Greetings. We just finished the third week of our new America. We now know that it's possible for the entire nation to live in a state of perpetual shock and outrage for at least three weeks without exploding.
Today is Saturday, February 11. Yesterday I woke up with one question in mind: What horrible thing is going to happen today? What horrible revelation or new Executive Order will come out of the White House today to horrify the nation and dominate the weekend's news?
Because that's been the pattern so far. Two Fridays ago, the Executive Order known colloquially as the Muslim Ban came out and we had a weekend of detentions, deportations, and families ripped apart. Last Friday a courageous judge in the state of Washington placed a restraining order on the ban, so we got a weekend of DJT maligning that judge, and, indeed, the entire judiciary, on twitter. So I knew that something was coming. Something had to.
And indeed it did. It came to the nation's attention yesterday that Trump's promised mass-scale deportations of undocumented immigrants have begun. As it turns out, the operation began the previous Monday, but it ramped up towards the end of the week. You can read about it here.
Yesterday when I turned on my car and NPR's Morning Edition poured from the speakers, I heard a report about an ICE detention that happened just two hours earlier less than half a mile from where me and my family live. A family of undocumented immigrants were stopped on the highway. Why? It wasn't reported. The driver, an adult male, was detained. ICE says he has a criminal record, but they won't provide details or evidence. He and his family fought back, and an ICE officer was taken to the ER with minor injuries. I'm positive there will be repercussion from that.
This shook me. I immediately texted my husband with what little I gleaned from the half of the news report that I heard. He looked online but couldn't immediately find any other news. By yesterday evening, however, there were reports coming from around the country.
That's exactly what I thought would happen. That's this administration's pattern: dump scary or ugly news Friday evening to whip the nation into a frenzy and encourage more protests in the nation's cities. That serves two functions: it puts on a big show of force, and it mobilizes the opposition, which will play into the federal government's hands whenever they decide to go ahead and criminalize protests and demonstrations.
Do I sound crazy? Paranoid? That's what living in Trump's America has done to me. But I'm also right. Trump's administration is working hard to divide us, and they're succeeding. There are many, many Americans who will not and do not understand why we are outraged over the start of coordinated, nationwide mass deportations of undocumented immigrants. After all, the laws being enforced predate the Trump administration, and THOSE PEOPLE ARE HERE ILLEGALLY, ANYWAY. This will be the third straight weekend of large nationwide protests, and this time we've gone from marching against a ban on refugees and LEGAL immigrants from specific Muslim countries to marching against deportations of immigrants who came here illegally.
The marches, demonstrations, and protests against Trump's unconstitutional Muslim ban, border wall, and mass deportations are wonderful and amazing and I'm so very, very proud of my fellow Americans. But that's not how everybody feels. And by associating these loud, disrupting events with so-called 'Criminal Aliens' and 'Illegals' will further inflame the passions of the Americans who wish we would all just shut up and adjust to our new way of life.
News flash: we will not and MUST NOT shut up and adjust to our new way of life.
Even if (when) things get worse. Even if (when) the new administration criminalizes protests. Even if (when) the new administration criminalizes aiding undocumented immigrants.
We must resist. We must persist.
I ask myself at least twenty times every day if this is real. Is Trump really saying what he's saying? Does he mean what he tweets? Is Bannon really masterminding anarchy? Are they really turning our democracy into an authoritarian regime? Or do they just want us to think so, and to be paralyzed by fear? Because it's really one or the other, right? Surely they don't believe what they're doing is democratic.
I'm trying to train myself to stop asking those questions, and to stop getting trapped into the logical mazes they create. Because, in the end, it doesn't matter. In the end, it amounts to the same thing. The only reason to cripple us with fear tactics is so they can do whatever they want without challenge.
Whether Donald Trump calls himself President or Fuhrer, and whether Bannon ever steps out of the shadows is irrelevant. They ARE what they ARE: evil, greedy, corrupt, racist, misogynist and hell-bent on a world of chaos.
Last weekend I was demoralized. This weekend I'm ANGRY. Time to #Resist!
The revolution will be tweeted! Follow me ----> @LiteraryGrrrl