instead of threatening them.

Another Trump Tweet Debacle

Twitter can be a great resource for sharing news or entertainment with almost anyone. It seems like everyone has a Twitter account nowadays too. You can search for and find almost anyone who is even mildly famous on there, including, unfortunately, Donald Trump. Most everyone knows that Trump has a certain amount of Twitter infamy. He is known for short, poorly worded tweets that often attack people and are often posted at three in the morning when most people are conveniently not up to defend themselves. And Trump has made yet another mistake on Twitter yet again.

In the .gif, President Donald Trump’s golfball is edited to have hit Hillary Clinton in the back, causing her to fall over – Capture from Twitter

Trump retweeted a gif that makes it look like he is hitting Hilary Clinton with a golf ball. While the gif may be in poor taste, it is ultimately harmless. Unless, of course, you are the guy hitting Clinton in the video and also the president of United States. And you have also threatened (with federal investigation and jail time) the person you appear to be hitting. And in general, you are known for having a great dislike of that person and have said a number of “nasty” things about her. This man is supposed to be the president of our country, not a child incapable of any form of critical thinking.

Trump is our president, whether we like it or not, and therefore he is held to a higher standard. Arguably, the highest of standards. But here he is back at it again with petty, childish tweets against Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, we have half the country of fire, literally, two massive hurricane relief efforts going on, and rising tension with North Korea. Forgive me if I feel like the president has better things to do than retaliate against someone who released a book recently criticizing him. This would not be quite as big of a deal if Trump was not known for going on Twitter rants against anyone he dislikes and obsessing about it. As president, his attention needs to be elsewhere, and this does not bode well.

A Look at the Charlottesville Riots

One of the most significant rights that the American Constitution grants its citizens is the right to gather and protest. This right was originally made a part of the Bill of Rights so that the citizens of a nation could publicly voice their concerns and show that they will not stand for unfair treatment. This is not what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th, 2017.

What happened could only generously be called a rally, and in reality, it was nothing more than a gathering of hateful white supremacists throwing a violent and disgusting tantrum. The reason? Because discriminated citizens are standing up and demanding fair and equal treatment—something they should already be given but are not because of the deep-rooted, systemic racism, sexism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia in this country. The past few years in America have seen a rise in large protests across the country, especially since the election of Donald Trump as president. All of them have been advocating for fair and equal treatment of one discriminated group or another. There was the Women’s March on Washington D.C., for example, and there was also the formation of the group Black Lives Matter (BLM).

Photo and title photo from CNN.com

All of these movements have angered the white supremacists that live in (and run) our country and they decided to have a “protest” of their own. The irony of this idea was that it simply revealed them as the white terrorists many already know them to be. And terrorists they are. What else do you call a group of people marching around with torches and guns (many of them were armed) shouting things like “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil,” all of which are reminiscent of the rallies Hitler used to hold and are, obviously, extremely anti-Semitic.

The simple fact of the matter is that these people, these white terrorists, were never being discriminated against. They had no reason to hold a “rally” to demand fair and equal treatment; they already have it. The real reason for their protest is they want to continue to hold power over everyone else, and that power is being threatened. This power needs to be taken away from them—these are not the people who should have it. They use it to benefit only themselves and their ideologies and destroy the lives of anyone and everyone who is not them.

And they have shown they are willing to kill to keep it.

High School Lunches Need Improvement

Many of us remember what our high school lunches were like, and they are probably not fond memories. Many school lunches were rather lackluster and little more than a small sandwich, a carton of milk, and a sub-par side. With the recent budget proposal by Donald Trump that would cut funding to many food programs quite a few rely on, a drastic improvement to school lunch programs is needed.

school lunch
“The portions are also often small, so even if the food itself has not gone bad, students are still hungry after they have finished their lunch.” Photo from: http://mybrownbaby.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/school-lunch.jpg

There needs to be a good balance between lunches that are healthy and lunches that have plenty of food. Often times, the food available to high school students is clearly not fresh; buns are stale, fruits have those tell-tale soft spots, and milk is expired. The portions are also often small, so even if the food itself has not gone bad, students are still hungry after they have finished their lunch. Many high schools are known to reuse leftover food for the sake of cutting costs, which leads to the bigger issue that schools face: lack of funding.

