The election has left many Americans who feared a Donald Trump presidency in a catatonic state of fear, while still others who shared that sentiment have become hopeful and energized. All eyes are on Trump to see if he will implement his most controversial proposals, like his infamous wall on the Mexican border or his ban on Muslim immigration. Thus, people quickly noticed when the Trump campaign website removed the "Muslim ban" link.
According to a report by The Independent, it was shortly alter Trump won the election on Tuesday night that his campaign removed the page on his Muslim ban from his website, instead redirecting the link to a donation page for Trump's campaign. The proposal itself was originally issued on Dec. 7, 2015, and was named the "Donald J. Trump statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration." It called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. due to perceived threats of terrorism.
The timing of Trump's ban on Muslims came directly on the heels of the tragic shooting in San Bernardino, California which left 14 dead and 22 injured. By issuing his statement after the terrorist attack, Trump was able to feed on the fear of terrorism while posing a solution, which again set him apart from his opponents in the primary. The now-deleted statement said:
Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.
Unsurprisingly, as with any statement that would discriminate against people based on religion or ethnicity, Trump's Muslim ban received backlash. He later seemed to sort of qualify it with his "extreme vetting" proposal. Now, his policy is removed from the website, and yet there have already been hate crimes against Muslims committed by Trump supporters, including the assault and robbery of a Muslim student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Wednesday morning.
At my most optimistic, I hope the removal of Trump's Muslim ban means he won't go forward with that policy during his presidency. But the even more pressing issue at hand is the fact that I believe his rhetoric has already woken up and empowered a strain of violent racism.