It’s Time To Stop Pretending Trump’s Ban Isn’t About Race

by
Cierra Bailey
People of African and Middle Eastern descent are being denied entry into the United States regardless of their religion or country of residence.

President Donald Trump and his administration would like Americans to foolishly believe that his ban against immigrants and refugees is about national security.

Newsflash: It’s not.

The root of this abrupt and discriminatory ban is pure, unadulterated racism.

Immigrants and Americans of color have made great strides in this country, and that has somehow been viewed as a threat to white people. This is evidenced by the fact that directly after America had its first African-American president, Trump — who ran his entire campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia — was sworn in as the new commander in chief.

Read More: Trump's SCOTUS Nominee Started A 'Fascism Forever' Club In High School

As CNN correspondent Van Jones aptly said after the election, the rise of Trump is the direct result of “whitelash.”

In just the second week of his presidency, Trump signed a rushed executive order banning people from seven predominantly Muslim countries and refugees from entering the United States that went into effect immediately and caused a catastrophic uproar at airports throughout the nation.

He claimed his reasoning for the swift implementation was because making an advanced announcement would have prompted “bad dudes” to rush into the country before it went into effect. However, that is absolute nonsense because there is already a two-year, rigorous vetting process in place.

It’s also an absurd notion because no one from any of the seven banned countries has carried out a fatal attack in the U.S. — as pointed out by Australian ABC host Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who was denied entry into the country due to her Sudanese heritage.

Protesters gather outsideTerminal 4 at JFK...

Trump also said that his order would not apply to refugees in religious minorities escaping persecution, but if that is the case, how does he explain the families of two Syrian Christian brothers being sent back to the Middle East as a result of his order?

As ACLU Pennsylvania Staff Attorney Molly Tack-Hooper noted, “These particular family members were not refugees. Their religion did not affect them. They were banned just because they’re Syrian.”

While Islamophobia and xenophobia are both key components at the heart of this action, racism has proven to be the ultimate driving force as people from Somalia and Sudan have also been barred from the United States. This includes Nisrin Elamin, a Sudanese Stanford Ph.D. student and green card holder who was detained and questioned for five hours at JFK international airport.

“I think this order is a reflection of a larger trend in this country to criminalize black people, to criminalize immigrants, to criminalize Muslims,” Elamin said in an interview with Democracy Now. “And as a black Muslim immigrant, I’m really concerned about that. And I do think that the Somalis and Sudanese, people of African descent who are going to be affected by this, you know, I think they’re going to be treated differently, frankly.”

Everything that Trump’s camp has said about this order to justify it has been proven to be a lie, and people are being restricted from entering the country based on their names and the color of their skin, and not much else.

Demonstrators shout slogans during anti-Donald...

Another example is professional athlete Meisam Rafiei, an Iranian-born Icelandic Taekwondo champion, who was also refused entry into the U.S.

According to The Telegraph, Rafiei was returning to the U.S. where he had been training throughout the holiday season in preparation for the U.S. Open. Granted, Iran is one of the countries explicitly named in the ban, however, Rafiei has been a citizen of Iceland since 2012 — that’s nearly half a decade.

Rafiei, 30, said that he was even told directly that if he were British-Iranian, Canadian-Iranian, or Australian-Iranian, he wouldn’t have been barred entry.

“I think it’s racist,” he reportedly said of Trump’s order. “…I am just a sportsperson. I don’t do anything except doing (sic) good and respecting all people all my life.”

He was humiliated in front of other passengers simply for having Iranian heritage, despite the facts that he wasn’t traveling from Iran, he is a citizen of Iceland, and he was previously granted a 10-year American visa.

The common denominator here is people with brown skin of African and Middle Eastern descent are being banned from the country, regardless of where their traveling from or whether they’re Muslim or not.

White Americans, including Trump, seem to believe that the assimilation of people of color will somehow slow or cease by keeping them out of the country and miraculously solve all of their problems by freeing up jobs, homes, and schools for them because they won’t have to share with the “others.”

This. Is. Racist. 

Read More: Trump Cannot Differentiate Between Refugees And ‘Illegal Immigrants’

Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters 

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