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Trump’s first year in office: polarizing and problematic

Olivia Sessums

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As the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration nears, it’s timely to reflect on his first year in office. Here are a few significant events of his tenure occupying the White House.

Only a week after taking his seat in the Oval Office, Trump signed Executive Order 13769, more commonly known as the travel ban. After its approval, implementation of the travel ban immediately went into effect.

The ban suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, banned Syrians from entering the country indefinitely, and suspended the visas of arrivals from several predominantly Muslim countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. It also limited the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States from 110,000, set by former President Obama, to 50,000. Religious minorities in these countries, mainly Christians in Syria, will receive priority.

Wilson is known for its diversity and many of the students are Middle-Eastern. It’s sad to see diversity all over the United States being put on hold, because these people coming in are advanced in many ways that Americans are not. It’s even sadder to see such petty fear divide us. Innovations, culture, and tradition all over the world come from people of color and people of different heritages and we should honor that, not stamp it out.

The travel ban promoted Islamophobia in our already hate-ridden country. The passing of the travel ban was a win for misguided, bigoted people across the United States. However, the response was not all positive. People gathered at airports across the country to protest the travel ban. They welcomed incoming refugees with open arms.

In August of this year, protests in Charlottesville, North Carolina resulted in the deaths of three innocent protesters. Two opposing groups of protesters had gathered. One, a neo-nazi, white supremacist filled group that held  “Trump/Pence” signs and protested the removal of Confederate statues. The second group was a counter-protest group in support of the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue that stood in the newly named Lee Park. The violence that resulted took a toll on the country, and Trump certainly didn’t help when, he commented that the “very fine people” protesting the removal of the statue and attacked counter protestors for not having a permit. What the president failed to realize was that, when someone is murdered, a permit becomes significantly less important. His statement told white supremacists that their actions do not have repercussions.

Perhaps instead of trying to act as a neutral party (and in the process, appearing to favor the white supremacists), he should condemn the actions of the neo-nazi hate group. But don’t worry. Trump sent his condolences to the families of the injured and deceased via Twitter, saying, “Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad!”

Donald Trump’s reckless behavior should not be tolerated. It is our duty, not only as friends and neighbors, but as humans to put an end to this mistreatment and disrespect.

 

PHOTO BY WILL HAMLIN

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Trump’s first year in office: polarizing and problematic