Monday, January 30, 2017

We Stand with Immigrants and Refugees.

I can't be silent on this issue. I'm a political person. Trump's recent refugee ban and the ban of immigrants from 7 majority Muslim countries (for 90 days) are not only xenophobic and racist. It's disgraceful. Those nations included in the ban are Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This totals more than 134 million people. There is already a strong vetting proves for any refugee and immigrant who desires to come into America from those nations. The January 27, 2017 executive order (entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals”) bans refugees from coming into America for 120 days and bans refugees from the Syrian territory indefinitely. To punish innocent human beings from overseas is wrong. His ban doesn't cover Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and other nations, since those nations have business ties explicitly to U.S. corporations, which shows Trump’s hypocrisy. Courageous protests have occurred nationwide in airports in Chicago, New York City, Northern Virginia, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Charlotte, Boston, and throughout the country. Protesters were found in Portland, Detroit, Bloomington, St. Louis, Wichita, Rochester, Pittsburgh, etc. Trump has expressed preference to Christian refugees coming into America, but that policy is a religious test (as Trump has a preference to allow Christian refugees to come into America not Muslim refugees from the banned countries), which is illegal. The 1965 Naturalization Act forbids discrimination on immigration status based on national origin. It is illegal under international law (from the Geneva Convention) as it relates to refugees too. Both Christian and Muslim people are victims of terrorism in the world not just Christians. This anti-immigrant ban solves nothing and it violates civil liberties and promotes discrimination against Muslims. There are many stories of many people having trouble going into America. There is a 60 year old person with a visa. She had a signed letter from a surgeon to immigration officials telling them that Algonaimi needed to take care of her sick 76 year old mother. U.S. Customs officials didn’t view this as enough. Samira Asgari, an Iranian scientist coming to Harvard Medical School to work on a cure for tuberculosis. She said in a tweet: "I was pretty excited to join @soumya_boston's lab but denied boarding due to my Iranian nationality. Feeling safer?" The Taxi Workers Alliance called a one-hour boycott of JFK airport pickups in expressing opposition to the executive order. It is anti-freedom of religion. Trump is an overt authoritarian and a fascist and I don't use the term fascist lightly. To ban innocent Muslims from certain nations from coming into America is evil. I am not a Muslim, but we have to stand with our Muslim Brothers and Sisters from those nations who have an immigrant ban. There should be no religious test in America or anywhere for that matter. Trump has suspended Syrian refugees from coming into America when they are the victims of ISIS. So, Trump has shown his hand as being antithetical to freedom and hostile to equality. Now, Google has turned back many people who are from certain nations. This male Trump should be impeached in my opinion. I'm an American and I oppose Trump's agenda 100 percent. Many refugees have been detained in America without dub process of law.

Lawyers have worked hard to allow some refugees to stay in America. On Saturday, after as many as 200 inbound foreigners with once-valid U.S. visas were detained at U.S. ports of entry on account of the ban, which was enacted while they were on route to America. The ACLU and other organizations filed for a class certification and argued against the ban in front of Judge Ann M. Donnelly of Federal District Court in Brooklyn.  Two Iraqi citizens — both refugees who had been granted admission to the U.S. and were already on route to the U.S. when Trump’s ban went into immediate effect — were detained at John F. Kennedy airport in New York early Saturday morning. One of the Iraqi men, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, had worked for the U.S. Army as an interpreter following the 2003 invasion, and had been targeted by militants as a result. Lawyers for the two men quickly filed a writ of habeas corpus demanding their release, and along with several organizations including the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center, also filed a motion seeking class certification for all refugees and immigrants who had been suddenly detained at ports of entry on account of Trump’s order.   Hameed Khalid Darweesh is now free to walk around in America. A recent federal Brooklyn court decision allowed refugees with valid visas in America to stay in America for now. The federal judge prevented those detained from being sent back to the seven banned nations in the Middle East. The executive order still stands other than the court order. The executive order is disgraceful. Today, many innocent Iranians can’t come to America. Iran has banned Americans from traveling into America too. Now, Steve Bannon is now on the National Security Council and Bannon is a blatant alt right white nationalist. This is an alarming violation of civil liberties (green card holders have been once included in the ban too, which is blatantly wrong).  This policy impacts all Americans too as an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It is illegal in violating the 1965 Naturalization Act since it discriminates against people on the basis of national origin and it is a violation of a religious test too. The executive order is plain morally wrong. Many people nationwide and worldwide are standing up for freedom and opposing that evil, fascist executive order too.
#Not my President.

