March 6, 2017 (San Diego) There are two events that should send chills down the backs of most Americans. The first seems a straight turn to what police states do with critics. Gold Star father and a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, Khizr Khan, announced that he is no longer traveling to Toronto, Canada. Why? The post was cryptic since Khan is a naturalized United States Citizen for over 30 years. Ramsay Talks posted on Facebook:
KHIZR KHAN EVENT CANCELLATION
Late Sunday evening Khizr Khan, an American citizen for over 30 years, was notified that his travel privileges are being reviewed. As a consequence, Mr. Khan will not be traveling to Toronto on March 7th to speak about tolerance, understanding, unity and the rule of law. Very regretfully, Ramsay Talks must cancel its luncheon with Mr. Khan. Guests will be given full refunds.
Mr. Khan offered his sincere apologies to all those who made plans to attend on March 7th. He said: “This turn of events is not just of deep concern to me but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad. I have not been given any reason as to why. I am grateful for your support and look forward to visiting Toronto in the near future.
As a United States citizen, the only way a travel permit can be canceled, meaning your passport, is in the context of a criminal investigation. In none of the reporting we have seen, are there any hints that Khan is a target of such.
Khan has been a critic of the president since the Democratic Party convention, where he famously offered his copy of the Constitution to then candidate Trump. He also asked if there would be a place for him in Trump’s America.
Then there is this second story offered by the Washington Post. This is straight from their reporting:
But when she applied for a city tuition assistance grant that would have helped her pay for classes at Montgomery College, the 19-year-old was turned away because her mother is not a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident. She says she cannot afford tuition at the community college without the financial help, and she is now arguing that the program’s rules have violated her civil rights.
“The issues are clear and alarming,” said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation at MALDEF. “You have a U.S. citizen student who just wants the same chance that everyone else has. Legally, when we start chipping away at what it means to be a United States citizen, we undermine the core principles of our nation.”
Remember, she is a US Citizen, a natural born citizen, not even naturalized. So the school is saying no because your mother is not a US Citizen. That is not the way those grants are usually done. Legal status only applies to the person applying for the financial aid.
It is a redefinition of what is to be a United States Citizen? This should raise alarms. Racism has been going up over the last year. We have had terrorist threats (even if the government is not willing to call them that way) against Jewish Community Centers, including the Lawrence Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.
Mosques have been burned. One is too many, but we have had many incidents across the nation. The American Civil Liberties Union has been logging them. An Indian immigrant, engineer, for Garmin was shot dead in Kansas, by a white American telling him to go back to his country. A second man was shot and injured.
And a Sikh man was shot outside his home in Seattle, Washington. This one is being investigated as a hate crime.
The administration is also planning to publish a list of crimes committed by immigrants. This “Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement” office (Voice) was announced during the speech to Congress, and this office parallels policies followed during Nazi Germany. However, it was also part of an Executive Order we covered last month.
The picture that is emerging is very troubling and marks the turn towards a totalitarian state. Timothy Snyder wrote this on Time yesterday.
It is in this light that we should consider President Donald Trump and his closest advisors and spokespeople. Although they occupy the positions they do thanks to an election, there is little reason to believe that they support the American constitutional system as it stands, and much to remind us of authoritarian regimes changes of the recent past. A basic weapon of regime changers, as fascists realized nearly a century ago, is to destroy the concept of truth. Democracy requires the rule of law, the rule of law depends upon trust, and trust depends upon citizens’ acceptance of factuality. The president and his aides actively seek to destroy Americans’ sense of reality. Not only does the White House spread “alternative facts,” but Kellyanne Conway openly proclaims this as right and good. Post-factuality is pre-fascism.
There is an awareness, at least among some in the Republican Party, that this is where we are going. This is part of the statement posted by Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska:
Sasse Statement on Wiretapping
March 4, 2017
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary and Armed Services Committees, issued the following statement after President Trump accused former President Obama of wiretapping his phones in 2016 and Obama’s spokesman said that was false.
“The President today made some very serious allegations, and the informed citizens that a republic requires deserve more information. If there were wiretaps of then-candidate Trump’s organization or campaign, then it was either with FISA Court authorization or without such authorization. If without, the President should explain what sort of wiretap it was and how he knows this. It is possible that he was illegally tapped. On the other hand, if it was with a legal FISA Court order, then an application for surveillance exists that the Court found credible. The President should ask that this full application regarding surveillance of foreign operatives or operations be made available, ideally to the full public, and at a bare minimum to the U.S. Senate.
“We are in the midst of a civilization-warping crisis of public trust, and the President’s allegations today demand the thorough and dispassionate attention of serious patriots. A quest for the full truth, rather than knee-jerk partisanship, must be our guide if we are going to rebuild civic trust and health.”
We agree with the Senator. These are troublesome times, and we are seeing things that have crossed many lines. We expect Congress to finally do their job, as mandated by the Constitution, and keep faith to their oaths, and not their respective parties. They need to stand up to the White House and not allow any more lies.