It is not uncommon to hear about a high school having trouble with getting sufficient funding for all sections of the school. Since public schools receive their funding from the government, they often have to spend a specific amount of the funding on a specific department within their school. For example, the athletic department is often known for getting the lion’s share of the funding for a variety of reasons. Sports teams are a big crowd pleaser and they draw good publicity for the school and the school systems, ergo they receive more funding than most. While the athletic department of a school shouldn’t be underfunded, a portion of the excessive amount of money it receives could go to the school lunch program to help provide fresh food for the entire student body. Students deserve fresh fruit, fresh meat, and larger portions. This is a program that benefits all of the students, not just a specific subset of them. Thus, it deserves more funding, especially given that soon many students will be receiving less food thanks to federal budget cuts.

Will History Repeat Itself?

There have been a number of concerns since Donald Trump took office a little over two months ago. Various activist groups and minorities have been voicing their concerns about Trump’s attitude towards his new position and the effect his policies and his beliefs could have. And while there are definitely more immediate concerns with Trump’s policy making, there are many who are concerned with the long-term effects and potential results of a Trump presidency.

One of the more famous people voicing their concerns is George Takei, an actor who is most famous for his role as Sulu on Star Trek. He has said the current political climate looks similar to the time leading up to the mass internment of Japanese Americans in America during World War II.

George Takei arrives at the Premiere of "Bridegroom" at The Samuel Goldwyn Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
“He has said the current political climate looks similar to the time leading up to the mass internment of Japanese Americans in America during World War II.” Photo from: http://instinctmagazine.com/sites/instinctmagazine.com/files/images/blog_posts/Nigel%20Campbell/2015/10/14/george%20takei.jpg

George Takei was one of the many Japanese Americans who were unjustly placed in internment camps during WWII, and he fears that similar events many happen to people of the Islamic faith. He is concerned that the similar rhetoric used against Japanese Americans is now being applied to Muslims in America. People would say that a person of Japanese ancestry was an enemy of the state, just because they were Japanese, and now people are calling anyone of Islamic faith a terrorist (1).

At the rate things are going, will we end up having another national crime where we wrongly incarcerate an entire group of people because of baseless and bigoted fears? Trump has already issued a travel ban against Islamic countries and he did it within the first week of his presidency. What will happen two or three or four years down the road? We’ve already gone down this road before and it was a national embarrassment and an inexcusable act of mass discrimination. We need to make sure history does not repeat itself.

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/18/opinions/george-takei-japanese-american-internment-day-of-remembrance/index.html

Getting a Job in Trump’s Presidency

For many graduating college students, President Trump’s federal hiring freeze is near devastating. From hopeful criminal justice majors to ambitious outdoor recreation majors, their potential job pool is diminishing. Also, certain majors at universities require you to earn and complete an internship before you can receive a degree.

President Trump offered advice, writing, “In carrying out this memorandum, I ask that you seek efficient use of existing personnel and funds to improve public services and the delivery of these services.” To cushion the blow, he adds “Accordingly, this memorandum does not prohibit making reallocations to meet the highest priority needs and to ensure that essential services are not interrupted and national security is not affected.”

job listings
“He [President Trump] promised during his campaign to create jobs. Where is that promise now?” Photo from: http://acrl.ala.org/residency/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/job-hunting.jpg
Richard Delehanty, a senior at Radford majoring in parks and tourism, has been personally affected by this presidential memorandum. To complete his degree, Richard needs to complete an internship. While researching job opportunities at local state parks, he had many employers say they weren’t hiring due to the federal hiring freeze. Richard, disgruntled by the lack of respect for job security, points out “He [President Trump] promised during his campaign to create jobs. Where is that promise now? These are American people who work for these agencies. He has collectively told a group of people their jobs aren’t worth it. Your skills are irrelevant as are your jobs. For what in exchange? It’s bullshit.”

Richard highlighted the importance of these jobs, saying, “It’s obvious our environment is in a state of crisis. This is no debate, only an agenda that doesn’t account for other’s health and safety. Parks are relying on volunteer work. Without the necessary manpower, they will inevitably deteriorate. Most parks hire the bulk of their workers during the summer, when in demand from tourism and daily maintenance. During my work for New Jersey Palisades Park a few years ago, I had to rebuild an entire trail because of natural deterioration. Without the help of my coworkers and I, the trail would have been impassable. If these parks can’t cope, they will close temporarily. With no one to monitor and maintain the parks, vandals and poachers are free to roam. Park animals are accustomed to humans, leaving them most vulnerable to hunters. The lack of security due to the hiring freeze will be taken advantage of, killing protected wildlife and plant-life. We have left our world in such a disastrous state, and we must preserve what we can. As beings of the same planet, we cannot continue to take and take. I happen to like this planet.”

