Madeleine Albright Makes A Powerful Gesture In Solidarity With Muslim Americans

The first female Secretary of State is not messing around.

Less than a week into his presidency, and President Trump has already begun moving aggressively on immigration, as he promised to during his campaign. On Wednesday, Trump signed executive orders to begin building the Mexico-U.S. border wall and to allow immigration officials to detain anyone crossing the border, even families seeking asylum. And he is expected to sign another executive order in the coming days to ban immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, including Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Sudan, as well as suspend refugee admissions for 120 days. 

The anticipated ban has already triggered outrage among civil rights groups and Muslim Americans across the country. Quickly after the two pieces of news were reported early Wednesday, activists in New York City organized an "emergency rally" that saw thousands gather at Washington Square Park in protest that evening. 

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In the wake of the expected ban, many are fearful that Trump will follow through on his other campaign promise to create a Muslim registry, a proposal that survivors of Japanese internment camps have harshly criticized. Pushback has come from all corners of the country, but regular folks aren't the only ones participating in the resistance.

On Wednesday afternoon, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright took to Twitter to announce that she was "ready to register as Muslim" should Trump act on a registry. She tweeted: 

I was raised Catholic, became Episcopalian & found out later my family was Jewish. I stand ready to register as Muslim in #solidarity.

The tweet was a subtle repudiation of the growing Islamophobic sentiment in the west that many populist politicians have stoked, including Trump. Albright also tweeted a photo of the Statue of Liberty alongside a reminder that "America must remain open to people of all faiths and backgrounds."

Albright's colorful cultural background represents the values of diversity that America is fond of touting. Born in Czechoslovakia, Albright's parents fled to the U.S. after the Nazis took over. She was raised a Roman Catholic and later became Episcopalian. In 1990, while conducting research for an article on Albright, journalists at The Washington Post discovered that her family was Jewish.

The first female Secretary of State, Albright has been a powerful critic of Trump and his divisive rhetoric during the campaign. And now that he is president, this could mark a shift from condemning Trump to actively supporting those his policies will most drastically affect.

Cover image via Gregory Reed / Shutterstock.

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