It’s been a little over a week since Trump’s inauguration, and the dawning of each morning brings with it the agonizing worry of what fresh hell he will bestow upon the nation that day. In such a short span of time, this little orange fascist has managed to screw over women, immigrants, refugees, Muslims, homeowners, Mexicans, the sick, the impoverished, the planet, and just about every other minority group. It’s enough to make you want to hide in a bunker for the next four years and wait out the apocalypse, huh?
But, with the dawning of each day, there is also hope. The resistance is strong, and people are fighting back. Here’s a look at a few of the heroes making a difference.
Ann Donnelly and the ACLU
In a completely xenophobic effort to “keep Islamic terrorists from entering the US,” Trump signed an executive order indefinitely banning Syrian refugees from entering the country, as well as suspending immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries (none of which are countries Trump does business with) for 90 days. Within 24 hours of this order being signed, immigrants and refugees were detained in airports all over the country and threatened with deportation. Families were separated, children kept away from their parents, and students and translators alike were kept from their schools and jobs.
The ACLU worked tirelessly to file emergency appeals, and Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District Court of New York granted a temporary stay, stating that there would be “substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa-holders, and other individuals from Muslim nations” if they were deported. After the ACLU and Judge Donnelly kicked ass and sent a strong message to Trump, the ACLU raised over $25 million dollars — in one weekend.
Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired on Monday for ordering Justice Department lawyers not to defend his immigration ban. It’s a bold move to express dissent in these dark times, but this is yet another example of a person in a position of power standing up for what is right. Yates wrote that she did not believe the executive order to be lawful, voicing not only the voice of reason, but the voice of the people.
Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth has also been raising her voice against Trump’s questionable decisions. Given her military background, Duckworth has broached her concerns about these recent executive orders making American troops into greater targets than they already are. What’s more, Duckworth has rightfully demanded to know the rationale behind these orders, explaining that “as an ally, America cannot be counted on, cannot be trusted and is willing to compromise our values in turning our backs on Iraqis and Syrians fleeing religious and political oppression perpetrated by our shared enemies.” Duckworth has bravely pointed out that there are consequences that will be felt worldwide as a result of Trump’s racist regime.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is standing up to Trump in a big way: voting “no” on almost every appointment he has recommended for office. Again, it takes a person with a lot of integrity and bravery to vote against Trump. She has openly opposed Trump’s appointments more than any other Senator.
As the country continues to be shaken to its very core, the people have been waiting for some beacon of hope from Barack Obama, who re-entered the political fray by issuing a statement voicing his support of the protests taking place all over the country, as well as to add that he “fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith and religion.” It’s not altogether common for a former president to voice his disapproval of his predecessor — and certainly no one expected Obama to support any of Trump’s recent decisions — but having Obama’s public statement show support for the resistance feels sort of like dad has chucked us on the chin and said he’s proud of us.
Warren and Sanders
Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have continued to work tirelessly at appealing to the people. Both have been incredibly vocal in expressing their disagreement of Trump’s executive orders, and both have participated in marches and protests since the inauguration. Sanders and Warren are by no means the only senators striving to work for the people, but they are two of the most well-known and outspoken voices of hope.
Ilhan Omar made history by becoming the first female Muslim and Somali-American legislator to be elected into the House of Representative. As the representative to Minnesota, Omar creates a striking presence during a time when refugees, immigrants, women, and Muslims are being targeted. She exemplifies the importance of America as a diverse land of opportunity: “This is a land of immigrants, and most come here for opportunity, a second chance. It’s our time to fight for the America we know we can have.”
So, take heart. When the world feels bleak and scary and out of control, remember these everyday heroes. The revolution is happening before our very eyes.