America's Wall Builder
The freely elected leader (do I call him President?) of the United States of America has "fulfilled" a campaign promise and begun to build his wall. This first wall is not a physical structure, but a political one, in the form of a directive that keeps certain people from entering the US. Fortunately, within 24 hours protests broke out, supported by lawyers and the ACLU, and a judge temporarily and partially blocked the directive. As I write this it is impossible to know what will happen next. But I fear that it will not be good.
A couple months ago, and after the election of November 2016, I wrote an introductory piece as incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International & Intercultural Communication. This is the 10th year of the journal, and in this short piece I looked both forward and backward in time, reflecting on what is the aim of this journal, and what I see it to be in coming years. I framed the piece by reflecting on two November 9 (11-9) events, the first in 1989 when one wall--the Berlin Wall--came down; the second was in 2016 when another wall--DJT declared President-elect--went up. It seems that the backlash to decades of neoliberal economics, and the forces of globalism are now coming to fruition. How we respond in this year--the Year of the Rooster 雞年--is looking to be very important.