Monday, January 30, 2017

Assuaging Trump backers’ egos create incidents at O’Hare, airports elsewhere

It was a depressing mood that spread this weekend at airports throughout our nation, including at Chicago's O’Hare International Airport. What with the number of people suddenly impacted by the executive order imposed by new President Donald J. Trump.
Welcome to Chicago? More like, Drop Dead!!!!! from Donald Trump, if you happen to be Arab

As in the one that put sudden restrictions on people from select Arab and Middle Eastern nations being able to enter the United States.

THIS WEEKEND BECAME the first practical impact of the new era that our nation has moved into – and which is one that is totally in line with the sentiments of the 46 percent of the electorate that actually voted for Trump to be president.

All across the nation at airports that accept international flights there were people being stuck in customs and detained indefinitely. A federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., issued an order Saturday night preventing them from being deported and they eventually were released and allowed to disperse amongst the U.S. populace, but their long-term fate is uncertain.

It didn’t matter that many of these people had relatives living within the United States with valid visas or full citizenship. Or that some of them had dual citizenship with other nations (such as Great Britain) that are full-fledged U.S. allies.

Saturday night, there were reports of some 18 people being stuck at O’Hare for hours on end, with similar numbers being found at other airports across the country. There was bureaucratic nonsense, and some even had their Facebook accounts inspected to get clues as to their political leanings. Activists upset about this had the International terminal blocked Saturday night, complicating the ability of people to get into, and out of, the airport. They didn't leave until the early hours of Sunday.
TRUMP: Appeasing the 46 percent

WHAT A GREAT way for our nation – which likes to hold itself up as the ideal that nations around the globe ought to strive to be like – to greet people.

“Drop dead, rag head!,” is what we might as well be telling them. Barack Obama felt like a long-distant memory Saturday night.

It’s not just people of Middle Eastern ethnic backgrounds who got detained (out of suspicion that they’re Islamic, which just naturally makes them subversive to the U.S. way of life, according to the nativist kooks). There were news reports of anybody coming from Iran getting extra scrutiny, regardless of who they are or what their backgrounds may be.

OBAMA: Did he ever really happen?
All of this is coming about because of the executive order that Trump signed a couple of days following his orders (border walls and sanctuary cities) aimed at harassing the Latino segment of our society.

THESE ARAB-ORIENTED ORDERS are the result of the Trump action that singles out people of seven specific nations – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – who will not be able to legally enter the United States for at least 90 days, and Trump on Sunday insisted his order remains in effect although aides are now talking down some of its enforcement provisions.

In theory, that measure is because U.S. officials will spend the next three months concocting policies concerning immigration and travel back and forth from Middle Eastern nations. Just like they're supposedly abolishing the Affordable Care Act and we should trust them to come up with a replacement policy in the future.

Although I suspect many of those who think healthcare reform was subversive also are of a particularly nativist and xenophobic bent want who want to believe these Middle East nations are producing all the “radical Islamic terrorists” who are a threat to our society’s existence.
Words of advice particularly relevant this weekend
And you had better use that particular “radical Islamic terrorist” phrase to describe those people, or else face the wrath of the ideologues as they concoct a policy to restrict your further existence within this society!

IN THE LONG run, I realize this is a short-term series of incidents this weekend. Although we shouldn’t think these are moments that these individuals impacted now will someday be capable of laughing about. Even though the Department of Homeland Security is trying to downplay Saturday's harassment by saying fewer than 1 percent of international travelers were impacted.

It’s embarrassing to our national reputation. It undermines any claims to superiority we might try to make about ourselves. It really is pathetic that we’re giving in to the most paranoid people of our society and letting their fears dictate our federal policy.

It’s giving reinforcement to the notion that the campaign phrase “Make America Great Again” really means some warped vision of what our nation never was, except in the minds of those with the most nativist of extremes. To which Trump is now working in high gear to appease; and which groups like the ACLU will have to work overtime to combat.

And the sad part will be those people amongst us who not only knowingly voted for this, but fully approve. Because it fits their vision, to which the only phrase I can truly think of to describe it is, “un-American!”


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