Saturday Selects: The Ban

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write that fall outside the general bookish theme of the blog.

Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday banning immigrants and refugees from seven countries. Syria. Iran. Iraq. Libya. Somalia. Yemen. Sudan. He’s done this under the guise of national security, claiming that this action is meant to protect us from terrorists. But it has been widely reported by multiple reputable news outlets that no attack carried out on US soil since 9/11 involved someone from any of the countries.

Makes you wonder what the hell is actually going on, right? If we’re banning people from our lands under a false pretense, then what’s the real reason for the ban? I’ll tell you, but I think you already know. One of Donald Trump’s major campaign promises was some form of a ban on Muslims entering the country. He’s making good on that promise.

The United States has failed all refugees. We have resources and the ability to take in many refugees, but we don’t. “The greatest country in the world” has all but refused to lend its hand to refugees all over the world. Refugees are escaping war, persecution, and tyrannical governments. Are these not the people we want to stand up for? Are we content just standing on the sidelines as the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe only worsens? Is this really the American way?

Donald Trump is not putting America first, as he likes to say. He’s putting America on an island while the rest of the world backs away from us.

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A Letter to America

Dear America,

America is me. When people hear me identify as “Mexican-American” most think nothing of it. But some think of me as being a part of “other”, as being different from them. I’m not. Both of my parents were born in Texas. My grandparents were born in Texas. My great grandparents were not. Which means I’m exactly the same as nearly every other American in that I’m a descendant of immigrants.

I point this out because I must. The next president of the United States has said things and proposed actions that make me as a Mexican-American feel disrespected, hated, and alarmed. He’s done the same to women, African-Americans, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, and just about every group of people that looks differently than he does.

Donald Trump is not my president. He doesn’t represent or stand for anything I do. I know I’m not the only one acknowledging this. But something we must understand is that now is not the time to sit down in shock at what has transpired. Now is more important than ever to stand up for what we believe in, to make sure our voices are louder than ever. Yes, Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States of America. But don’t believe for one second that hate, racism, homophobia, or xenophobia won last night. Those things will never truly win as long as we, the people continue to stand up and speak out about the things we hold dear.

I’m shocked just as millions of others are, but this is not the end. We’re headed toward a better, more tolerant future. Even if we face a minor setback along the way.

A college educated, Mexican-American millennial,

John Guillen

Saturday Selects #18: Donald Trump

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write the first Saturday of each month to discuss a topic or current event outside the general bookish theme of the blog. You can view some previous topics here.

Today I want to talk about Donald Trump. I know not all of you are in America, but I’m thinking the run up to the US presidential election every four years is covered by media all over the world. Which means you probably know that Donald Trump has been grabbing headlines for weeks now. He’s made comments about immigration, US Senator John McCain, and spoken about what he’ll be like once he’s in the White House.

I sincerely hope that we never have to see this man taking the oath of office. It doesn’t matter to me that he’s rich. It doesn’t matter to me that he’s got bad hair. Hehe. And it really doesn’t matter to me what he thinks about the Texas-Mexican border or immigration. If you can sit there and listen to what he’s had to say about Mexicans and tell me that he’s not racist, then you may need to look yourself in the mirror.

And people want to say it’s not about race, right? But it is. Come down to Texas and show me all the rapists and murderers we have coming in from Mexico. Oh wait, immigrants are actually less likely than native-born Americans to commit crime. But you wouldn’t realize that if you’re sitting there getting fired up by comments from a man in the spotlight.

Donald Trump is ultra rich and feels like that gives him the right to say and do whatever he wants to, and sure he can. But that doesn’t mean we should listen. And it surely doesn’t mean he should be our president.


On this day in 2014 I published July: A Month to Forget.