The need for these jobs as well as many similar ones is clear. To preserve the beauty of nature and the American lifestyle, call your representative. Express your grief until something is done. We are told from grade school that we are the future. Take your role seriously.

To find your representative’s contact information, enter your zip code into this website:

http://www.whoismyrepresentative.com/

Why “Fake News” is Dangerous

It’s been no secret that one of Donald Trump’s issues has been his frequent conflict with the press. If a report is brought to his attention that criticizes him or disagrees with his viewpoints, then he has been known to call it fake news or suppress it if it is from a federal source. For example, Trump has placed a gag order on the EPA and the USDA, effectively silencing them (1). This is extremely dangerous and should be cause for a great deal of alarm.

What Trump is doing is blatantly interfering with 1st amendment rights and the freedom of speech. The purpose of a gag order is to keep certain government agencies from revealing sensitive information that could potentially cause America to suffer in terms of bodily harm. The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture do not have that sort of information, not when they are releasing reports on things like global climate change and global warming.

EPA
“Trump has placed a gag order on the EPA and the USDA, effectively silencing them.” Photo from: https://confluence.journalism.wisc.edu

However, the reports that have been released, like the ones that say global climate change is real and that we should do something about it, directly go against Trump’s agenda and his claim that “global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese.” Trump doesn’t like it and he doesn’t want to hear it, so he abuses his power to restrict the voices of the EPA and the USDA. How long before he begins to do the same to news organizations he doesn’t like and calls “fake news”? Trump has already shown that he does not mind abusing his power to get what he wants or twisting things around to suit his needs. The gag orders he has placed on these federal agencies may only be the beginning, and he may soon go after any organization (or anyone) who disagrees with him. These are the first steps towards a dictatorship.

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-administration-restricts-news-from-federal-scientists-at-usda-epa/

My Cat Voted for Trump

I come home from classes on Friday afternoon, looking forward to a weekend of pizza and my Playstation 4. I grab the mail and I see it . . . something that should not be in my mail. I unlock my front door, walk inside, and close the door.

Shadow is sitting on the couch, watching something on Netflix. From what is happening on the screen, I deduce that Shadow is not watching something from her “Kids” profile.

“Shadow, what are you watching?”

I Spit On Your Grave. It’s hi-larious.”

“It is not hilarious. I actually feel kind of sick looking at it.”

“Is so. Besides, she deserves it. Stupid, educated libtard.”

I decide not to tell the cat what happens at the end of the movie. If she keeps watching, at least I’ll be rewarded with profound schadenfreude.

“Shadow, can you tell me what this is?” I ask, holding up the newsletter from the mail.

“That’s Stormfront. It’s free so I signed up for it online.”

I’m speechless.

cat trump
“I am suddenly glad that I had Shadow spayed.” Photo from: https://politicalshop.com

“You’re welcome,” Shadow adds.

“Why?”

“I’m helping make America great again.”

“By subscribing to a racist newsletter?”

“Get over it; she lost.”

I am suddenly glad that I had Shadow spayed.

“Anyhow, Trump is gonna get rid of all of the Chihuahuas next.”

“What? Oh – because they’re ‘from Mexico’?”

“Exactly.”

“Shadow, you do know that you’re a Bombay, right?  Your breed is from Thailand.”

The cat looks irate. I move in for the kill.

“Also, what are you going to do when Stormfront realizes that you are a black cat?  Or are those just ‘alternative facts’?”

“I don’t see color,” she says stiffly, and she stalks off to shit on my pillow.

Shadow is an asshole because she’s a cat. What’s your excuse?

 

 

Is the Joke Only Funny Until Someone Gets Hurt?

