I have just two bits of snark … well, actually I have around 15, but I won’t make you listen to them all …
Remember when almost immediately after moving into the White House, Trump initiated a travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslin nations? The courts struck it down almost as quickly as he initiated it, and after much back and forth, he got some watered-down version of it. Well, now he is considering another travel ban, this one expected to be implemented next Monday, to mark the 3-year anniversary of his original travel ban. I am thoroughly confused by the countries he intends to include in this ban:
- Myanmar (also known as Burma)
I can see not one shred of justification for banning people coming from a single one of those nations, can you? However, it is interesting to note that four of those countries are African nations. Hmmm … nah, surely fair and equitable Trump wouldn’t discriminate based on something like skin colour … would he? Yes, of course he would, and my guess is that for those four nations, that is precisely his reason.
I have read no less than 7 articles on this topic, trying to get a feel for the method behind the madness. One article promised …
Trump’s call to dramatically expand the travel ban, explained
… but it lied … it explained nothing that I didn’t already know from the other articles. Now, back in 2018, the Supreme Court affirmed that Trump has broad authority to restrict immigration where national security demands it. But to the best of anyone’s knowledge, these countries do not pose any threat to national security. Every time somebody in Trump’s cadre mentions the threat of terrorism from the outside, I want to scream, for the terrorism we have experienced in the last several years has been domestic terrorism … homegrown nutcases.
So, I still puzzle over the connection of these seven nations, and why on earth he wishes to ban people coming to the U.S. from those countries. I also, at this point, puzzle over why anybody from any other nation would even want to come to the U.S. Take my word for it, folks … if you don’t have a good reason, you’d be better off going to almost anywhere but here!
It is interesting to note, however, that other, similar nations … nations where Trump, Inc. has businesses, say hotels, golf courses and the like … nations like Turkey, Egypt, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Suadi Arabia are never mentioned in talk of a travel ban. Hmmmmm …
This has largely flown under the radar, in the shadow of the impeachment trial and Trump’s trip to Davos, but I think it bears watching.
Yesterday, our friend Scott (sklawlor) sent me an article about a proposed bill in the Kentucky State Legislature, Senate Bill 89 that would give police new powers to stop people on the street and demand that they identify themselves and explain their actions, rather like New York’s stop-and-frisk laws that ended two years ago. The program was highly discriminatory, with officers stopping disproportionately larger numbers of African-Americans and Hispanics than others.
By the end of the day, the Kentucky Senate bill had been withdrawn, but it left a bad taste in my mouth and disturbed both Scott and me that after the experience with stop-and-frisk in New York, any lawmakers would even consider such legislation. So, I did a bit of digging … and … I was truly shocked to find that no less than 24 states … nearly half the states in the nation … have some form of “stop-and-identify” statutes! So, in the following states, if you are walking down the street, you can be stopped by a police officer and forced to show identification and explain why you are walking down the bloody street!
|Arizona||Ari. Rev. Stat. Tit. 13, §2412 (enacted 2005) & Tit. 28, §1595|
|Arkansas||Ark. Code Ann. § 5-71-213 – Loitering|
|Colorado||Colo. Rev. Stat. §16-3-103(1)|
|Delaware||Del. Code Ann., Tit. 11, §§1902, 1321(6)|
|Florida||Fla. Stat. §901.151 (Stop and Frisk Law); §856.021(2) (loitering and prowling)|
|Georgia||Ga. Code Ann. §16-11-36(b) (loitering)|
|Illinois||Ill. Comp. Stat., ch. 725, §5/107-14|
|Indiana||Indiana Code §34-28-5-3.5|
|Kansas||Kan. Stat. Ann. §22-2402(1)|
|Louisiana||La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann., Art. 215.1(A); La. Rev. Stat. 14:108(B)(1)(c)|
|Missouri (Kansas City Only)||Mo. Rev. Stat. §84.710(2)|
|Montana||Mont. Code Ann. §46-5-401|
|Nebraska||Neb. Rev. Stat. §29-829|
|Nevada||Nev. Rev. Stat. §171.123|
|New Hampshire||N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §594:2, §644:6|
|New Mexico||N.M. Stat. Ann. §30-22-3|
|New York||N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law Laws of New York → CPL §140.50 (requires suspicion of crime)|
|North Carolina||State v Friend + N.C. Gen.Stat. § 14–223|
|North Dakota||N.D. Cent. Code §29-29-21 (PDF)|
|Ohio||Ohio Rev. Code §2921.29 (enacted 2006)|
|Rhode Island||R.I. Gen. Laws §12-7-1|
|Utah||Utah Code Ann. §77-7-15|
|Vermont||Vt. Stat. Ann., Tit. 24, §1983|
|Wisconsin||Wis. Stat. §968.24|
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. After one lawsuit, Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, made its way to the Supreme Court in 2003, the Court upheld the legality of officers stopping people so long as there was “reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal involvement”. Well, that’s probably fair enough … if you’re skin is pale and you speak flawless English. But if you are black or brown, or speak with an accent … how fair do you suppose it is?
An August 16, 2019 article in the Los Angeles Times says that getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America.
My friend Rob, an African-American, told me a couple of years ago that about half the time he drives downtown, he is pulled over for no reason or some minor reason … something a white person almost certainly would not have been pulled over for. His son has been stopped more in the few short years he’s been driving than I have been in my entire lifetime. After the blatant racism that has resulted in killings of unarmed black men by police – Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddy Gray and more – do you trust police to act only when there is “probable cause”?
Okay friends … now that I’ve given you something to frown about, let me finish by giving you something to laugh at … well, sort of anyway.