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The Travel Ban and Links to a Racist Past

By Marlin Paschal

On Sunday, February 19, Trump explained his statement at a rally in Melbourne Florida regarding a non-existent terrorist attack in Sweden was actually in “reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden."



The story on Fox News specifically focused on crime and the “rash of rapes” against Nordic woman by refugees and the Swedish government’s efforts to cover it up. Although there is some evidence indicating that non-Swedish born nationals commit crime at a higher rate than native born Swedes – there is absolutely no evidence suggesting there is a refugee fueled rape epidemic being covered up by the Swedish government.

Nevertheless, Trump’s use of rape-based imagery to justify his spurious travel ban is troubling at best. In fact, it is reminiscent of a time in American history when white southerners justified the practice of Lynching as a means to protect the sanctity of white women from rape-prone black men.


Ida B. Well’s description in Southern Horrors describes this phenomenon and thoroughly debunks the “rape myth.” Despite her efforts, lynching in America continued for decades and its ghost still haunt us today. Dylann Roof’s racially motivated murder of nine black citizens in a South Carolina church were inspired by the belief that black people are “raping our women and taking over our country.” 

Trump is prone to making provocative, rash, and deplorable statements; and he has now suggested his travel ban is part of a broader crime prevention strategy. Astonishing – considering the fact the evidence suggest otherwise AND refugees entering the U.S. tend to be SIGNIFICANTLY less prone to terrorist acts than the folks actually born here

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