Vaseem Firdaus, a Muslim woman aborts plan to buy retirement home in Florida and instead opens a bank account in Canada just in case if her family was forced to flee under Trump presidency. In a normal year, this would have been dismissed as hyperbolic hysteria limited to few.
But Cory Booker, a United States Senator known for composure, intellectual rigor and deep thoughts, tells a crowd of Muslims and Jews "...you have to have a plan."
This is no commentary. It's a real story from the New York Times. National reporter Laurie Goodstein wrote:
"The selection of General Flynn prompted the usually stoic Ms. Firdaus to rethink her situation. She abandoned the plan to buy a vacation home in Tampa, or anywhere in the United States, at least for now. Instead, she and her family will spend Christmas vacation in Toronto, where they intend to open a bank account and look for a condominium to buy — just in case they have to flee."
Stories like this one make one thing crystal clear: Fear has reached unprecedented levels after Donald Trump brought bigotry to the open.
Cowering to unfathomable fear is no viable option because that means forfeiting America to extremist voices. That's something no American should contemplate.
Nonetheless, open bigotry has consequences. One of them is a nation turning against its minority communities.
Discrimination has risen so much so that senior members of Trump transition team are talking about creating a national registry database of religious minorities on national television.
These discriminations are no longer subtle nuisances. They are being build into operational plans.
When Trump assumes power on January 20, 2017 Muslims can be denied basic jobs not because of capability or capacity to do them but out of religious affiliations. The unrelenting smear campaign against Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5) desire to become National Democratic Committee(DNC) Chairman is a bellwether of what's might be in the offing.
Alt-right is no longer targeting only Muslims. American Jews are being blamed for ruining the economy despite unemployment rate of 4.5 percent, the lowest in nearly a decade. Conspiracy theories of Jews sabotaging the economy are the trade mark of Third Reich in Europe. Promotional consideration support you buy in America Donald Trump.
Trump's economic nativism will also reduce America's global footprint and harm Americans at home. Minorities will be blamed for the outcome.
For example, Trump will likely disinvest tactics and strategies started by George W Bush and expanded by Barack Obama administration to prevent terror plots against America. Among them are supporting proxy forces and drone strikes to disrupt terror infrastructure in places like Yemen and Somalia.
American support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen will probably be reduced forcing the Saudi's more likely to borrow against falling oil futures to finance operations leading to another failed state in the Middle East.
Trump administration could also reduce support for the African Union Mission in Somalia leading to gradual withdrawal of troops paving the way for Al-Shabaab to regain control of territories it had lost.
Trump will likely divest operations in these hotspots because they are contrary to his inward views.
Trump disengaging from global hotspots exposes Americans to terror plots. The fringe elements in the White House will blame minorities for the outcome to justify open bigotry.
Some might suggest the president elect should be given a chance. The reality is that Trump already had plenty of chances. His first opportunity was to send conciliatory message by whom he appointed to key cabinet posts. He opted for the bottom of the barrel with Steve Bannon and Micheal Flynn. He went on a traveling circus deriding those who disagreed with him during the campaign instead of reaching out. Why should he reach out to his opponents? Because that's what presidents do.
Since Trump hasn't done anything presidential thus far, the only viable option is to resist vigorously. The alternative is hindsight making Ms. Firdaus and Senator Booker look geniuses.
Resistance is more valid because Trump's open bigotry can bring together and revitalize bruised American sprit. Muslims and Jews, two communities normally divided by the violent politics of the Middle East have found commonality for nobel American cause. That's something to be optimistic about.
The only obstacle to realizing this optimism is fear. So refuse to be fearful in America.