#MuslimBan

#MuslimBan

Since inauguration day, Trumps administration has been paved with controversy after controversy. From day one, it was revealed that the climate and LGBTQ+ webpages had been taken down from the Whitehouse website.

Unlike former president of the United States, Barack Obama, Trump has used four executive orders in his first week along; Obama used them sparingly over his two terms in office. But there is one order that has everyone talking- the Muslim ban. This states that refugees and asylum seekers from seven middle eastern and African countries (Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan) cannot enter the country legally. Essentially what this means is that people from those countries are banned from entering the USA, this has already happened to several people.

I know what you’re thinking, this must be illegal right? Yes. Yes, it is. The UN has recognised this as a breach of human rights law, meaning that what Trump has done is illegal. But because this hasn’t undergone Congressional approval, airports have already take it upon themselves to detain people from these countries that pose no threat.

Prolific runner Mo Farah lives in Oregon with his family but is Somalian born. Because of this, he has and will be affected by this blanket ban. In an interview his wife stated that ‘It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home – to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.’

Not only does this prove that Trump is the monster we thought he was when he was campaigning for presidency, his time in office will be a very external force. What this means is that everything he does will not just affect Americans, but the rest of the world. There is a kind of immediacy with his policies in relation to how they affect us. Of course, as a citizen of Britain that is not Muslim, it is difficult to have complete empathy and know exactly those in those countries are psychologically affected. But as someone with actual human emotions, I can get pretty close.

But in this dust cloud of anxiety, there is a plume of hope. From this policy, the world has come together in an attempt to undermine Trumps administrations. Just because he is president doesn’t mean he can do whatever he wants. Numerous marches and demonstrations have already peppered the last week across the globe, and there are more to follow suit in answer to this Muslim ban.

Now, Trump might be signing these orders left right and centre, but the real question is where this leaves his legacy. With his mainly slogan that was perpetuated across the globe as “Make America Great Again”, do bans like these really do this, even from his perspective? Presumably, when he talks of America’s past greatness he is referring to the founding of America, when the white man dominated and colonised Northern America up until post second World War. Even as a nation who committed mass genocide, America truly was a great country; great in the sense of its immensity. It is true that Alexander Hamilton wrote once that “a fondness of power is implanted, in most men, and is natural to abuse it , when acquired”. In the case of Trumps administration this really is this case. He is mirroring the words of one of America’s founding fathers which for a lot of people means he is fulfilling his promise of greatness.

Trump fancies himself a demagogue of the people; a man the founders would be proud of. But it was Thomas Paine, a founding father who said “a little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation”. With these words, I conclude. Trump will never be able to ascertain the change he wants because of public opinion and rights. Even with these executive orders, he cannot make America great again. Because he is making it a place it never was.

Continuity

Continuity

After a long and arduous journey, I finally arrived back in Norwich. As the car entered the city, I looked lazily over to the left side of the road to notice city sign that read ‘Norwich, a fine city’. How true that is. I have been living in and out of Norwich since I came to the University of East Anglia in the autumn of 2015. I have loved the majority. Like any journey, it has come with its difficulties but I really wouldn’t trade any of them in.

So, it’s the new year and I’m back in Norwich. Initially, I came up with a list of everything I’m going to do an accomplish this year: study more, go out more, write more and so on. These seem feasible because essentially all I want to do is more but I find that because of who I am, I will waver from this path of betterment. I’m not saying I’m a lazy person, I do a lot, but it really feels like everything I do I don’t really move forward or progress. It was Jim Rohn who stated that “discipline is the bridge between goals and achievements”; I wholeheartedly agree with this. However, I recognise in myself that I am not a very disciplined person. I start a project and a lot of the time, I won’t finish it.

Therefore, this year, instead of making resolutions, I will be making recognition’s. I will recognise my pitfalls. I think it will be through this that I can resolve things within myself e.g. to run more. Through my recognition’s, I hope to grow as an individual, as well as a member of our society.

I really needed to write this down so I could be held accountable for what I want my 2017 to be, do I want change or continuity? I can only know the answer to that if I do as Rohn suggests and be more disciplined. Great.

Eight years ago

Eight years ago

Eight years ago, this month, arguably the most monumental event happened in civic history. A black president was welcomed into the White House. As a resident of the UK, it feels as if this has transcended its own location and touched the hearts of people everywhere.

When I was twelve, I used to go up to my grandfather’s office and look around. I would be looking for paper and pens usually to write my stories on. Occasionally I would stumble across papers that he was looking at for students; he was a professor and doctor, a specialist in haematology. As you can probably gather, he was a very clever and hardworking man. That he was. But when I was twelve, I went up to office to meet him working on his computer replying to emails he had long forgotten to do. While looking for supplies for my latest story I had conjured up, grandpa stopped me and told me to look at a picture. This was a picture of a man, a mixed-race man, who was surrounded by lots of people, predominantly black, and they were all trying to touch his shoulders. My initial thoughts were that he was new saviour figure, which wasn’t too far to be believed as my grandpa was an inwardly religious man.

But no. This was a picture of Barack Obama, a few months after he had secured his presidency. To me this significance wasn’t great. At twelve, who isn’t politically ignorant and apathetic? To grandpa this was obvious. So, he sat me down and I got to listen to one of his famous hour long talks about everything and anything, but mainly on black history. How I miss them now.

I’m somebody who, now, engages with their mixed-race heritage. I am Sierra Leonean as well as English and Scottish. I have always been proud of this, but it really was after that conversation with my Grandpa seven years ago, that it really sunk in. But also with that pride came anguish. How could it be that because I was not completely white there is this glass ceiling. A glass ceiling that would prevent me from reaching some places that people in the same position as me would have access to because of their skin colour.

But Barack Obama over the years has slowly broken down that idea. He is somebody that I hugely admire. Not just because of his skin colour, but because of the kind of man he is. He is compassionate, learned and kind. Also, he brought Michelle Obama into our lives. It seems that we have a surplus of male role models but not so when it comes to women. But she really is at the top of the heap when it comes to my personal role models, regardless of sex. She, like her husband, is compassionate, learned and kind, but also, she’s graceful and powerful. She has shown me over the years that you don’t have to adopt almost male characteristics to get your voice heard.

Anyway, it was yesterday that Obama gave his farewell speech in Chicago, where he started his campaign a decade ago. I can safely say that I spent the most part of it in tears. Not just because of how beautifully written it is, but because this is an end of an era. For the now, this is the end of progression spearheaded by the “most respected seat in the country” (I stole that last bit from Meryl Streep).

As you’ve probably gathered, my wonderful grandpa has passed away. This is the first time I’ve posted about it, or really spoken about it since September 2016, when he died. I really can only say the only good thing, for lack of a better word, is that he got to go with hope, the hope that Clinton would be the next president. He never got to see how backward politics had become.

I love my grandpa more than I can express, more than I can put into words. I am forever grateful that he showed me that picture of Obama when I was twelve. He instilled in me this immense pride to be unapologetically me. And I thank Barack Obama, for making some of the most difficult decisions in the world. I thank for you bringing hope and happiness to millions of people in your country and around the world.

 

Thank-you.