As I’m sure everyone knows by now, Saturday Night Live has taken our new presidency in stride and as a favor, which is not felt by most of the country. But when is enough too much? The show has featured Alec Baldwin parodying Donald Trump on the campaign trail and also as president. Recently, Saturday Night Live has added more impersonations of prominent figures, both foreign and domestic. Vladimir Putin, played by Beck Bennett, has been a part of the show since 2013 but has been used far more often in 2016-17 in conjunction with Alec’s portrayal of Trump. The addition of White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, played by Melissa McCarthy just last week caused an upset, to the point that Sean Spicer felt the need to mention it at the next press conference. However, Saturday

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Alec Baldwin" Episode 1718 -- Pictured: Host Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump during the "Trump People's Court" sketch on February 11, 2017 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)
“The show has featured Alec Baldwin parodying Donald Trump on the campaign trail and also as president.” Photo from: www.indiewire.com

Night Live also reached one of its all-time-rating-highs thanks to that segment. They have also added shorter appearances, including Melania Trump played by Cecily Strong, Ivanka and Tiffany Trump played by Vanessa Bayer, Donald Trump Jr. and Steve Bannon played by Mikey Day, and Kellyanne Conway and Jeff Sessions played by Kate McKinnon.

But is Saturday Night Live taking things too far? Every week Donald Trump seems to go on a Twitter rant about whatever was said or however he and his appointed officials were portrayed. Is SNL beating a dead horse by poking fun at the president? Or are they pointed out how completely ridiculous this presidency is? Yes, the skits they perform are over dramatic versions of events throughout the week. And there is no doubt that SNL is a comedy show, not news media. But, what if Trump decides to react more violently than he does in his 6:30 a.m. Twitter posts? Trump has already tried to silence the scientific community by barring them from posting scientific facts on their official social media sites. What is to stop him from trying to silence all portrayals of him, except those that cast him in the light he wishes to be in?

I personally do not think SNL has gone too far. In fact, I believe they should continue to point out the idiocy and hypocrisy of Donald Trump’s administration.

The Trouble with Trump

Our newest president is always making headlines, ever since he began running for office. It is not uncommon for his name and his face to be the first thing anyone sees when they look at the news. Unfortunately, this is rarely, if ever, a good thing for him or for us.

trump tweets
“It is no secret that when any source of public media makes negative comments about Trump, regardless of the form they take, he immediately responds via Twitter.” Photo from: www.occupydemocrats.com

Donald Trump has had one scandal or public media blowout after another. One of the most significant issues has been his various sexual assault allegations and his gross mistreatment of women. For example, everyone has heard of (and many have seen) the footage where Donald Trump has talked about “grabbing (women) by the pussy,” something that sparked outrage among many (as it rightly should). There have been at least 15 women who have accused Trump of sexually assaulting them (including one of his ex-wives), which is more than enough to cause serious concern. If anyone, regardless of who they are or whether they are male or female, receives sexual assault claims from that many people, then that person needs to be investigated, especially if they are the President.

Another issue with Trump is his rampant Twitter rants and tantrums. It is no secret that when any source of public media makes negative comments about Trump, regardless of the form they take, he immediately responds via Twitter, usually with pathetic name calling and/or slander. In and of itself, this is not a terribly big deal. The issue is that this is the leader of our country, arguably the most powerful man in the world. He is a man with access to nuclear weapons and the entire U.S. military, and he is easily upset over the speech of an actress or a comedy sketch from a TV show that is known for its parodies of pop culture and politics. The question becomes: Why is he so concerned with these people, who he claims are hacks, when he has a country to run? One would think he has better things to do with his time besides respond to these people who he claims to thinks so little of. Trump is far too easily provoked.

There is also Trump’s habit of calling news sources that make negative comments/stories/articles about him fake news. Frankly, this is ridiculous. If Trump has an issue with a news source or believes they are unfairly representing him, then fine. He has every right to combat these claims. But all he does is call them fake news; if he doesn’t like it, then it’s fake news. If the news that these people are sharing is worth garnering Trump’s specific attention (and I’m not saying it is worth it, he has more important things to be worrying about as President), then he could actually provide evidence and make compelling arguments against the stories. Instead he just calls it “fake news”. This man is our President but he’s still acting like a toddler and shouting “Wrong!” at whatever he doesn’t like.

