4 Ways in Which the Administration Let Us Down in 2017
Let’s take a look at some of the most disappointing moments of the year to people of color & how on-the-ground organizers and advocates fought back. Disclaimer: This list by no means implies that these were the most important moments.
Since then: Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly blocked part of the discriminatory ban from taking place.
She wrote, “There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effect on the military at all. In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals
that would have such effects."
Firing FBI Director James Comey: The Man Who's Not the Homey
Last May, 45 surprised us all with the firing of FBI Director James Comey. At the time, Comey was looking into opening an investigation to see if the
administration was involved with Russia in undermining the 2016 election. The move spoke volumes.
Since then: Robert Mueller, was appointed to the Department of Justice's Special Counsel in the Russia probe. In November, Mueller’s efforts came into the public spotlight when 45's campaign
adviser George Papadopolus plead guilty to lying to the court about his interactions with foreign officials. The administration's connection to Russian interference continues to add right on up as the investigation continues.
As for Comey, HBCU Howard University appointed the former FBI Director to serve as the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy. During his first speaking engagement
on the university's campus, students protested his arrival chanting things like "Get out Comey … You are not my homey" and "I love being Black." Taking credit for it? HU Resist, a student organizing
group that was displeased with the university’s decision to hire a man who believes in the "Ferguson Effect," a debunked theory set to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement. In a written statement following the event, HU Resist wrote: “It is clear that James Comey is not an ally to Black liberation. His development of the 'Ferguson effect' theory undoubtedly influenced a recently leaked FBI intelligence assessment which classified Black Lives Matter activists as Black Identity Extremists and domestic terrorists."
The End of DACA and TPS
The decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals Act (DACA) was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in September–by far, one of the most inhumane policy decisions of this presidency. DACA gives protection to nearly 800,000 children from deportation. Giving youth opportunity to work and go to school legally without fear.
Before there was DACA, Temporary Protective Status (TPS) was enacted as a relief program to provide refuge for countries plagued by war or natural disaster. For 59,000 Haitians residing in America, that protection ended in November when
45 decided to terminate the program leaving people 18 months to leave the country. This decision came after 2,500 Nicaraguans learned that their TPS would end in January 2019.
Read more below, to find out why you should care about these policy decisions.
Since then: Immigrants are being purged from the US, country by country. Haitians were targeted at the end of the year, and just this month, 45 ended TPS for those originating from El Salvador. This recent move brings the total of those stripped of protection to more than one million people.
A Fatal Slap in the Face During 2017’s Hurricane Season
Last year's hurricane season served as one of the most devastating series of natural disasters in years. Hurricane Harvey's destructive path came through Houston. Shortly after, Irma hit parts of Florida, and the Caribbean. The storm displaced thousands and will take years for the Caribbean to recover. Hurricane Maria took a tremendous toll on Puerto
Rico, knocking the power out for thousands and displacing many.
As we step back and look at the series of catastrophes that occurred, one connecting theme appears: Black and Brown people were hit the hardest.
There exists clear disparities in those who received emergency aid and resources. Texas families forced to evacuate returned to their homes with an eviction notice waiting for them – a cruel practice that Louisianans know far too well following
Since then: Advancement Project
led an effort to send a letter signed by a host of national partner organizations to the House and Senate calling for more assistance in Puerto Rico. Despite 45's reports of salvation, 38% of Puerto Ricans were reported to still have no power and the official death toll came in at 64, while those on the ground reported more than 1000.