On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a sweeping executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries that essentially serves as a ban on Muslim immigration. Naturally, the executive order has been called “un-American” by many with the best of intentions, but sadly this overlooks the reality that, historically, denying people fleeing war and inevitable death their human dignity and entrance into our country is as American as it gets.
An obvious example of this is the Holocaust, and its cruel immigration quotas that accorded Aryan whites from western Europe a far higher immigration quota than Jews and anyone from eastern Europe, but as Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a South African politician and chair of the Commission of the African Union, pointed out on Monday, there’s also an eerie, unsettling connection between the Muslim ban and the slave trade. It’s worth noting how three of the seven countries affected by the ban are part of the African Union.
“The very country to which many of our people were taken as slaves during the transatlantic slave trade has now decided to ban refugees from some of our countries,” Dlamini-Zuma stated at the African Union Commission’s summit earlier this week. She also labeled the executive action “one of the greatest challenges to our unity and solidarity.”
As Dlaimini-Zuma so eloquently put it, America had no problem snatching up and kidnapping people of color from their homes to exploit and dehumanize them back in the day, but today, would rather demonize innocent children and people fleeing for their lives as terrorists than accord them human dignity and refuge.
Sure, the Muslim ban is absolute bullshit that prioritizes politics over universal human rights, but we can’t call it un-American. The ban is frankly as American as it gets.