So It Begins

Over at Remezcla, Juan Escalante recently asked allies, friends and decent human beings what they would do if the new administration deports him. His recommendations for political actions on behalf of immigrants are a good starting point, but perhaps owing to his already tenuous immigration status, Escalante doesn’t call for allies to take a more proactive approach. Given the news of the day, it may be time to consider a more radical strategy.

Donald Trump has taken his first concrete steps to prove just how xenophobic this country can be if provided half a chance.

President Donald Trump has signed directives to begin building a wall along US border with Mexico and crack down on US cities that shield undocumented immigrants, moving quickly on sweeping and divisive plans to curb immigration and boost national security.

Reuters news agency also reported that the Republican president is also expected to take steps in the coming days to limit legal immigration, including executive orders restricting refugees and blocking the issuing of visas to people from several Muslim-majority Middle Eastern and North African countries including Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen.

If you were politically comatose during the Obama era, it’s worth pointing out that the living nightmare of detainment in ICE prisons and deportation didn’t drop out of the sky on January 20th, 2017. For all the lip service he gave to the dignity of hard-working immigrants, Barry was responsible for more deportations than any president before him. Trump’s startling anti-immigration actions may be more than we’re used to or typically aware of, but it’s of a piece philosophically.

Restricting entry to people from Muslim-majority nations at an executive level is all Donald. It should rightly be viewed as a test-run for more extreme measures like building a national Muslim registry. Believe me, it’s gonna be so constitutional, you’re not going to believe how constitutional it all is. The wall, the sweeps, the ban and whatever else he has planned should be resisted every step of the way.

Back to the radical strategy I alluded too. Suppose our resistance fails to impede America’s collective descent into madness. It’s happened before. If you care about the lives of the people around you who’ve just had a fresh coat of paint added to the targets on their backs, what will you do to protect them? Would you be willing to shield them by taking them into your home? Even it put you at financial and legal risk? As the days, weeks and months of unsettling news pass, ask yourself if you’re going to passively allow it to go down or if you’ll do everything in your power to sabotage the machine.

 

(Year Zero/Day Six)

Our Shifting Landscape

As is often the case during the first 100 days of a new administration, observing the rapid changes can feel akin to discovering the solid ground you thought you stepped onto is actually quicksand.

quicksand

There are awful but politically predictable moves, such as Trump’s reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, as well as (depending on who you ask) theoretically beneficial actions like his abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership/pending executive order to renegotiate NAFTA.

Then there are news items that should be reassuring but aren’t: Trump’s “rocky first weekend” is troubling even to his aides. “Maybe this job will be too much for The Donald to do much damage,” you secretly hope to yourself before remembering that Warlord Pence and his cadre of christian supremacists are one resignation away from absolute power.

But what is fermenting beneath the surface should cause the greatest concern about the direction we seem to be heading. Many of the 230 protesters arrested during Inauguration Day face felony rioting charges that could bring prohibitive fines and up to 10 years in prison. This is a highly unusual step, but adheres to the administrations views on dissent and amped-up police state rhetoric.

In the House of Representatives, H.R. 193 – American Sovereignty Act of 2017 is worming its way through the Foreign Affairs committee. If passed and signed into law, the United States would withdraw from the United Nations.

Richard Spencer, the actual Nazi with the best Backpfeifengesicht since Ted Cruz, is calling for the formation of an alt-right vigilante force. Nice brownshirt… er, coat there, Richard.

Returning to yesterday’s theme of the concerted effort to make fantasy and reality liminal, conspiracymonger Alex Jones is bragging that Donald Trump told him his show is “the main operating system of the rebirth of the American republic.” But Jones is only one solider in a shadow army of sycophants waging psychological warfare on reporters – and by extension, those who depend on their accurate assessment of the situation.

It’s day four of year zero in Trump’s America…