I’m going to keep spotlighting these kinds of stories, because of all the things I don’t want “normalized” by the Trump Administration, the ability to disrupt communities in order to remove people of color from our midst is pretty high on the list.
I don’t know a better way to describe the deportation of Al Adi Othman, a longtime businessman in Youngstown, Ohio.
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, released the following statement in response to the deportation of the Youngstown business owner:
“It is a sad day for Amer, his family and our entire community. In a highly irregular rebuke of Congressional authority by ICE, Amer Othman was ripped from his four daughters, his wife, and the country that he has called home for over thirty years. Amer was a pillar of the community and brought commerce to a downtown that craved investment. He hired members of our community. He paid taxes. He did everything right. There are violent criminals walking the streets, yet our government wasted our precious resources incarcerating him.
You know who thought Othman was worthy of staying? Congress, which for years passed “private bills” keeping him off-limits to deportation. But times have changed.
“The Flight 93 Election,” the Trumpist manifesto, rails against “the ceaseless importation of Third World foreigners with no tradition of, taste for, or experience in liberty.” The suggestion? We shouldn’t allow in folks who aren’t committed to the “American idea.”
Othman’s deportation shows that ideal to be a lie, and suggests again — as if we didn’t know already — that color is the big issue here. He was an employer in a community with a desperate need for jobs. There’s no suggestion that he was anything other than a leading light in his community. He was American in the sense that usually matters most to Republicans: He was a business owner.
The needs of the community, however, are outweighed by Trumpist disgust for outsiders. And so we all suffer a little more. Needlessly.