You might have been a third-person all along, an observer, but now it’s impossible to not feel a part of this nightmarish reality.
The reality goes beyond just the immigration ban — which has already caused chaos in the airports, universities, businesses that employ immigrants, the White House, and the relevant countries around the world, including Iran and Australia, whose relationships with the United States have become tangled and knotted. The reality lies in the future, when Donald Trump will continue to violate the Constitution, basic human rights, and repeat his lies that his immigration ban is nothing worse than Barack Obama’s 2011 policy — which may become a truth after a long enough time.
As Trevor Noah of The Daily Show put it, we will all have to live in “Donald Trump’s reality” and his own truth.
According to Michelle Mark at Business Insider (1), Obama’s 2011 policy of temporary immigration ban on Iraqi refugees was a response to a particular event; two men were “suspected of making bombs to target American troops in Iraq.” On the other hand, Trump’s immigration ban is much broader and ambiguous. In an extreme sense, it’s fascism at work. Federal judge James Robart at Seattle has responded by temporarily blocking Donald Trump’s executive order on an immigration ban (2) (the block which Donald Trump condemned). Yet the decision has yet to calm the reality; people around the world, from New York to London, are still protesting and screaming at the deaf leaders of America, and at the silent “majority” of those who voted Donald Trump.
It’s a manifestation of an unbelievable pattern — the silent majority drowned South Korea in corruption and opened the gate for Brexit. With the silent majority, the ones with power are unstoppable; Trump effortlessly fired the acting attorney general, and here in South Korea, the Blue House has refused the special prosecutors’ search. Journalists have ceased being impartial in addressing those silent majorities. Perhaps upon an incredible injustice, journalists rise above their role as watchdogs and adopt the duty of social justice fighters.
And perhaps KIS can adopt this duty as well. Among a variety of academics and extracurriculars here at KIS, real social activism seems nonexistent. This holds true regarding the immigration ban, Brexit, and the corruption scandal in this very country. KIS students can read the news and hear the stories; they can even write. But they don’t speak up. See, we are a very rich high school — in finance and in knowledge. We can use both of them to make a legitimate impact around the world by protesting against injustices. A united KIS would be quite a force.
That may sound funny to people who have yet to realize the privilege that they are born with, and the misfortune that others have to live with — misfortune that chokes them and prevents them from crying out for help.
Trevor Noah humorously remarked that the immigration ban helped unite Muslims and other Americans, especially at the airport, where Muslims prayed as a group and were applauded. Taking inspiration from this ray of light in midst of darkness, perhaps KIS can be a guiding light and a voice for the unfortunate people around the world.
– Roger Han (’17)
Banner: Celine Yoon (’19)