 

The Problem with Trump’s Push for Anti-Immigration

court
“While the court’s decision to put a stop on the travel ban can be brought to an appeals court and overturned, the ban itself is only in effect for 120 days for refugees and 90 days for visitors from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.” Photo from: https://infacts.org

Donald Trump has only been in office a short while (three weeks to be exact), but he has been, and is, making waves in his push for anti-immigration laws. The most significant aspects of this are, of course, Trump’s travel ban and the subsequent freeze the courts have placed on it with a unanimous 3-0 ruling (1), rendering it useless for the time being. And while the court’s decision to put a stop on the travel ban can be brought to an appeals court and overturned, the ban itself is only in effect for 120 days for refugees and 90 days for visitors from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. Of course, this whole ordeal, Trump’s anti-immigration push, the travel ban, and the court ruling (and reactions to it), raises some serious concerns.

Firstly, this is not a travel ban, it is a Muslim ban. Trump specifically chose countries that have a high population of Muslims because of the Islamophobia and xenophobia belonging to both him and the people who voted for him. Frankly, this is idiotic, unpatriotic, and (at least) arguably unconstitutional. People (including Donald Trump himself), who know virtually nothing of those they are discriminating against, are just assuming that Muslim equals terrorist. It does not; they are not the same thing and to assume otherwise is ridiculous. One of the reasons why this, and the ban on these countries, is idiotic is because from 1975 to 2015, not a single person from those countries has killed any American on American soil and only 17 people from all seven of those countries have ever been convicted of planning or attempting a terrorist attack on U.S. soil (2).

The people who support this ban would rather pander to their base and unfounded fears. They want to place the blame on an entire group of people and then pat themselves on the back, saying they did something good, rather than actually address the problem and make genuine attempts to stop it. Not to mention how the whole idea of this (Muslim) ban is to protect America and American values, yet we are doing the exact opposite of what America is, traditionally, supposed to stand for. Namely, America is a place where anyone can come and be themselves, and it is a land where you’re supposed to be free to be who you are, free of religious persecution. That was the whole idea of this country to begin with. But apparently, that only applies if you’re not Muslim (or not African American, or not Latino, or not Jewish, or not gay, and so on. You get the point). I fail to see how we are “protecting America and American values” by banning refugees and immigrants from the country. Frankly, if there was ever a time for America to ban immigrants, it would have been back when all of those White Europeans came over and wiped out the Native Americans. But as that didn’t happen, I feel the need to point out that we are a country of immigrants.

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/federal-appeals-court-maintains-suspension-of-trumps-immigration-order/2017/02/09/e8526e70-ed47-11e6-9662-6eedf1627882_story.html?utm_term=.07278f1b299d
  2. https://www.cato.org/blog/little-national-security-benefit-trumps-executive-order-immigration

Richard Spencer

Perhaps you’ve heard about this white supremacist Richard Spencer getting punched twice on Inauguration Day. As far as I know, we have not had to deal with open displays of racism on campus. Of course, I may be wrong.

I’m not going to advocate any student punching a Nazi. I don’t want you getting kicked out of school.

That said . . . on the morning after this recent election, I looked into the eyes of a young woman and saw fear and uncertainty. My heart broke, and I promised her that I would protect her.

I want all of you to know that if I do see someone berating you, trying to intimidate you, or laying hands upon you against your will because you are not the same as them, I will come to your aid.

richard spencer
“Perhaps you’ve heard about this white supremacist Richard Spencer getting punched twice on Inauguration Day.” Photo from: img.wennermedia.com

I will protect you. I will defend you. I will avenge you.

It does not matter to me what sex or gender you identify as, who you do or do not pray to, who you choose to love, or what color your skin is. What matters to me is that you are a human being and you deserve the same rights, liberties, and dignities as anyone else.

Saying this does not make me a hero like Captain America.

If the day ever comes when you need me, you will know who I am. If I am not there, I hope that you will know others like me in those moments.

Thus far, those in the Radford community have been, in my experience, exemplary human beings. I can only pray that I am not proven wrong.

 

Discrimination vs Compassion in Trump’s America

It seems that since his inauguration, President Trump has made some of the most controversial executive orders just within his first few days in office. These executive orders include moving on with the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Mexico City Policy on abortion, and the travel ban for those in the Middle East.

With these executive orders, some people feel as though the country is moving backward in time, not forward. President Trump had given an executive order that would ban citizens of Syria, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Somalia and Yemen from entering the United States for 30 days (1). It has been stated in the past that President Trump wants to keep those of the Muslim faith out of the country, and this order does exactly that.

