Fear Itself

Just to be clear: The executive order that Donald signed yesterday, which is already impacting people, is both strikingly unjust and patently unconstitutional. Those are two very different things, and we would do well to remember that. (Mind you, the central holding of Korematsu has never been overruled.) One will win lawsuits and block enforcement, the other will swing public sentiment. And as abstract as that sounds, the latter is going to be the the lasting effect should this order be ultimately blocked.

If you marched a week ago today, you marched, fundamentally, on a message that America is a place of inclusivity and openness. You may not have the technical expertise to be a direct benefit to the refugees being held at airports as we speak, but you can still help with the latter.

If you can, talk to those who see this ban as a worthwhile thing to do for security, or those who are skeptical but might not understand the reach of these problems.

Tell them that the list of countries on the ban list has produced zero terrorist attacks in the United States, dating back to and including September 11, 2001—every single country linked to a terror attack is omitted from the list.

Tell them about the people we are holding and threatening to turn away—the people who have literally risked their lives in order to aid the United States and, in the process, likely saved military lives on numerous occasions. (Members of the military are confirming this narrative.)

Tell them about the 500,000 LEGAL RESIDENTS currently abroad who will not be able to return to their homes. The administration has ALREADY CONFIRMED that this will happen.

Tell them about the reciprocal ban that Iran has announced.  Tell them that we’ve seen this movie before, and its human cost is immeasurable.

And if they still do not see this executive order for the reactionary, divisive, and ill-founded propaganda that it is, ask them why it is they are so afraid. This is the question, if they are willing to truly think about their own beliefs, that will bring us out of the darkness.

To paraphrase 1 John 2:9–11: “Oh believers, stand persistently firm for God, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.”

Fear itself will not win.

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