When We Remain Silent.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I believe, as much as I believe anything in this world, that we have to find a way to try to see where other people are coming from, to try and understand the perspective of those who believe differently than we do, whether that is because of different political ideologies, religious beliefs, cultural values, etc. Regardless of my political beliefs, I try very hard to not make blanket statements about those with more conservative viewpoints because I respect those that feel and believe differently than I do and what I love most about this country, in addition to the freedom we have to our political and religious expression and to our dissent, is that all voices and opinions are valid and have a place here. We all have our right to be heard.

For me, and for so many of the people I know and love who share my belief, the issue of immigration and the executive order employed by Trump in the last few days is an issue of human rights, not a partisan issue, and it is political in that those who immediately flooded airports are showing their deep love and respect for this country, our constitution and the basic rights and dignities of fellow human beings. Regardless of your political affiliation, our country is a democracy, not an authoritarian dictatorship, not a reality show where our leader shouts "YOU'RE FIRED!" to those questioning the legality, and constitutional failure, of his orders. I believe that if we love this country, we cannot remain silent.

I think we can all agree that our Facebook debates are only adding to our divisiveness, but I do believe that we should have person to person, or at least telephone to telephone, and heart to heart, respectful, loving, and dare I say patriotic, conversations with each other that help us see outside of our own opinions. Because, no matter what happens, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, like it or not. And to my conservative friends and family, I implore you to not blindly accept the direction of our new president, a person with no political or service experience, but to ask yourself if the deprivation of human rights is something you are willing to be silent for. Regardless of your support of the president, of your loyalty to your party and our country, you do not have to accept this, you do not have to remain silent.

What if one of the detainees was one of your family members? Your daughter, your son, your mother, your grandfather? What if it was you? What if you had a legal visa and/or green card, meaning that you are a legal resident of this country, and you were detained for days, sometimes without food, and kept from your family members? What if you weren't allowed to speak to an attorney? And then when the courts, and the American Civil Liberties Union and lawyers working tirelessly for days on end, issue a stay, the executive branch of these united states ignored this and then fired the attorney general for questioning the legality and constitutionality of this order? This is a dangerous precedent, my friends, and it is nothing short of terrifying and in violation of everything this country is built on.

This is not who we are. Regardless of if you identify as a Republican, a Democrat, some varying shade between the two, or none of the above, I ask you to consider what it would feel like to be one of the detainees, or what it would feel like to be a refugee seeking sanctuary from a war torn country. I ask you to remember that Anne Frank's father was refused sanctuary in this country, was denied a US Visa for his family during the Holocaust, and his wife and daughters later died in concentration camps. I ask you to not think about politics, for just one moment, but to think about humanity.

If you took the time to read this, thank you. Peace, and love, and resistance. All at once, dear friends.