“Soldiers, soldiers, twenty centuries look down on you from these pyramids”, Napoleon told his troops as he rallied them to defeat their Mameluke enemies in the Battle of the Pyramids in Egypt in 1789.
And one wonders what will be said when history looks down on our current time. Decades from now, those who gathered to show their support for immigrants and Muslims and their children and grandchildren will be proudly displaying pictures and documents that show their involvement and explaining how that they or their parents or grandparents were supporters of the rights of those who were targeted by the Trump Administration’s executive order.
The attorneys and others who descended upon the airports where people from the nations listed in that document were being detained to assist them will be fondly recalled and will become part of the American folklore that tells of decency and generosity of the American people.
At luncheons, dinners, and other gatherings their compassion and warmth will be recalled.
Oklahoma City Muslim leader Imam Imad Enchassi often speaks publicly about how he was escorted into the Oklahoma State Capitol past a row of anti-Muslim hecklers by two female rabbis several years ago, and he and his congregants will surely tell in the future about how those two Oklahoma City rabbis and numerous members of the Christian clergy joined with them again to support the rights of Muslims who were barred entry into the nation last weekend pursuant to Trump’s order.
Several world leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, with their eyes possibly on history, saw fit to issue statements to those who were denied admission to the U.S. as a result of Trump’s executive order inviting them to come to live in their respective countries.
Those who are part of the president’s team may have difficulty in absolving themselves of blame for the infringement of rights that are currently taking place.
Supporters of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will proudly and rightfully recall his role as the “nation’s mayor” when he displayed real leadership after the destruction of the World Trade Center and a gift for symbolic actions when he walked young women who had lost their fathers in that tragedy down the aisle when they married.
But they will also have to deal with the fact that the Big Apple’s former chief executive was involved in the creation of the executive order that prohibited people from seven states from entering the U.S. but that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9-11 hijackers were from, was not included.
After civil rights were extended to African-Americans in the 1960’s in the Southern states, some of the most vociferous opponents of civil rights, among them South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond, saw fit to reach out to the newly enfranchised African-Americans. Thurmond and others claimed that they were not opposed to such rights, but they did not want them imposed by the federal government It is possible that those who have supported the Trump Administration’s effort or did not publicly oppose it will use similar rationalizations regarding Muslim immigrants in the years to come.