A policy is discriminatory if the following is true:
- The policy affects a certain group of people disproportionately when compared to its effects on other groups of people.
- The reasoning for the policy doesn’t match the changes enacted by said policy.
- A similar less-extreme policy already exists, in whole or in part.
- A significant amount of people affected by this policy share a similar characteristic, though not all people sharing aforementioned characteristic are affected by said policy.
Trump’s Muslim ban:
- All seven nations affected by Trump’s travel ban are majority-Muslim nations. Also, Trump specifically made an exception for refugees of minority religions within their respective nations.
- Trump repeatedly talks about the need to increase security and to prevent terrorist attacks in the United States. The countries included in the ban are responsible for only a small amount of terror-related charges on U.S. soil. Refugees have perpetrated zero attacks on U.S. soil for at least twenty-five years. Most of the non-US citizens responsible for terrorist attacks on U.S. soil including the perpetrators of 9/11 are from countries not included in the ban. In fact, the largest percent of suspects responsible for terror-related attacks in the U.S. are committed by US citizens.
- Donald Trump talks about vetting anyone and everyone who tries to enter the United States. The U.S. already has one of the most stringent immigration policies in the world, and its refugee process is incredibly involved as well taking anywhere between 18 to 24 months to complete.
- This is similar to the first requirement but has an important distinction. A majority of people affected by the ban are Muslim; though not all Muslims are affected.
This is a textbook example of dog whistling. America has done this for centuries with the “war on crime” and the “war on crime:part 2” and the “war on drugs”. It’s the natural evolution of outright racism.
We tend to bounce around between minorities depending on the President and policy, but surprisingly policies like Trump’s Muslim ban are evident on both sides to some degree. (I am fully aware this list of seven nations technically originated from Obama).
This is why we need an objective definition of discrimination as relates to policy. I propose the one I mentioned above. What do you think? Any suggestions?