With his use of power, it seems as though President Trump is trying to turn our country into 1950’s America. However, the discrimination is not focused solely on African Americans; this time, he’s including Muslims in the mix. In his mind, this will “Make America Great Again.” His travel ban says to, “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality” (1). This means that he wants to put Christians from the Middle East before Muslims from the Middle East.

The United States has, historically, always been a country of diversity, scientific exploration, and a chance for immigrants to improve their lives. President Trump seems as though he is no better than a fascist because of his policies to silence the scientists and media, to discriminate against those of different religions and to limit women’s rights.

trump protests
“With his use of power, it seems as though President Trump is trying to turn our country into 1950’s America.” Photo from: foxnews.com

President Trump signed an executive order that reinstated the Mexico City Policy. This policy requires foreign agencies to certify that they will not fund or promote abortion as a way of family planning (2). He signed this order only a few days after the Women’s March on Washington. These women were marching for their rights, and these include equal pay and reproductive rights. This march was said to be one of the most peaceful marches, and it also had one of the largest crowds just in Washington D.C. itself. Women all over the globe marched for their rights protesting President Trump.

Yes, there are movements that have not exactly kept the peace, but most protests across the country have been non-violent. These people are trying to be compassionate toward others, even those of a different race, religion, or ethnicity. This is exactly what the country needs during this time of hate and discrimination. And with this movement of compassion, it seems as though millennials are trying to make the biggest change. Large crowds of millennials are attempting to make their voices heard, and they are using kindness as their tool. Kindness itself is the most powerful force that can fight against President Trump and his administration.

 

1 – http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39236-mayors-and-activists-revolt-against-trump-s-muslim-ban-executive-order

2 – http://kff.org/global-health-policy/fact-sheet/mexico-city-policy-explainer/

Trump’s Racism and His Immigrant/Muslim Ban

Donald Trump has been in office for a little over a week and already he has created huge dissent with blatant xenophobia and Islamophobia. Trump has banned travel from seven countries that have majority Muslim populations, and he has temporarily suspended any refugees from entering the country, all in the name of preventing terrorism (1). This is blatant racism and frankly disgusting and disgraceful behavior from America’s new president.

Trump has, not so subtly, shown that he believes that anyone from an Islamic country is a terrorist or is at least affiliated with or supports them. This is racism; it cannot be said enough. He is making a derogatory, sweeping generalization about one of the largest groups in the world based on the actions of a few who claim to be Islamic, and he has abused his power in an attempt to enforce this belief. In comparison, this is like saying every white male is a mass shooter who will unavoidably kill just because people like Dylann Roof have committed racist mass shootings. Or the fact that the majority of mass shootings (which are themselves acts of terrorism) are committed by white males (2). Why isn’t President Trump issuing an executive order to ban all white men from owning a gun or preventing them from entering the country? It probably wouldn’t seem fair to do that based on the actions of a relative few, would it? Then why would it be okay to do the same exact thing to immigrants and Islamic people? It’s an avoidable fact that the majority of mass shooters in America are white males, and it is arguable that many of the stereotypical terrorists that people are worried about really are of the Islamic faith. However, they may not understand that Islam is a religion that promotes justice, kindness, and goodness, and forbids acts of violence (3).

airport protests
“Trump has banned travel from seven countries that have a population with a majority of Muslims and he has temporarily suspended any refugees from entering the country.” Photo from: newinfo.inquirer.net

What Trump is doing is petty fear-mongering. He is trying to make people look away from his own incompetency and place all of the blame for the many issues and troubles on immigrants and the Islamic people. This is blatant racism and ignorant hypocrisy, and it promotes blind hatred. We are a country of immigrants; we are supposed to be a country that welcomes everyone and allows a place for people to practice their religion and beliefs. America is a land of freedom where people are safe in the knowledge that they will be welcomed into the country and be who they are. We even have a national monument promoting exactly this: the Statue of Liberty. There is a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty bearing these famous words from the poem The New Colossus: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” (4). Trump’s actions are distinctly un-American; immigrants are real human beings, not some unknown other. We should be welcoming them in, not taking federal action to keep them out. America is better than this, and we should act like it and not spout ignorant, hate promoting propaganda.

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/politics/donald-trump-travel-ban/
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/27/us/mass-shootings/
  3. https://books.google.com/books?id=OZbyz_Hr-eIC&pg=PA216#v=onepage&q&f=false
  4. https://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/historyculture/colossus.htm