The advice “stay in your lane” comes to mind when contemplating famed horror writer Stephen King’s tweet warning us about what’s coming next in Trump’s presidency. On Sunday, the best-selling author delivered this prophecy about our president: “First, you stoke hatred and fear of minorities. Then you round them up and put them in camps. Next, you send out raiding parties to get those who have been driven into hiding. The armbands come next right?”
First, you stoke hatred and fear of minorities. Then you round them up and put them in camps. Next, you send out raiding parties to get those who have been driven into hiding. The armbands come next right?
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 14, 2019
To label people who disagree with you over immigration policy as racists is not only intellectually dishonest, it’s also dangerously partisan. With his accusation, King effectively shuts down any conversation about immigration. If, before any discussion even begins, I’m labeled as a racist—building to comparisons to Hitler and the Third Reich’s genocidal actions — what motivation do I have to engage in dialogue? Stephen King obviously has zero desire to have a conversation in good faith. He simply wants everyone to accept that’s he’s right and those who disagree with him are genocidal monsters.
I guess when you spend your life crafting stories of extreme horror that require innocent good being terrorized by cartoonish evil, you lose the ability to think with any level of nuance. Because an adult-level thought process rooted in reality and not in horror fiction would have caused King to realize a few things before composing his tweet.
For one thing, he would have remembered that President Trump’s administration didn’t build the facilities used to house immigrants attempting to enter this country illegally – President Obama’s administration did. This means, based on Stephen King’s misguided tweet, that President Obama equals Hitler. What an incredibly stupid thought!
It’s a stupid comparison regarding President Obama, and it’s an equally stupid comparison regarding President Trump.
What’s more, lost in King’s hyperbole, the tweet fails to account for the number of minorities who support Trump’s immigration policies. Are my Hispanic friends who support Trump racist? That’s nonsensical. Say that they’re wrong. Say that they’re misinformed. But Hispanics who support Trump are not racist toward Hispanics. And the same goes for whites or blacks or Japanese or Italians or pick-an-ethnicity you want.
Supporting an immigration policy that asks for immigrants to follow the country’s rule of law is not “hatred and fear of minorities.” It’s merely supporting the rule of law. Disagree with the ways current immigration laws are written. Lobby to have those laws changed. That’s how the system works. But it’s not racist to expect our government to enforce its own laws. As such, there’s a world of difference between ICE enforcing immigration laws and deporting those who are breaking the law by being here and Hitler attempting to kill every single person of a specific race.
President Trump is not singling out a specific ethnicity. He’s enforcing the laws. Immigrants of all races are welcome in this country if they adhere to the steps and procedures laid out by our laws.
Stephen King has made a fortune by giving his imagination free rein when writing tales of horror. For his sake, and for the sake of this nation’s ability to have rational dialogue about important issues, King needs to leave his imagination at home when talking about President Trump and immigration.