When the government makes a list

While recently recovering from either the flu or an awful cold, I was searching Netflix and Amazon Video for a movie to watch.  I stumbled upon the 2015 movie Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston, turns out this is a fabulous movie and one that definitely should be watched in light of what is going on in our government today.

The storyline follows the life of Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Screenwriter and a member of the Communist Party of the United States.  The movie takes place during the tumultuous period of the 1950’s when we were so afraid of the Red Menace here in America we changed E Pluribus Unum to In God We Trust on the currency of the United States and add the words, “Under God” to the pledge of allegiance.

But it was also a time when the Congress of the United States, specifically the House Committee on Un-American Activities took it upon itself the power to destroy lives of Americans and to make lists of people they believed were un-American.  The making of the list was taking place only a few short years after another Congress decided that Japanese Americans could not be trusted, so they were rounded up and put in Concentration Camps, I know we are not supposed to call them that, but that is what they were.  Rather than fight the Red Menace we frightened America into thinking that her citizens, especially actors, writers, and directors were all part of the problem.  That’s how it begins, you find a group, and usually a minority group, and you make things up or exaggerate things about them, and make other folks afraid of them.

On Friday, January 27, 2017 (Holocaust Remembrance Day) President Donald Trump signed an executive barring access to the United States of human beings, I know we are supposed to call them refugees but that just takes the humanity out of the equation, barring human beings from seven predominately Muslim nations entry to the United States.  Many of these human beings have been vetted for more than two years.  Have paid significant amounts of money, and some of them were on airplanes in the air, heading the safety in America only to find out that they would be sent back.  If that is not bad enough permanent residents of the United States and humans with valid visas, who happened to be outside of the United States when the order was signed, were also denied access.  Many of these humans have jobs and family here and have been cut off.

Apparently, there are scores of people from these seven countries roaming the United States plotting all sorts of heinous actions against us that it was important that we cut off everyone from coming.  Coming from places like Syria and Iraq where a military operation of the United States under the last two Administrations caused the destabilization of the governments in the first place.

In the days following the signing of this heinous executive order, spokespeople from the regime have said, on numerous occasions, that the media that criticizes the President should just “shut up.”  The President himself said in an interview with a Christian broadcast network that he believes the media is the opposition party, well yes they are. Otherwise, they would be called propaganda.  Other spokespeople have said that Republican members of Congress need to get in line and support the President all the while, very quietly, generals and the Director of Intelligence were removed from the National Security Council to be replaced by Steve Bannon, senior counselor to the President and known white supremacist.

Now I was not alive in the 1950’s so I am not how successful the Hollywood Blacklist was in defeating the Red Menace but countless numbers, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, have commented that this executive order will do anything but keep us safe it will only turn up the heat of our enemies and maybe that is the plan.  But placing the lives of tens of thousands of people we promised to help in jeopardy is not what made or will make America great.  America is a country of immigrants, in fact, the President’s parents were both immigrants, and his mother was an illegal!

Friday, January 27, 2017, was a sad day for America.  It created yet another list that we will be putting people on and on a day when we were supposed to pause and remember what happened the last time minorities were scapegoated we scapegoated another group of minorities.

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