I don’t know if it’s just me feeling suddenly overwhelmed, or if this Yuletide season in the good ol’ U.S. of A is abnormally… turbulent.
In the midst of putting up Christmas trees and Nativity scenes and lauding the Christmas Spirit, and through bold defenses of the Second Amendment, Americans nationwide are decrying Muslims and refugees, seeming to forget or purposefully ignore the tragic irony of it all. Too many have forgotten that before the Second Amendment comes the First, which guarantees citizens the freedom of religion; and that there is a Fourteenth, which protects citizens from laws that infringe upon privileges and freedoms.
And that brings me to Trump, the fascist running for president. I have withheld from writing about Trump because I keep hoping he’ll just go away and I really don’t want to direct anymore attention to that ghastly soul. Unfortunately, he hasn’t gone away and what I hoped when he first announced his candidacy for President of the United States of America would be a short-lived joke of a run, has instead resulted in Donald Trump as the frontrunner for the Republican candidate as of the time of my writing this blog post.
Time and again I have heard my more conservative fellows complain about Wars on Christmas, Constitutional rights being removed, and how un-American various policies have become. And yet, Donald Trump is the current conservative leader in the polls.
Donald Trump, who generalized Latino immigrants as rapists and murderers. Donald Trump, who wants to register Muslim Americans and monitor mosques. Donald Trump, who insulted a New York Times journalist with a physical disability. Donald Trump, whose creative insults about women are never-ending. And let’s not forget that time he tried to dupe black religious leaders into supporting him and even went so far as to claim certain leaders had given him their support when they never did. Oh, and when he tried to stir up even more Islamophobia claiming he saw thousands of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey post-9/11, claims that have gone unsubstantiated. (Trump is so ridiculous and disgraceful it is difficult to keep up with all his horrific nonsense.)
And now, Trump wants to close U.S. borders to all Muslims, in addition to having Muslim Americans in a database.
If these were just the ramblings of an anomalous character whom no one takes seriously, while still alarming, it would not be as disconcerting as it has become. But, Trump is first place in the polls for Republican candidate.
When he speaks, people cheer.
Trump represents everything America claims to be against, and yet he is the GOP favorite–and that is utterly terrifying.
Trump is just one man so, despite all the outlined evidence decrying Trump’s humanity I just presented, I really want to address the American people as a whole because it is the populace that elects frightening people like Trump.
If you set up a Nativity and claim you seek to be Christ-like, you can’t turn away people seeking refuge, like the thousands of people fleeing Syria. If you claim to adhere to America’s ideals, you can’t be comfortable registering an entire portion of our population in a database. If you care so much about the Second Amendment, you can’t ignore the First and Fourteenth Amendments because you are scared or bigoted.
Furthermore, if you don’t claim that all Christians are terrorists after the shooting at Planned Parenthood, you can’t claim all Muslims are terrorists after the shooting in San Bernadino. The fact that one shooter’s culture and belief system is unfamiliar to you doesn’t make that shooter representative of all people you classify as similar.
I read an article today in my local newspaper about a Muslim community leader who is contemplating whether or not she should stop wearing her hijab in order to preserve her safety. If Muslim American women feel they are unsafe in their religious garb, we fail as a nation. Americans need to stand united in defense of all citizens, and dispel fear and misunderstanding.
We don’t have the best track record in that regard. Japanese internment camps, slavery, the Trail of Tears, and the extreme necessity for civil rights all come to mind, among others. But we have the power to stop this ship before it even sets sail. We can say no to Trump and others like him, and instead embrace our fellow Muslim Americans. This doesn’t need to become another blight on America’s history.
So this Christmas season if you really want to get in the Christmas Spirit, don’t say there’s no room at the figurative inn that is our country. Instead, truly embrace the Christmas Spirit and channel Tiny Tim’s notion for God to bless each and every one of us.
*Quote in title is from Empire Records–1995