No to Trump’s Racist Ban & Wars!
Speech by Steph Taylor on 2/18/17 at the March in Solidarity with Immigrants and Refugees
Hello everyone! My name is Stephanie Taylor and I’m with the Anti-War Committee here in the Twin Cities. We called this rally and march today with MIRAC in solidarity with immigrants, refugees, and muslims here, and across the country, in light of Trump’s racist attacks on our communities. We know that Trump’s Executive Orders aren’t the first attacks on our communities and know they won’t be the last, but we’re here today to fight back against them now.
We in the Anti-War Committee know that U.S. foreign policy abroad – its wars and drone strikes and CIA operations overseas – are intimately connected to U.S. immigration policy at home. As we know, the 7 countries targeted by Trump’s immigration ban are countries where there are large Muslim populations, representing an attempt to ban Muslims from immigrating to the U.S. altogether. Importantly, however, it is no coincidence that all 7 countries have also been the target of U.S. wars and military intervention.
Most obviously, the Iraqi people have been subjected to repeated U.S. military intervention and occupation and, now, after having their homes, neighborhoods, and cities destroyed by U.S. bombs and armaments and being made into migrants, they are being told that they cannot migrate to the U.S.
In both Libya and Somalia the U.S. military, in collusion with other Western powers, created chaos, destabilized governments, and led to massive displaced populations under the guise of alleged “humanitarian intervention,” and now those who suffered from this intervention are facing further abuse by the U.S.
In Yemen the U.S. continues to displace communities through its consistent use of drone warfare – reigning terror from the skies. Syria, Sudan, and Iran have all been the targets of C.I.A. operations to funnel weapons and funds to U.S.-backed insurgents and the targets of outright coups by the C.I.A. in the successful case of Iran in 1953 and unsuccessful case of Iraq in 1996.
The Anti War Committee has a long history of standing up against war and occupation under many administrations. We don’t believe the US goes into countries benevolently to try to resolve conflict and promote peace. We understand that the US is an imperial state, which seeks to monopolize on war, promote an abstract enemy and play into a hyper-nationalistic and false US vs THEM dichotomy. Now, the Pentagon under Trump’s leadership, is considering putting troops on the ground in northern Syria. With this understanding and resolve that the U.S. does not spread peace with their weapons, we demand NO U.S. intervention in Syria!
To target and blame the victims of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is racist and wrong! We demand U.S. OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST NOW!
Additionally, we know that what Trump is doing, while different in character, is not coming out of nowhere. We have seen similar actions taken against targeted communities within other administrations. Today, the Somali Muslim community in Minneapolis is the target of FBI surveillance and entrapment. The “Countering Violent Extremism” program in effect criminalizes these communities and puts them under the microscope of the Federal Government. With a commander in chief that tries to paint all Muslims (and all Latino immigrants) with a broad brush as all the same, increased surveillance of already demonized communities is a truly troubling thing. The assumption that all immigrants from particular countries think the same thing and are potentially subversive has terrible outcomes – in U.S. history we’ve seen this line of thinking produce internment camps for Japanese-Americans and immigration laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned immigration from China until it was overturned in the 1940s. Islamophobia and xenophobia need to be combatted and fought against, not inscribed into our country’s laws.
Trump believes that increased surveillance and policing of Muslim and immigrant communities somehow makes white people safer. He says the way to “Make America Great Again” is to deport the “bad hombres” from Latin America and prevent Muslims from the Middle East from immigrating at all. We know that what Trump means when he says “Make America Great Again” is actually “Make America White.” Unfortunately for all of us, the white people who believe this crap are deluding themselves. Not only do Trump’s policies impact immigrants and muslim communities in the U.S., they actually impact us all. Fear mongering allows the Trump administration to take away civil liberties from everyone. Just like the fear of terrorism after 9/11 led to the rapid passage of the Patriot Act, curtailing our civil liberties and giving new expansive powers to the Federal Government. If Trump and his cronies have their way, we can expect similar policies coming out of the fear mongering we’re seeing against Muslim and Latino immigrants now. An injury to one is an injury to all, and we need to stand alongside our immigrant brothers and sisters to oppose the Trump agenda now, to oppose racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia in politics and in our communities, and to fight for a better world.
Trump Says “Go Back” But We Say “Fight Back”!!