Keep obstructing evil
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President Donald Trump’s aversion to people darker than white has been both heavily chronicled and criticized for the 18 months prior to his entering the Oval Office as the most powerful person in the world. However, in just his first twelve days of becoming president, he’s signed a number of executive orders, many of which are extremely questionable.
One of the most controversial ones bans Muslims from seven countries from across North Africa and the Middle East from travelling to the United States. These countries — Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Iran — have been apparently been selected with little rhyme or reason, as the Cato Institute pointed out that no American has been killed in an act of terrorism by a citizen of these countries on American soil in over 30 years. One might think the ban is based not on functional security solutions, but on racist crowd-pleasing.
Another executive order has revoked funding from sanctuary cities, so called because they have refused to hold people in prison due to their immigration status. Many sanctuary cities and college campuses nationwide have refused to honor this order.
California leaders have been outspoken about their disapproval. Governor Jerry Brown said despite federal law being able to overrule state law, California will use whatever protective measures he can to protect immigrants. Many UCs and CSUs have also shown their support by making their campuses safe spaces.
Closer to home, students, staff, faculty and community members within the Contra Costa Community College District signed a petition last December to make the local community colleges sanctuary campuses for immigrant students. The support for the petition has been plentiful, and we couldn’t be prouder of the people who helped make it happen. Los Medanos College community members have been particularly spirited, holding anti-Trump administration rallies and DACA forums to educate people on what to do if and when Trump’s immigration order affects students and their loved ones.
Though we’ve taken steps in the right direction along with many other colleges nationwide, we’ve got a lot work to do. It is essential that we continue to both protest in large numbers and pressure our elected officials on local, state and federal levels to resist President Trump’s xenophobic and racist policies.
While Gov. Brown has been an outspoken leader so far, our federal officials have let us down. Offering empty platitudes, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has, like many Democratic senators other than Kirsten Gillibrand, offered precious little resistance to Trump’s cabinet appointments, rubber-stamping some of the most ghoulish choices in recent memory, a darkly impressive feat.
As Californians, Americans and most importantly human beings, we must show our politicians that these policies of hatred and violence are not to be compromised with. There shall be no middle ground. There’s a troubling notion that — because Democrats complained when Republicans obstructed President Obama — it would be hypocritical and, worse, rude to obstruct Pres. Trump.
This thinking shows that some Democratic officials see politics as a game, a system of gentleman’s rules that need to be followed. Pres. Trump has torn these norms up, and to continue to follow them guarantees misery and death.
Officials like Sen. Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi face virtually zero challenge from Republican opponents and therefore have no reason to oppose the Trump administration at every turn. If they don’t take seriously Pres. Trump’s promises to rapidly expand and further empower America’s racist institutions and policies, we the people should make it known to them that we will vote for primary opponents who will. Now is no time for politeness.