So, Donald Trump.
Depending on your outlook on life, his name may inspire you, anger you or leave you in fear for your U.S. residency. He has openly criticized Muslims and Mexicans among other races, and has been likened to a new-age Hitler after he proposed his idea that Muslims should be forced to carry identification just as the Jews wore gold stars during the holocaust. Because of these shocking words, Suzanne Kelly, Scottish freelance journalist and activist, created a petition on Dec. 8, 2015 via Parliament’s official petition webpage that, if successful, would require Parliament to debate banning Donald Trump from the United Kingdom for “hate speech and … [a presence] nonconducive to the public good.”
Lo and behold, the UK’s citizens managed to get 577,226 signatures out of the 100,000 needed, meaning that the entire British Parliament had to hold a debate about banning Donald Trump from the UK’s soil. Parliament was slightly divided, the majority being against Trump as a human while others actually voicing support for the billionaire. Still, nearly every comment voiced by the British government took the opportunity to slam Trump for his actions and words. The video of Parliament roasting Trump is online and worth the watch, but the question remains: Is it ethical to ban Trump from the UK?
It might be. It’s been done before: the Brits have banned Donald Black for supporting terrorism and violence and actually temporarily restricted Chris Brown from entering their borders for a period after his violent incident with Rihanna. Other countries have done this too; the United States itself has banned UK singer Lily Allen on account of overseas arrest and a South African EDM producer because of excessive jail time.
In order to answer the question, let’s shrink the world down a bit. Let’s make UCSB the equivalent of the UK, and the United States can be UC Imagination, with Trump being a random public speaker we’ll call Bob. Bob’s been pretty busy at UC Imagination, and he’s pretty much split the campus 60/40, 40 percent fully behind him and the other 60 percent a mix of apathy and anti-Bob. Bob’s a pretty powerful speaker, straightforward and rather blunt with what he means, and most of his ideals disagree with UCSB’s culture. Now, he has a few friends at UCSB and can stay over in IV if he wants to, but should we let him? I mean, is it worth risking that Bob would incite strife and cause relative chaos at UCSB? Should he be allowed to enroll or even set foot on campus, or to protect the chill, laid back atmosphere of UCSB, should we preemptively expel him?
Putting it like that, it seems unfair to expel someone based on what they might do, which is really the case with Donald Trump. Considering the UC example, people have been expelled before for various reasons: academic dishonesty, disturbing the peace, etc. There was already a preexisting justification that led to their ban, and the same goes for those who were or are banned from countries’ soil.
Donald trump, in all of his controversial, obnoxious, occasionally disgusting glory, hasn’t actually done anything expulsion worthy. Sure, he might incite violence, but he simply hasn’t yet. Trump gets a lot of bad light. We’re all so accustomed to thinking that he’s a buffoon that we never really stop to think, “hold on, maybe he’s just trying to help in his own very forcefully worded way.” Maybe he’s trying his best to make up for whatever shady past he might be hiding by helping the entire country. Just because a recovering alcoholic drank too much before doesn’t mean you should restrict him from trying to help, right? Both Donald Trump and our aforementioned hypothetical Bob are like toothless dogs: all bark and no bite. Hopefully it never comes to actual biting, but until then, there’s really no grounds to ban Donald Trump from the UK except for fear.
To quote Spongebob, “Has he [burned our homes]?” “No, but are we going to wait around until he does?”
As much as it pains me to say it, we kind of have to.