Sample Paper on Trump and Immigrant Family Unity

On Wednesday June 20, 2018, President Trump signed an executive order regarding parents and children caught crossing the border together. According to the executive order, children and their parents would naturally find housing in military camps, instead of the previously vehemently criticized move to separate families. The executive order was especially welcome given the criticism Trump’s original plan received for a previous plan, which he claimed was under existing law, to separate families. The executive order was plausible for is its consideration to hold families together, which was especially beneficial for the children. Keeping families together gives children a sense of protection, continuity, and a feeling of love given their presence in a foreign land.

Trumps order remains steadfast in his “zero tolerance” approach. While it backs down on family separation, it continues to refer those apprehended for criminal prosecution, even as it sends families to the care of the Department of Homeland Security. Essentially, the order does not do much in removing the criminal label from families and individuals crossing the border, even as it claims to be an administrative policy of maintaining family unity. Such claims are essentially thinly veiled gimmicks, which continue to perpetuate the Administration’s overt dislike for immigrants. With thousands of immigrant families and individuals crossing the border each day, it will only be a matter of time before Homeland Security is overrun by an influx of immigrants.

Trump’s order notes that it is government policy to “rigorously enforce” immigration laws, under which a “designated port of entry at an appropriate time” is the only legal means for an alien’s entry into the country. While this is lawful and utterly understandable, it is also necessary to consider circumstances under which some families cross borders into the country. Trump’s Zero tolerance policy that has led to the jailing undocumented immigrants recently is a far cry from the spirit of the recently signed executive order professing the need for family unity. By jailing undocumented immigrants, the actions go against the very claims of the policy, even as it sharply departs from Obama’s policy. The previous administration’s policy held that it was necessary to release immigrants accused of illegal entry into the country until such a time that they could be deported administratively. Obama’s policy facilitated family reunion within the enclaves of government surveillance, without instilling guilty/criminality feelings among families, especially on young children.

Doing what is right lawfully according does not mean losing our humanity or trading it for political correctness. Family and its unity are fundamental tenets of the nation, that is, the foundation upon which the nation stands. Therefore, protecting and uniting families must remain at the core of the nation and Trump’s administration. Often, jailed undocumented immigrants lose touch with their families. Moreover, with placement of the immigrants in different correctional facilities across the nation, chances of uniting them are reduced. Therefore, although Trump’s order on non-separation of families is welcome and timely, the administration must work to ensure that the conditions of the detention camps are humane, particularly to the children, even as it fast-tracks the evaluation process for acceptance or deportation of the immigrants.

Trump’s Influence of NFL

Presidents influence issues in ways that supersede the running of organizations and extend to policies  that govern such bodies. Presidential reactions hold weight as evident in recent times whereby President Trump fronted his disappointment over NFL players kneeling during playing of the national anthem. Trump’s show of disappointment has had a great impact on the running of the NFL, bringing changes to policy that will influence the future running and management of the NFL.

In protest of racial injustice and police brutality, Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, knelt during the playing of the national anthem at the opening of a game. With increased racial injustice and police brutality, Kaepernick had taken to kneeling instead of the requisite standing during singing of the national anthem. His actions were those of solidarity towards victims of police brutality and social injustice. Given his position and influence, his action meant to raise awareness of the vices, and perhaps, influence action on the part of authorities concerned with such issues. However, Kaepernick’s actions did not auger well with the president (Trump), who contacted NFL team owners to register his disappointment at Kaepernick action, calling for a change in policy.

Trump’s contact of NFL owners and subsequent action show how much influence the president has on the running and management of NFL and other sports. NFL teams initiated policy changes and introduced new rules based on Trump’s concerns. One of the new rules requires players on the field to stand for the national anthem, with the caveat of a penalty for the team(s) whose player(s) fail to abide to the rule. Additionally, the new rules allow any player in “protest” to remain in the locker room for the national anthem, an act that was previously prohibited. The new rules additionally allow teams to mete out punishment on any player in violation of the new protocol.

The change in protocol in NFL shows the influence the president has on the NFL and other sports. By budging and initiating the new protocols, NFL owners indicated how powerful the president is, as well as the reach of his influence in not only politics but other spheres of life as well. The NFL has previously operated with considerable autonomy, yet Trump’s weighing in on the anthem issue points to the president’s continued influence on other areas away from politics.

