Bad People Are Very Happy

As Donald Trump’s travel ban is being continually challenged, the Orange One had to fire off a Tweet to “The judge”: “The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!”

This shows just how bad this country has become. Not only has the president imposed a travel ban, but he chooses to turn everything into a Twitter campaign. And look at the logic he is employing here, too. First, he pins everything on this judge, not addressing whether or not the judge’s decision had any legal merit (Twitter probably doesn’t allow enough characters for that). Why make it personal against the judge? It is kind of a judge’s job to obey the law, not to obey the president if it possibly violates the constitution. And, again, if Trump finds this sweeping ban constitutional, he sure hasn’t made a compelling case for it yet. I mean, claiming that “Bad people are very happy” doesn’t sound like a solid legal argument. Hell, it doesn’t even sound like an adult sentence. It’s very comic book in character, phrasing everything in “good guys” and “bad guys” terms.

Then there’s Trump’s claim that the decision “opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart.” That’s vague and childlike logic. When Timothy McVeigh’s bomb killed 168 people, was travel for native-born white people banned throughout the US because of it? Nope. He was considered a bad guy, but nothing of the sort was proposed. That’s just for the wicked outsiders — the people out there who wish to do us harm! If they’re born here and have whiter skin, who cares if they can travel around? They might be dangerous, but they’re not a special blend of dangerous and creepily foreign-born.

Still, not all terrorists are Muslim, and plenty of them are white and conservative leaning. For example, there’s the case of Glendon Crawford and Eric Feight, who planned to “build a radiation device that would kill Muslims, as well as government officials in Albany, New York, and Washington, D.C.” How come Trump and his crew never talk about that?

There are plenty of other cases, too. For example, there’s Richard Poplawski, the Pittsburgh hothead who feared a supposed “Obama gun ban” so much that he did everything in his power to justify one. After his own mother made a 911 call on him, Poplawski opened fire on officers called to the scene.  Being a patriotic American, Poplawski had armed himself to the teeth, then shot and killed 3 people in a SWAT team unit who arrived to address his stupid ass. Still, his skin was too white to be a threat to America at large.  No travel ban instituted after he did his thing.

Similarly, there is Jerad Miller and his wife Amanda. They walked into a Las Vegas pizza chain. Without much further ado, Jerad shot a cop — who was refilling his drink — in the back of the head. Another cop was killed by Amanda, who, for good measure, had put a Swastika on the resulting corpse (possibly meaning that the cops were the Nazis). They managed to kill another person when they fled to a WalMart, before dying themselves. These two weren’t necessarily right-wing, but they were white-skinned and non-Islamic.

Then there was Dennis Marx, who armed himself to the teeth and tried to overthrow a Georgia courthouse. He didn’t get very far, and wouldn’t have even if he did (that sounds contradictory, I know, but we live in contradictory times).

And, if we’re looking for overseas examples, there was the terrorism of Anders Behring Breivik, a guy who could hardly look whiter. He killed 77 people in a shooting and bombing rampage. Again, whiter than hell.  No travel ban inspired by this international example.

So, we’ll hear plenty about Muslims and non-white shooters like Micah Xavier Johnson. And we’ll hear that the Black Lives Matter movement is supposedly masterminding anti-police violence (possibly in conjunction with Obama himself, if you ask some). We’ll also  hear that unarmed black men deserve to be shot up or choked by police (on that note: Does anyone else remember Amadou Diallo betting shot at about 47 times?).

But what about these other kinds of cop killers and extremists? Again, where are the calls for a travel ban for them? Why aren’t we debating a “Stop & Frisk” policy on white people and native born Americans? The short answer? By and large, “mainstream” white America is dumber than shit and hypocritical.  In fact, this country in general is brimming with stupidity. If we still can’t get past the issue of different skin pigmentation, you know we’re in trouble.

And I want to emphasize this: I’m not actually arguing that white people should face restricted travel within the United States. For one thing, I am a white person   I’m simply arguing that there’s no single type of violence to be worried about here. “We” — whoever we happen to be — shouldn’t fear one group’s violence (or potential violence) more than “our own,” just because that group looks or thinks a little differently from “us.”
There really is just as much reason to restrict white, native born, Christian American travel as there is to restrict other types.  White people can be very dangerous.  In fact, they often are.

Meanwhile, as noted: “None of the deadly attackers since 9/11 emigrated or came from a family that emigrated from one of [Trump’s travel ban] countries” —  Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia — “nor were any of the 9/11 attackers from the listed countries. Seven of the lethal attackers were born American citizens.”  Crucially, it should be remembered that most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia — which is not on Trump’s travel ban list, and which has been a strong US ally for years despite being a radical Islamic theocracy.

Also, it should be simply noted that Islam has over a billion followers. If all of those people really wanted to kill all Americans, I probably wouldn’t be typing this right now. I would probably be dead. In fact, everyone I know would probably be dead. One billion is a lot of people, and America has significantly less than that. So, clearly, because some Americans are still living and breathing, we can assume that not all Muslims are terrorists.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Ultimately, what we are debating here is “person-hood status.” If Donald Trump thinks you’re a little too different, you’re less of a person, and your diminished personhood matters more than the law. Not everyone agrees with that, which may be why US District Judge Ann Donnelly wrote in her decision: “The petitioners have a strong likelihood of success in establishing that the removal of the petitioner and other similarly situated [people] violates their due process and equal protection guaranteed by the United States Constitution.”

It’s also not just that judge, despite what Trump might hand us. When the State Department said, “We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas,” it meant they were complying with something, and probably not just saying, “Donald Trump, eeew!” (although that’s what any sensible person is thinking).  So, what might that something be? Oh, yes! The law!

Don’t get me wrong here.  There are indeed reasons to question laws, governments, etc., but is this one of those big moments? Do we really want to challenge the tyranny of a government easing travel restrictions imposed by the President? This is a case where part of the government is actually right, while another part of it is actually wrong.  Now, maybe this travel ban reversal won’t hold up. Still, it is based on a recognizable legal argument, whereas Trump’s sole claim is that people who oppose him “make bad people very happy.”

It all makes me wonder what Trump could do to make everyone agree with him. Maybe if we just followed our hearts, we’d just agree to let white, non-Muslim people do whatever they want — while non-whites are to be restricted at every turn. Then, if a white, non-Muslim person commits an act of terrorism (or ices a few pigs), we can call it “our” kind of violence, then clean up the mess, and report about some lone wolf who strayed from the pack. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?  Only then will the bad people be very unhappy.


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