Thankful for Local Leaders and Level Heads

As we watched these first few days of Donald Trump’s presidency plays out in slow motion—kinda of like a train wreck, we like many other Americans are troubled by the executive order to deny entry into the U.S. to people from seven largely Muslim nations.

The order is everything that critics have suggested—un-American, unconstitutional, immoral and illogical. To be sure, Trump’s executive order targeting people from seven Muslim nations (but not any of the ones where he has business interests) has nothing to do with safety and protection and everything to do with hate, fear, oppression and persecution.

Trump has barely been president for 10 days and already he is turning America on its head. It’s no surprise. He promised that he would. In fact, he pretty much campaigned on hate and bigotry.

But if there has been a ray of hope, a glimpse of sunshine through the gray sky, it has been the way venerable institutions, leaders at all levels and ordinary people have pulled together, rallied and railed against Trump’s illegitimate order.

The ACLU lawsuit not only resulted in a blocking at least parts of Trump’s order, but has netted the group more than $24 million in donations from average citizens—many of them first time contributors—in a matter of days.  The ACLU also gained tens of thousands of new members. To be sure, that is exactly what it will take to survive Trump’s tenure—resistance, defiance, and endurance combined with the sort of strength that can only be found in banding together in pursuit of justice.

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired last night because she ordered Justice Department attorneys not to defend Trump’s order, is nothing less than a hero in our books.

That is why we are proud of both New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond for boldly standing up and against Trump’s executive order.

Rep. Richmond called it “unjust, counterproductive and immoral.” Amen, Mr. Richmond.

And we are especially delighted to hear Mayor Landrieu promise that New Orleans will remain a “welcoming city”, and vowing not to use city resources or local police power to aid the federal government in harassing innocent people.

For his part, Mayor Landrieu said, in a press release that “Protecting America must always be our top priority but the president’s executive order is un-American, un-Christian and will not make us safer.”

The mayor went on to say that “New Orleans will remain a welcoming city because we know that our diversity is a strength. We also know all too well what it feels like to seek shelter and refuge in a place that is not your home.”

Through this statement, Mayor Landrieu joined a number of other mayors from cities across the nation that have declared they will continue to defend the constitution and protect the innocent people who call their cities home.

And we can’t stop here with this order or this issue. This is just the first 10 days of Donald Trump’s administration. There are about 1,450 more to go. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

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