Samantha Bee examined Americans’ lethargic response to President Trump’s most recent iteration of the travel ban (or “Muslim ban”) on Wednesday’s Full Frontal, firing up viewers to “dust off your pussy hat” and get back in the protest game.
In January 2017, days after entering office, President Trump signed the executive order, officially titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry Into the United States” — and the nation erupted into protest, with everyone from New York Senator Chuck Schumer to SAG host Ashton Kutcher denouncing the policy as un-American.
“The president’s initial executive order to prevent Muslims from entering the U.S. was blocked,” Bee said. “But he kept trying, and like his marriages, the third time was the charm.” In June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold the third version of the ban.
“The White House argued its new and improved ban totally wasn’t racist because it also banned a whopping two non-Muslim-majority nations, including North Korea,” she continued. “That might sound great since it potentially meant we could ban the return of Dennis Rodman. But throwing in a couple non-Muslim countries doesn’t make it not a Muslim ban. If a restaurant had a sign saying, ‘Whites Only and Also No One With Pollen Allergies,’ that’s not not Jim Crow.”
And the host argued that Americans haven’t responded with the same verve of the initial wave of protests. Meanwhile, she said, the ban is “still a thing and still causing a lot of misery.”
The Court-upheld order includes a waiver program that Bee labeled a “fraud” since the U.S. has only issued them at a two-percent rate. Overall, acceptance of refugees from Muslim-majority nations has plummeted by 91 percent from 2016 to 2018 — and, in turn, has left many people from affected countries stranded, too afraid to leave and be denied re-entry.
“Look, I know it’s hard to keep track of all the atrocities happening right now,” Bee said. “It feels like every few days there’s a new human rights abuse to be protesting. But we can’t forget about the Muslim ban. We have to fight it as hard now as we did in 2017. Islamophobia is a global curse. It killed 50 people in New Zealand last week, and now it is enshrined in our own laws. So dust off your pussy hat and dust off your Ashton Kutcher because we have got more work to do.”