With the current political focus on immigration, whiteness has become a hot topic in the media. As I’m sure we’ve all heard, President Trump has filed an executive order than bans immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. While Trump and his right-wing supporters may view this ‘travel ban’ as a necessity to our country’s safety, many others view this order as a way to facilitate racism. By placing strictly Muslim countries on the list of banned countries, Trump has suggested that it is okay to discriminate other countries based on their religion or race.
As we have seen through previous readings in class, America has experienced mass discrimination before; it never ends well. Whether we consider the Native Americans when America was first discovered or blacks during slavery and the civil rights, all of our previous encounters racism end in turmoil and regret. Trump’s ban on immigrants and refugees won’t end any differently.
By barring immigrants from specific countries, President Trump is limiting the diversity we have present here. For me, that is a big problem. By having citizens of different backgrounds, we have the opportunity to challenge the stereotypes we typically associate with particular races, just as Toni Morrison did in her short story Recitatif. While we have certain violent prejudices that we associate with Muslims, how will we learn anything different if we are not allowed to interact? The only thing covered in the media is the violent terrorist attacks facilitated by Muslims, which are few and far between. Rather than working to promote American ideals, Trump’s ban begins to destroy them.
Not only does the travel ban hurt the diversity present in America but it is also an example of the extreme white superiority present in our government. If President Trump were any other race, I do not believe the ban would have passed. There would have been even more outrage then there is now about the racist foundation of the ban. White politicians never would have let it pass. But, because white politicians believe that the travel ban protects people of their race, and because it was facilitated by one of their own, they feel that it is acceptable. Unfortunately, many Americans disagree, causing more division than unity within our country.