Today is a scary day if you’re not white, not American, or basically, not Donald Trump. The executive order passed this morning to detain and refuse entry for refugees into America was a horrendous thing to read, and it’s something I feel quite helpless to change, especially being over here in the UK. From reading about Trump’s ‘lucky dip’ decision to allow citizens/refugees from countries with which he has trade deals, but not from anywhere else, to hearing horror stories of Syrian refugees landing in the USA and not being allowed entry: it’s been a disastrous day.
I wouldn’t say I was naive enough to think Trump wouldn’t pass these orders: although I’m an optimist most of the time, I think we can all agree that the next four years, unless something amazing happens and he’s impeached, are going to be difficult. I say this with empathy, rather than for my own personal survival journey: being white and British, I’m used to having privilege which, sadly, a huge majority of people do not.
Apparently Trump’s refusal of widespread entry is based on the likelihood of American citizens coming to harm as a result of refugee actions. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, and if things are hugely different in the USA and the majority of American media has been lying to us, but I think we’re forgetting something here: Refugees aren’t leaving Syria/the surrounding areas for fun. They’re not going on a two week holiday, suncream in hand and towel stashed in hand luggage. These people are quite literally running for their lives. Think about it: these people had careers, families, homes, educations they wanted to complete. If you’re having to flee your country, after years of living in a war torn society, you’re not going to be on the hunt to commit crimes in a place which is, relatively, safe.
It’s difficult to believe that so many people in America are so full of hate. Although Trump didn’t get a majority vote, there are still a ridiculously huge number of people who voted to enforce his policies. And they’ve succeeded. I’m wondering how these people are feeling now. Are they glad? Surely, there must be at least a few of those people who voted Trump who are regretful now: who didn’t really believe he would push forward policies like stopping virtually anyone who doesn’t fit the Aryan race getting into the USA?
Racism isn’t something I understand, and it’s not something I wish to either. Scrolling through Twitter earlier today left me speechless – seeing people, real people, and not trolls, not fake accounts or eggs, but real, genuine people with lives and families and pets, saying they were glad that Trump is stopping immigration. Full stop. No elaboration; except to clarify that, yes, they were pleased about this notion because it meant their daughters would not be raped by refugees. I wish I was joking here. I don’t understand how people can be so narrow minded, so hurtful, so ignorant, and so…wrong. I’m all for allowing everyone an opinion, but when that opinion has a hugely detrimental effect on thousands, if not millions, of lives, it can’t be right. And it shouldn’t be allowed.
Now let’s take into consideration some statistics. Trump, being president, and seemingly ignoring any pre existing legal precedents (for example, banning an entire race is, quite obviously, unconstitutional and very much illegal) could have, probably, made any change he liked this morning. He wants to Make America Great Again? Let’s see where Americans are going wrong already:
There’s a one in 3.6 billion chance that an American citizen will be killed by a refugee. From all the occasions when this has happened (and 98.6 per cent of these came from one occasion: 9/11) this, one in 3.6 billion, is the total chance you’ve got. In contrast? 6000 US residents die every year from texting while driving. Is Trump cracking down on laws to enforce those who use a phone whilst driving? No.
Around 600 people a year die from ‘autoerotic asphyxiation’ which, simply, is dying through trying to choke yourself to get off. I’m not one for kink shaming, but c’mon, Trump, priorities here?
He could have tightened laws on the heights of beds allowed: 450 people annually die in the USA from falling out of bed.
I love dogs, but 45 people die every year from being mauled by a dog. Hear that, Trump?
This is one I like to compare to flying, to reassure my friends, but: 13 people a year die from a vending machine related accident. You’re more likely to die from trying to buy a Kitkat and the machine toppling over on top of you, which we all know is a very rare thing to happen, and probably not something that we’ve ever witnessed or even heard of before in our lives, than you are to be killed by a refugee. Are we starting to see just how inanely ridiculous this measure was?
12 people a year die from playing football, 24 people die from popping champagne corks too enthusiastically, and nine from ‘blunt force’ used by cows. But are we campaigning against non contact sport, alcoholic beverages or farms? No, we are not. If Trump really, honestly wanted to ‘make America great again’, he should focus on real statistics, rather than stopping innocent people from trying to start a better life.