Kaepernick’s sitting and kneeling during the national anthem is perhaps the reason none of the NFL teams have signed him, after he opted out of his contract with San Francisco 49ers. Having started and proceeded with the protests, even after the new rule was enforced, even as other players, team personnel, and owners took the knee after Trump’s criticism of the action, it is especially evident that he is paying for the infraction. It is perhaps the president’s vilification of Kaepernick on social media and rallies that contributed to his  woes, leading him to sue the NFL for blackballing him over his protests.

Kaepernick’s current position as an unsigned free agent, due to his role in starting police brutality and racial injustice protests and NFL’s change of protocol including provisions for fines for teams and team mates are evidence of president Trump’s influence over NFL. Since taking over the presidency, Trump has been weighing in on issues cutting across different industries and aspects of everyday life. While the president throws his weight around various issues, particularly on NFL, this should be aimed at introducing positive changes to the league, which is one of the most successful in the U.S. and the world at large.

First Black Female Gubernatorial Candidate

America has made history in the past decade by electing the first Black president to two terms in office. The most recent history made nationally is Stacey Abrams’ nomination for governor by the Democratic party, making her the first Black woman to get a gubernatorial nomination from a major political party. While this is a feat worth celebrating, pointing towards political inclusion within the American political standing, it raises the question of why such a nomination had not happened before. Were there factors at play that prevented any of the major political parties from fielding a Black female candidate for governor? American politics require extraordinary tenacity, particularly on the part of politicians.. With a glass ceiling set for female politicians, particularly Black female politicians, Stacey Abrams’ recent landslide victory over Stacey Evans with 76.5% of the vote in essence signifies breaking of the glass ceiling for black females, especially in Georgia, whose gubernatorial candidates and winners have previously been predominantly male Whites (Martin & Burns, 2018).

Even as Georgia made history, it drew attention to the fact that it has taken long for women, particularly Black women, to be nominated by any major political party for the gubernatorial position. One of the reasons that stands out is the double workload and lack of time for Black women to not only participate in politics but also lay strong foundations for political careers. Politics, naturally being a male-dominated front erects a glass barrier for Black women preventing them from pursuing certain elective posts of power such as the governor’s positions. Thus, with less women empowered to build political careers, major political parties have found it difficult to field Black candidates, largely due to the lack of Black female candidates with enough political influence and experience considered valuable to securing such a powerful elective seat.

Another reason is the structural make up of the major political parties. U.S. political parties use the single-member-district system that uses a first-past-the-post rule which is biased against women, particularly Black women, but is advantageous to men. Thus, although major political parties are important in the election and governance process, political candidates mostly self-appoint preferred parties, that is, they choose a political party of choice to run their campaign. Moreover, even after embedding into a political party, primaries are an obstacle that candidates have to overcome. Therefore, with little to no foundation in politics, the absence of backing of a candidate and rigorous party primaries rigged against women, it has taken long for a female Black candidate to get nomination for the gubernatorial seat from a major political party.

Money is an additional factor that hinders Black women from contesting for such political posts. American politics is one of the most rigorous and expensive processes in the world. Women, particularly Black women,have disproportionately lower incomes than their male counterparts due to various factors including the gender pay gap and occupational segregation. Due to these factors, the women are deficient in political, business, and social networks and connections willing to fund such candidates’ campaigns. Lack of funds renders such candidates immobile and poorly equipped to enroll in party primaries.

“Homeland” and America’s Realities

TV shows and films to a large extent are human creations that plunge their audience into the world of fantasy. They provide an escape to the imperfect, violent, and unfair world that is the reality of everyday life. While some shows are nuanced in reflecting the real world, others reflect vividly the realities of everyday life to a point that they seem to narrate the very happenings of the current world. One such show is “Homeland” in its seventh season, which reflects the very realities of everyday American politics and life.

Since 9/11, America’s declaration of War on Terror and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), America has been at war with foreign elements that threaten the security of the nation. Perhaps unknown to the nation’s citizenry, security personnel and apparatuses have been hard at work foiling terror plots in the country. Carrie Mathison’s character played by Claire Danes in “Homeland” is a true reflection of the reality in America today. Just as Carrie Mathison fends off terror attacks and fights radical Islam, American security personnel continue to deal with similar issues every day. Even as the U.S. security forces work to prevent attacks, they are sometimes overwhelmed, leading to successful attacks as was the case in the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. This is similarly reflected in “Homeland” where terrorist agents were successful in carrying out a devastating bombing of the C.I.A. headquarters at the end of season three of the series.

