August , 2017
Charlottesville and the Mexican wall – what else to expect from Trump?
14:47 pm

Anustup Roy Barman

Exactly one hour and twenty minutes. It was enough time for the President of the United States of America Donald Trump to make the world understand why many of his Republican Party members doubt his abilities as President.

The US citizens saw a new stunt by their President regarding racist aggression in Charlottesville. Primarily, the President has received a lot of flak for not uttering a single word regarding the issue. Afterwards, he was reported to have commented that both sides had an equal share in creating the nuisance. In the Phoenix meeting, according to the critics, he suddenly changed the history of his previous comment and insisted on condemning the media. He accused the media by saying that a certain section had changed his words and made him a villain in front of the population.

In defending his responses to the Charlottesville violence, Trump selectively omitted his reference to “many sides” or “both sides”, which he had made earlier that drew condemnation for equating neo-Nazis with their counter protesters. Even a part of the Republicans did not like his view. In Phoenix, he bypassed his previous words and said that whatever had happened in Charlottesville had left a huge impact over the US citizens.

Trump insisted at the start of his speech that all Americans must realise that they are on the same team, must show loyalty to their country and that he wanted everyone to love one another. Trump also stated, “They’re trying to take away our culture. They’re trying to take away our history.” He blamed the “weak, weak people” for allowing the removal of statues commemorating the Confederacy. Trump said that he is against intolerance and hatred from the very beginning. He also included that he wants to make the neo-Nazis understand
their place. Trump in effect identified himself as the main victim of the furore over the violence in Virginia and berated the media coverage.

He went on talking about the wall near the Mexico border. He insisted that he won’t stop building the wall, even if he has to stall other work of the government. He needs the approval from Congress regarding the wall. On the other hand, the Republicans need support from the Democrats for collecting money for the wall. There is an enormous uncertainty about whether they would get that support.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the fatal attack “domestic terrorism” and said, “You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation toward the most serious charges that can be brought.” In Charlottesville and beyond, people were grappling with the blatant display of attitudes that many believed had been buried, but the extremists who rallied were newly energized and planning their next moves. Police departments across the country were bracing for what they fear could be similar events.

While talking to some of the Indian NRIs living in the US, BE got a mixed bag of responses. According to Tamoghna Halder, a Ph.D student in California, this incident does not have any far reaching impact over the US economy and as an outsider he does not feel much threatened after the attack. He feels that economically, the US is not in a position to annoy the Indians living there and for that matter not even the Chinese. Disha Raychaudhuri from Kolkata is a journalist working in the US. She informed, “I cannot speak for everyone but I don’t think I am too scared. Instances of racism are on the rise, but I personally don’t feel unsafe. However, I do feel that a lot of it has to do with the places I have lived in this country (Los Angeles and New York), which are way more cosmopolitan and diverse in terms of demographics.”

While these people do not feel the heat much, there many others who are seeing this incident as a wakeup call. Sagnik Das is another Indian pursuing his Ph.D in New York. He informed BE, “It has been a year since I moved to the US. It reminds us how deep rooted racism is in the US and due to Donald Trump it is poking its ugly head again.” There have been incidents of Indians being attacked or killed in other places after Trump took office. He also added that, “However, there is still a lot of hope as we have seen how thousands of citizens as well as immigrants have come out to the streets to resist this surge of racists in the US.”

As far as the H1B is concerned, it is a matter of government policy and heavily backed by the corporate lobby as they get cheap labour. So, in the current scenario there is less chance of any significant changes in the H1B visa policy.  

According to Trump, the Democrats are putting the security of the US citizens under question by not supporting the decision of building the wall. He insisted that the customs officers have put forward the analysis about why the wall is a necessity. According to President Trump, the wall is the only way to stop immigration. His most recent performance was a fresh indication that he feels far more comfortable,
and perhaps motivated, to act as a political flamethrower who pulls at national divides than a President who wants to unite the nation.

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