NCHE Condemns U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Trump v. Hawaii

| June 26 2018

June 26, 2018

Washington, DC – The National Collaborative for Health Equity joins hundreds of other human and civil rights and public health organizations in condemning the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in the Trump v. Hawaii case, which upholds the Administration’s ban on travel to the United States from several mostly Muslim countries. The ruling, which ignores foundational American principles of religious freedom and human rights, also poses significant threats to the health and well-being of Muslim Americans, in that it contributes to the corrosive anti-Islamic climate in the country. No matter how much the Administration attempts to dismiss the religious intolerance that fuels this policy, it is clear from the President’s prior and current rhetoric that the policy has its roots in a destructive worldview that dehumanizes racial and religious minorities.

A large body of public health and social science research document how stress associated with stigma, dehumanization, and discrimination is detrimental to physical and mental health. Several studies, for example, find that the physical and mental health of Muslim Americans declined during the Islamophobic climate that swept the country in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Federal statistics document a steady increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the wake of the 2016 election. And Muslim Americans may face a greater risk of discrimination in employment, housing, and even health care in the face of such attitudes, all of which increase risks for poor health.

Together with the Administration’s policies regarding detainment of asylum seekers along the U.S.-Mexico border, it is clear that President Trump has created a hostile climate for racial and religious minorities. This ultimately hurts all who live in the United States, in that it frays bonds of trust and tolerance. We encourage all who are outraged by the practice of making policy based on bigotry and intolerance to peacefully make their voices heard, whether in the many protests being organized around the country, in letters to newspaper editors, on social media, and all other platforms. Such actions will ultimately marginalize voices of hatred and reaffirm our national values of inclusiveness and tolerance.