• October 28th, 2021
  • Thursday, 06:05:07 PM

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This is Not Normal


At a speech last week in Youngstown, OH, President Donald Trump offered a disturbing and apocalyptic vision of immigrants in América, saying that they “prey on innocent young people” and describing how: “[these] animals … don’t want to use guns because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others, and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long. Well, they’re not being protected any longer, folks. That is why the administration is launching a nationwide crackdown on sanctuary cities. American cities should be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans, for people that look up to the law, for people that respect the law, not the criminals and gang members that we want the hell out of our country.”

We cannot let ourselves be desensitized to what we are witnessing, and what it means for the country, values, and communities we hold dear. Millions of people, and a defining feature of who we are, are at risk.

This is not normal. In fact, it is way beyond not normal. The President of the United States of América, a country long-defined by its ability to attract and benefit from people arriving from all four corners of the globe, is dehumanizing and demonizing immigrants as the dangerous ‘other.’ Instead of ‘out of many, one,’ President Trump is seeking to convince this pluralistic nation that it’s ‘us vs them,’ all in order to justify an unprecedented crackdown that is targeting mothers and fathers who are working towards a better life for their families.

The Trump Administration has brought Willie Horton-style politics to the presidency and to advance a policy agenda that was, until recently, restricted to the wish lists of white nationalists.

It is especially troubling that Trump’s fellow Republicans no longer speak up. Their silence equals complicity. Instead of standing up to Trump’s dark vision and condemning them in no uncertain terms, Republicans in Congress have become passive cowards. Witness the GOP-controlled House plan to sneak $1.6 billion in funding for Trump’s idiotic border wall into a ‘minibus’ spending package to avoid a full floor vote that likely wouldn’t pass.

We cannot let ourselves be desensitized to what we are witnessing, and what it means for the country, values, and communities we hold dear. Millions of people, and a defining feature of who we are, are at risk.

Frank Sharry is the Executive Director of América’s Voice Education Fund.