(I can write this, since I carry an Irish passport, courtesy of my grandmother, along with my beloved American passport)
Stephen K. Bannon runs our country, pushing the buttons of the distracted oaf who is technically the president.
Trump shows what is under his personal rock when he refers to Jon Stewart as “Jonathan Leibowitz” (the comedian’s original name) after a TV gig.
Guess Trump forgets he was passing as Swedish as long as he could, neglecting his family origins as Drumpf.
Behind him is Bannon, pulling the strings, telling him how to keep Muslims out of the country.
I looked it up.
Bannon means “white” or “fair” – in the complexion sense, you may be sure.
As an Irish passport holder, I can say, some of Trump’s closest advisors are named Flynn and Kelly and Bannon.
It was not that long ago that “real” Americans considered people from Ireland the unwashed, the others, the threat.
The Flynns and Kellys and Bannons were not considered good enough to haul trash or dig graves for “real” Americans, who had, of course, killed and dislodged as many original Americans as they could.
There is reasonable debate about how many Irish ever encountered signs that said NINA -- No Irish Need Apply. Butongoing research proves it was there, in some windows, some newspapers, many hearts.
The Irish persevered, and a descendent of Fitzgeralds and Kennedys became president.
Now another president talks about a “ban” of Muslims, a registry of Muslims. He backtracks, but we know.
In a dangerous world, the U.S. was already vetting people from dicey parts of the world. But with his tiny attention span, the new president tries to stop legal residents of the U.S. from coming home. Doctors. Scholars. Husbands. Wives.
He is unashamed. He knows no history. Knows only fragments of things that flutter in front of his eyes. Knows only what Bannon tells him.
It’s easy to spot the sneer on Bannon’s face. We want this guy advising our shallow president?
Welcome to World Cup 2022, the most absurd thing that the routinely absurd world of sports has ever produced.
Those extreme descriptions were what virtually the entire world, save for those who had walked off with bags of cash from Qatar, called the awarding of soccer’s greatest event to the incredibly tiny, incredibly wealthy country back in 2010.
Twelve years ago, many were convinced this event couldn’t possibly happen: staging the world’s biggest sporting event in a country the size of Connecticut, one with zero soccer culture and even less soccer infrastructure? The tournament couldn’t possibly take place in 120-degree heat, and FIFA, the governing body of soccer, most certainly wouldn’t upend football leagues around the world to change the traditional summer schedule, could it?
And, for God’s sake, what about the beer?
Those were just the logistical concerns. The moral concerns are far more distressing. FIFA, so busy paying lip service to equality, couldn’t possibly expect the world to embrace a country where you could go to prison for being gay, where women’s rights are severely curtailed and female victims of sexual assault could go to prison, charged with engaging in extramarital sex. And all those questions came before the global realization that the World Cup was being built on the backs of migrant labor: modern-day slaves held in Qatar with virtually no rights, low wages and no ability to leave. Migrants make up 90% of Qatar’s stated population of 3 million. The country’s native-born equal about 300,000, or roughly the size of Anaheim.
---Ann Killion, columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle.