Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the following column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the views of the Collegian or its editorial board.
Fear-mongering: To spread frightening rumors, to cause alarm.
The influx of fake news, sensationalism, and prejudicial undertones is throwing the United States into a frenzy. The media, social media in-particular, has successfully been drawing Americans away from the very thing we need the most: cold, hard, non-alternative, facts. The result is chaos that is the root of a fear monger.
I am honestly quite confused by most of what Donald Trump is doing, because his choices do not mirror statistics. His actions don’t add up. If you look at immigration statistics, all of the countries included in Trump’s 3 month immigration ban are countries with the lowest count of terrorism strikes. Perhaps the most interesting, the fact that Saudi Arabia is not on the list, even though 15 of the 19 plane hijackers who committed 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia. Now, I am not saying that Saudi Arabia should have by any means been included on the list, but why are we limiting terrorism to these 7 countries when terrorism stems from all over the world?
There is an issue with banning predominantly Muslim countries, and there is an issue banning countries in a refugee crisis.
Yes, conservatives can argue that Obama’s past visa restrictions sparked Trumps ban. We could even bring up the fact that Obama set an immigration ban back in the day in response to a direct Iraqi threat. Although there were incredibly different extenuating circumstances, it is a valid argument, yet Trumps motives are different. Labeling the ban as an initiative to end terrorism is ridiculous. Terrorism stems from every walk of life. A white boy shooting up a school is a terrorist, a police officer killing an unarmed black man is a terrorist. The definition of terrorism is not limited to Muslim countries, or foreign countries in general; acts of terrorism can be performed by anybody.
This is labeling. This is discrimination. Labeling 7 predominantly Muslim countries as terrorist hot spots is the very definition of fear mongering. Those who argue that the countries are being banned and it has nothing to do with Islam need to take a look at the bigger picture. One of my professors had a perfect analogy: If a law passed banning anybody from sleeping under an underpass, am I discriminating against everyone, or just the homeless? It is a Muslim ban. Period.
This is where fear mongering takes its course. Anybody could commit an act of terror within the 90 day ban and we cannot control where or who that act of terror could come from. Trumps ban on immigration is not an act that will help stop terrorism, or even slow it. Trumps ban is harming thousands of refugees, rejecting normal people with no intent of terrorism, and instilling fear in the hearts of millions for no good reason.
We have the largest military in the world. It is not okay to endanger the lives of thousands under the mere suspicion that some act of terror may happen.
Anybody who commits an act of terror is a terrorist, no matter where they come from. Fear of the unknown is what will run our country into the ground. In the words of Helen Keller, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”