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White House changes create additional concerns

ROBYN H. JIMENEZ | 1/29/2017, 11:06 p.m.
The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has caused alarm for many groups and individuals across ...
Left: Issues previously listed on the White House website under the Obama administration, now in archives. Right: New issues listed on the revised White House website. The Dallas Examiner screenshots

The Dallas Examiner

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has caused alarm for many groups and individuals across the country with concerns about what has been described as his racist, xenophobic, homophobic and sexist speeches. And just as several national women’s organizations prepared for the Women’s March on Washington, news of several immediate changes in the White House and the presidential website raised additional concerns for Trump critics.

Just seconds after the inauguration, the newly appointed Trump administration replaced the Civil Rights and Criminal Justice Reform sections under “Issues” on the White House website with “Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement.”

The issues from the Obama administration have been moved to the archive section of the website, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov, which is not easily located on the homepage. And though each president does have the opportunity to list their own agenda in the issues section, public concerns seem to lean more toward what they were replaced with, then just the fact that they were replaced.

The Civil Rights section from the Obama administration covered protection against discrimination, building a more fair and equitable criminal justice system, ensuring voting rights for all American citizens, empowerment through diversity and remembering the civil rights battles of the past.

Instead, the Trump administration has a “Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community” section promising to support America’s law enforcement, ending what it calls an “anti-police atmosphere in America;” uphold the right to bear arms; build a wall along the border to stop illegal immigration, along with gangs, violence and drugs from coming into America, as well as ending sanctuary cities and “stemming the tide of lawlessness” linked with illegal immigration.

Many of the new issues on the website have the potential to be good for America, as a whole. Still, the lack of certain sections has many social media users expressing concerns that it may mean issues like civil rights, equality in education, climate change, a woman’s right to choose and criminal justice reform are low priorities for the new administration.

The Health Care section has also been eliminated with nothing to replace it, despite the new administration’s claims to have an almost complete plan.

Moreover, just moments after entering the Oval Office for the first time Friday around 7 p.m., Trump signed an executive order to dismantle the Affordable Care Act – known fondly and sarcastically as “Obamacare.” With around 11.5 million Americans currently enrolled in the program, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, many are now worried what that will mean for their own health insurance coverage and their rights as consumers.

The executive order, Minimizing The Economic Burden Of The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal, addressed the administration’s intention to seek prompt repeal of the ACA. In the meantime, it sought to allow each state “more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.”

Trump also made immediate changes to the White House decor, including changing out various works of art and replacing the crimson Oval Office drapes for gold drapes, according to a White House press statement.

The statement also read that the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed – just four days after America celebrated King’s legacy – and a bust of Winston Churchill was placed back in the Oval Office. However, the White House later released a statement that King’s bust was still in the office, obscured by a door.

With his agenda now in place, pending a promised health care plan, America now waits to see how Trump’s actions during his first day in office will affect the 1,459 days that follow.