One major part of the Presidency of Donald Trump is his early signing of numerous executive orders quickly. On January 23, 2017, Trump signed three executive orders. The first one withdraws the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (as part of economic nationalist reasons). The second one reinstated the Mexico City Policy dealing with NGOs and abortion access. The third one freezes federal workforce hiring. This is wrong and harms employment opportunities for millions of Americans. Trump wants to massively end regulations with his meetings with many large corporations. Trump has spoken about the lie that millions of people illegally voted against him. One the next day, he signed 2 executive orders to reverse the Obama administration's halt on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, the latter of which has been the subject of tense protests by the Standing Rock tribe.  It is a known fact that such pipeline risk environmental harm, damage water supplies, and many oil pipelines have exploded. Trump has signed another executive order in January 25 to begin the construction of a wall on the Mexico-United States border which is extremist and impossible because of geographic reasons. He increased border patrol and immigration officers. He has cruelly reduced grant funding to sanctuary cities and changed deportation standards. Like usual, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees with a border wall in the southern U.S. border, because the far right in America is allied with the far right in Israel. It is what it is. Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced on January 26, 2017 that the border wall might be funded by a 20% tax on imports from Mexico, which may cause a trade war between America and Mexico. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled a proposed meeting with Trump due to the controversy of whether Mexico would pay for the wall and after Trump suggested that Peña Nieto cancel the meeting. In the first week of the Trump administration alone, we have seen a pro-war and a pro-social reactionary agenda. Trump has one of the most reactionary administrations in American history. The new secretary of defense is retired general James Mattis. Rex Tillerson desires to bar Chinese access to islets in the South China Sea. Trump wants more “safe zones” in Syria. Trump wants to steal Iraqi oil in order to fund America, which is against international law. Trump agrees with using waterboarding which is torture. A draft memorandum is circulating in the White House that would reopen secret CIA prisons and torture centers overseas. This existed in just the first week of the Trump administration. The age of Trump existed as a product of war, a parasitic financial oligarchy, the growth of social inequality, and the total exposure of the fallibility of the capitalist system. Donald Trump is not a populist. He is a capitalist who had promoted failing casinos, corrupt universities, and failed businesses, which is a symbol of the state of American capitalism. Solidarity and alliance among many progressive people can defeat the agenda of Trump. Yet, we have to fight. We have to resist. We will use our voices.

Involving the Maafa and slavery, it must always be reiterated that black people have shown great determination to refuse to be dehumanized and to fight for their human liberation. Back during the 1600’s and 1700’s, slavery was spread in North America from Providence to New Orleans. The majority of slaves who came into North American area of the USA existed in the Chesapeake region (in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland) and the Low Country (which is found in South Carolina and Georgia). By the mid 1750’s, the majority of slaves in the Chesapeake region were never born in Africa. In the Low Country region, many slaves were imported directly from Africa (especially from central Africa like from Angola). New African American cultures were a merging of customs from many African tribes. Many people don’t know the extent of the brutality of what black slaves had to experience. Many slaves were stripped naked and branded with hot iron. Many black people in slave ships have never seen a white man in their lives except by being kidnapped by whites. Many enslaved Africans believed that white men were in league with the devil or the manifestation of the devil because of the brutality that Africans experienced. Slaves in America developed friendships, formed cultures, and enacted bonds of resistance against evil. In essence, my ancestors were not immigrants, but they were involuntarily kidnapped unjustly from Africa and sent into the Americas. Slaves also were leaders in the anti-slavery movement. There were Quakers and Memmonites from 1688 who opposed slavery. The history of African Americans not only involves slavery. It involved the dedicated power of African Americans to make institutions, to fight injustice, and to make ways of activism, so positive change can develop prodigiously in the world.

For decades, basketball has been a part of world culture. It has promoted teamwork, camaraderie, friendship, and honor. It is a total team sport, which requires not only fundamental skills, but endurance, practice, and hard work. Millions of people in America and a lot of people worldwide either see it, participate in it, or know about its components. The game is fun and it is easy to understand too. 2 teams of five players compete against each other. The objective is to shoot a ball through a hoop, which is mounted on a backboard on each side of the court. It was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. It has been around for over 125 years, so beyond the 125 year anniversary of basketball, we certainly honor its history and its cultural impact internationally. People of every age, background, and sex have played this sport. People of a diversity of physical abilities and nationalities have played and enjoyed basketball too. We know about Lisa Leslie slam dunking a basketball in the WNBA years ago. We know about Michael Jordan doing athletic moves and dunks in the basketball court. We know about Maya Moore inspiring her team and LeBron James making a championship a reality for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Therefore, basketball is here to stay. Also, it is important to note the following. Just because we love basketball, doesn’t mean that we want to minimize STEM fields or other important aspects of human civilization. STEM fields, history, philosophy, political matters, art, medicine, etc. are additional fields that we inspire anyone to pursue. Basketball for generations has been involved in social movements for positive change, has brought people together, and has been a key part of great human expression indeed.

By Timothy

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