Donald Trump’s racist onslaught reached fever pitch last weekend as he placed a ban on people coming to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Racism, alongside sexist bigotry, was one of the central pillars of Trump’s presidential election campaign. Any hopes that he would let up once he got into the Oval office have been cruelly smashed.
Talking about the Muslim ban, Trump crowed last Sunday, “You see it at the airports, you see it all over. We’re going to have a very strict ban.”
“It really is a massive success story in terms of implementation at every single level,” added a senior adviser.
That “massive success” led to 109 people being detained in US airports and 173 people being pulled off flights to the US.
This will be just the beginning of Trump’s campaign of bigotry and division if he is not met by resistance from below.
Fortunately his racism and sexism have been confronted—by tens of thousands protesting outside airports and millions joining the women’s marches.
Under pressure from protesters, politicians and judges have openly criticised Trump.
A legal ruling by a federal court in New York City temporarily overturned Trump’s executive order (see below).
But Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents were defying the ruling and continued to detain people.
Democratic congress member Don Beyer described how “four members of Congress asked CBP officials to enforce a federal court order and were turned away”.
The resistance to Trump is crucial and must be as unrelenting as the vicious attacks he’s unleashed on working class people.
Trump announced last Friday that even permanent US residents—“green card holders”—were blocked from entry to the US. By Sunday, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was forced to back down over this.
On top of preventing Muslims coming to the US, Trump wants to increase deportations of “illegal” migrants. To complement this, Trump is ploughing ahead with his plans to build a 2,000-mile long wall along the Mexican border.
He compared it to Israel’s apartheid wall that cuts off Palestinians—and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Trump.The firm which built Israel’s wall, Magal Security Systems Ltd, is pushing for the contract for Trump’s wall.
Trump’s toxic brand of politics is on the verge of causing a global political crisis. The movement can use that crisis to fight for a genuine alternative to Trump’s politics.
Establishment is in trouble
The president’s determination to push through his campaign promises has deepened divisions in the ruling class.
Even senior Republicans have broken ranks to criticise Trump over the Muslim ban. Bosses of tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Apple have openly criticised Trump.
But these people had nothing to say when Barack Obama limited immigration from Iraq in 2011 as US bombs were raining down on its capital Baghdad.
They were silent when the US turned Libya into a graveyard. They partly object to Trump tearing up the neoliberal rulebook which capitalists have been playing with for the past 30 years.
By announcing the US’s withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) he has angered vast swathes of bosses.
Trump is trying to stuff influential government positions with his close associates.
In an executive order signed last weekend, Trump appointed his chief strategist Stephen Bannon to the National Security Council. Bannon is a white supremacist and fascist sympathiser.
What's an executive order?
Trump’s use of executive orders is the most controversial in recent history.
Executive orders have long been a feature of US politics—presidents can use them to initiate legislation without Congress having to pass it.
But executive orders are not a magic bullet that Trump can fire at his opponents. As with everything in politics, it comes down to a question of power.
The movement on the streets has forced him to back down on some details—and forced Democrats to take at least some action.
Sixteen Democrat state attorneys have declared Trump’s Muslim ban unconstitutional.
Governors, city mayors and even police chiefs have said they will defy Trump’s order to end the “sanctuary city” immigration policy.
The LA chief of police said he would refuse to cooperate with the push for increasing deportations.
The things they say
‘I will bring back waterboarding and a hell of a lot worse’
Trump promises to bring back torture last November
‘He has stated publicly that he does not necessarily believe in torture or however you want to define it … I don’t necessarily agree”
Trump reassures us he does not agree with defence secretary general James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, who says torture is ineffective
‘It’s divisive and wrong to stigmatise because of nationality”
British foreign secretary Boris Johnson not commenting on Tory immigration policy
‘We look forward to hosting the president later this year”
Theresa May gets excited about meeting fellow bigot Trump again
‘Perhaps other countries needed to be added to an executive order going forward’
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus responds to criticism of the Muslim ban