Perhaps, the most accurate reflection of everyday realities is the current season of the show, which shows a divided nation after the election of a supremely divisive president. The effect of the president’s ascension to office takes a toll on Carrie, who, while committed to saving the nation from external attacks, realizes that the threat comes from within. It is no secret that the election of Donald Trump as president did not sit well with a lot of people. The “Not My President” protests across the nation were a reflection of a divided country, especially after it emerged that Russia could have had a hand in election malpractices. Indeed, as it stands today, the nation is divided openly such that even the GOP party defied the president, passing some legislations that did not sit well with president Trump, despite Trump’s presidency on a GOP ticket.

“Homeland” additionally reflects current struggle with fake news and misinformation through Brett O’Keffe, a radio show host spreading conspiracies and misinformation. O’Keffe’s character, played by Jake Weber, prides himself as a right-wing supporter, claiming to represent the interests of other right-leaning individuals, while only spreading lies and hate. Fake news is a major concern today, given the sensationalism it is presented in, and the effect of such presentation on people. Consequently, most people have taken fake news as true, with a risk of acting on whipped up emotions that some forms of fake news stir.

In making “Homeland,” presenting different storylines and giving various views  on issues on screen, the creators, writers, and producers of the series sought to give everyone a chance to broaden their view on issues plaguing the nation currently. It is the aim of the creators and crew that through a wider view of issues and connection of different events happening in the show and in reality, viewers will be better informed. Consequently, they would be dissuaded from engaging in various drastic actions that could have unpleasant repercussions not only on the individual but the nation as well.

“I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO YOU?”: Melania Trump and Nuance Messages

Melania Trump recently sparked debate on social media, particularly Twitter, following media pictures that showed her boarding a plane to Texas in an olive army jacket with the words “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO YOU?” written in faux white graffiti on the back. Melania was on her way to visit an immigrant children’s shelter in the state, sparking the debate on who the message on the jacket was intended. Users on Twitter termed the message as “insensitive,” “heartless,” and “unthinking” given the First Lady was visiting an immigrants’ shelter. Of significance in the debate is how many of the users have a general agreement that the message was deliberate, especially considering that the First Lady understood that the media would take pictures of her as she boarded the plane to Texas. Moreover, many of the users have argued that it was not only 60 degrees in DC, but that temperatures in Texas had shot up to 90 degrees negating the necessity of the jacket. The assumption was that knowing the purpose of her visit to Texas and the high temperatures experienced in both DC and Texas, Melania’s choice of the jacket with a seemingly insensitive message were all intentional, although it was unclear who the message was intended for.

An additional assumption and argument from some users is that the message is perhaps the official stance of the Trump administration to issues affecting America, particularly the zero tolerance on undocumented immigrants. President Trump’s rejoinder to Melania’s detractors as a message to the “Fake News Media” and their supposed “dishonesty” grounded the assumptions as the official position of president Trump and his administration on major issues facing the country. Other users in the debate have assumed that the message on the jacket was in fact intended for her husband, having played her as a fool. The message, according to this section of users, is, therefore, a form of retaliation against the president. Presumably, the message speaks to the president over his actions, some of which have depicted the First Lady negatively in the public’s eyes.

The idea that the message is indeed intentional is especially persuasive, although it is still enigmatic over who it was intended. Being a First Lady, perhaps a group of people are in her service to ensure that she does not project unintended messages to the public. Moreover, being a public figure and in the full glare of the media, it suffices to note that she knew the message emblazoned on the jacket. The deliberate action of donning the jacket, therefore, speaks volumes of the First Lady’s intention in broadcasting the message to the world.

Even as the debate rages, Melania’s intention in donning the jacket would go a long way in settling the debate. She has, however, remained silent over the debate. The silence speaks volumes and only adds fuel to the fire, in addition to sparking more speculations on the intended recipient of the message. Further, although there is freedom of expression as guaranteed in the constitution, responsible expression of feelings and messages, especially for people in influential positions, is worth considering. Although Melania had was not wearing the jacket when she met the families embroiled in the immigration issue, human decency demands that she does not send such coded messages, especially when visiting individuals whose futures are on the line.

 

Reference

Martin, J., & Burns, A. (2018). Stacey Abrams wins Georgia Democratic Primary for governor, making history. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/22/us/politics/georgia-primary-abrams-results.html.