More than ever, we need to support each other now.
There are several devastating outcomes to Trump’s victory, one of which has been the emboldening nature of bigots across the country.
Whether Trump acts on his threats to squash LGBT rights or deport Mexicans, his election sent a clear message to racists and xenophobes across the country that their hatred is justified. We elected a man into office who stands for these things, and the hate crimes began almost immediately.
Equally devastating to me as an American, has been my country’s tendency over the last several years to vilify Muslims. Hatred for things we don’t understand despite proclaiming diversity as one of our strengths is nothing new, but unjustified bigotry towards anyone who dares to wear any symbol of the Muslim faith in public has been rising. And it’s come to a head with the Trump presidency.
And to be sure, racism is nothing new to this country. It’s a long-standing value. We were literally built on the backs of black slaves, expanded our country on rail lines built by indentured Chinese immigrants after murdering enough Native Americans to claim that land in the first place. But in recent decades, at least racists knew their opinions were unpopular. By and large they kept their mouths closed – especially on a governmental level. Saying something bigoted would be a negative splash on the news. Now, apparently, it gets you the Presidency.
In a recent news report it was discovered that the Trump campaign could actually create concentration camps for Muslims here in America, using the Japanese internment camps during World War II as a precedent. And if that doesn’t terrify you, congratulations, you’re well on your way to becoming the racist grandmother that your grandchildren will have to awkwardly explain to their friends before they come over to play.
We should live in a time where any American can look me dead in the eye and tell me that there is absolutely zero chance that we are looking to create a registry of Muslims in our country, but they can’t. Know why? Because our incoming White House Chief of Staff himself refuses to “rule it out” as a possibility. He swears it won’t be based on religion, but you can bet your buns there’s going to be a lot more brown people than white folk on that list, despite the fact that statistically, white men are the most deadly and dangerous demographic in our country.
Things are bleak. But there are some things we can do, especially those of us who are allies to these communities.
For starters, we can do absolutely everything we can to prevent this registry from happening in the first place. Call and write to your representatives, talk about how horrifying it is with your friends. When anti-Muslim laws begin to show up, protest. Vote.
And if the Muslim registration actually comes to pass? Register. Encourage your friends to register. It won’t prevent the government from harassing our fellow Americans, but it’ll make it a hell of a lot harder. It’ll cost them more money. It’ll make the lines longer, and tax their system.
But don’t stop there. Don’t just register. When our friends commit acts of civil disobedience, should this registry pass, join them. Don’t let them stand alone. Do everything you can to prevent this from happening in your area; but if it does happen, be prepared to do more than put your name on a list. That’s not enough.
Comment: Where do you stand on the idea of a Muslim registry?