Trou­bling shades of past in Trump ex­ec­u­tive or­der

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

Like most of you, I watched last week­end as crowds gath­ered across the na­tion’s air­ports in protest of Pres­i­dent Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der ban­ning en­try of all refugees to the United States for 120 days; bar­ring Syr­ian refugees in­def­i­nitely; and block­ing en­try into the United States for 90 days for cit­i­zens of seven pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim coun­tries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, So­ma­lia, Su­dan, Syria and Ye­men.

A wave of dread washed over me, since this was the se­cond week­end of protests in the two weeks of this pres­i­dent’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. I was not a Trump sup­porter and am not sur­prised by his ac­tions, but I must ad­mit I was hop­ing he was blow­ing hot air just to get into the White House and these of­fen­sive ac­tions would be few and far be­tween. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

I strug­gle with my opin­ions of friends and co-work­ers who were out­spo­ken sup­port­ers of Trump. I have had sev­eral say to me they do not un­der­stand why that vote has la­beled them as racist, but of course these con­ver­sa­tions took place be­fore last week­end. I am a firm be­liever in di­ver­sity and unity, and what some don’t re­al­ize is that means ev­ery­body, even Trump sup­port­ers. That is why I main­tain these re­la­tion­ships and con­ver­sa­tions. We have far more in com­mon as hu­mans than we have dif­fer­ences.

How­ever, naivety is not an ex­cuse. We have easy ac­cess to his­tory and the con­se­quences of sim­i­lar ac­tions that were taken in the past. The man that came to mind while I watched Amer­i­cans be­ing de­tained at Amer­i­can air­ports just days ago was Ger­man pas­tor Martin Niemöller. He was a sup­porter of Adolf Hitler dur­ing his rise to power be­cause Niemöller was con­cerned about Com­mu­nist im­mi­grants and their di­as­pora. Then his per­sonal area of re­li­gion came un­der fire, and he fi­nally be­came out­spo­ken against Hitler and was de­tained for eight years for it. It was af­ter that ex­pe­ri­ence that he said this state­ment in an in­ter­view:

Our sys­tem of govern­ment has things in place to keep a dic­ta­tor from emerg­ing, so it is not a fair com­par­i­son to match our sit­u­a­tion to that of Ger­many’s decades ago. How­ever, I do cau­tion any­one blindly crit­i­cal of those who are protest­ing. This isn’t about los­ing a con­test, it is be­ing vo­cal to make sure peo­ple tap into the best of them­selves and not the fear-based para­noia that proved dis­as­trous to those who prac­ticed it be­fore. Niemöller’s words should serve as a re­minder we are all in this to­gether.

Melissa Carter is one of the Morn­ing Show hosts on B98.5. In ad­di­tion, she is a writer for the Huff­in­g­ton Post. She is rec­og­nized as one of the first out ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties in At­lanta and one of the few in the coun­try. Fol­low her on Twit­ter @Melis­saCarter

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