Friday, February 03, 2017

Why I hate how much I hate the anti-"terrorist" EO

The rollout of the US immigration ban, triggered by the Trump executive order of January 27, 2017, has been unbearably hamfisted, because of the deliberate incompetence of the White House (whose motto is clearly "Hope for the worst. Seriously, that's the whole motto").

The executive order is an offence against human dignity, and frankly even a charlatan like Donald Trump is better than this. But by insisting on the EO's immediate enforcement, without training, explanatory information, or even the release of the full text, the White House ensured that it would be applied callously, inconsistently, and individually. They deliberately tried to shift any blame onto individual border officials, and away from the EO, its architects, and its signatory. (Stay tuned for how this plays out in the courts: watch for scapegoating, of which there'll be plenty.)

Countries capable of providing security to those fleeing torment, tragedy or catastrophe ought to do so. It's shameful that the US is so nakedly curtailing its actions in this area.

By wiisaakodewinini
Individuals seeking a different life should be free to seek and build that different life wherever they like. (And human rights should extend to sexual and gender identity, race, faith, and all that. In general I blame the custodians of faith for the curtailment of such rights, wherever it occurs, but faith itself I'm mostly okay with protecting, even if your assorted gods are no more real than the Tooth Fairy.)

But North America (the Americas, really) is already stolen land.

The US and Canada are powerful modern nations capable of providing other nations and individual people with security, liberty, and individual opportunity, and their varying willingness over the years to act on this capability is an index of their fitness at any moment to hold a position of international leadership.

But both countries were built on, and are sustained by, violence, theft, and systemic cultural oppression against both the land and the land's Indigenous peoples.

Nick Estes and Melanie Yazzie at LAX (via CBC)
And so while I loathe both the January 27 executive order, a.k.a. the Trump Muslim Ban, and its enforcement, we need to remember the illegitimacy of the entire governmental structure that produced it--or that could have chosen not to imagine and then enforce such an order.

Either way, the US and Canadian governments continue to fail to address the originary violence that enabled and enables their existence.

Resist the Muslim ban, absolutely.

But it's not the government's land in the first place.

Yes, you're right. This DOES mean they're even worse than you thought they were.