OK, get out the tissues. This one was powerful–in many ways. Because I read slowly, I had trouble reading his whole message while the video was playing. You might not suffer the same pokiness, but in case you do I’m going to include below, after the video, the exact words written on this gentleman’s sign. As always, I’m interested in your thoughts!
Hello. My name is Karim and I am an Arab-American. Like many people who are black, brown, women, LGBTQIA, Latinx, Muslim, Jewish, Immigrants and Other, I am very scared. We are anxious and uneasy in our own country and it’s difficult to see what lies ahead for us. But I have HOPE that I am SAFE with YOU. Together we can build a community of caring rather than one of fear. You can trust me to care for you no matter who you are, what you look like or where you are from. ?Will you embrace me as willingly as I embrace you?
Will you shake my hand and/or HUG me and/or take a photo with me and post it as a sign that I am safe here with you?
I TRUST YOU. #youaresafewithme #safetyinnumbers
There is so much to say and do. Let’s make sure our voices are heard. Feel free to pass along the video, the post or whatever. Write your congressmen and women. We can promote safety and security without promoting racism, hatred and exclusion. It does not have to be one or the other. Our policies can protect ALL Americans, no matter what their religious beliefs or skin color, and allow for a reasonable approach to immigration. It does not have to be dualistic, polarized and all or nothing. Hatred is not the way, and now is not a good time to be complacent.
Please remember, as I know my dear SWOGs and SMOGs you do, that we are ALL descended from immigrants (unless you are 100% Native American). Irish, English, German, French, Spanish, Greek, African, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican, Brazilian, Japanese, Iranian, Israeli, Saudi’s, Russian, Eastern European, Scandinavian, and the list goes on and on and on. We are a melting pot of people. Our heritage is rich and deep. And, as one of our greatest Presidents (a Republican, I might add) reminded us in a very famous speech a long time ago:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers bought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. And that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth. ~Abraham Lincoln
One man OR woman should not have the ability to put actions in place that are essential unconstitutional. And, I know there are friends of mine reading this blog who struggled through the Obama Presidency for the same reason. So, clearly something has to change with the way Executive Orders work, because it seems to me that EO’s have become a way for one individual to circumvent the Constitution and the principles by which we were founded. In addition and most importantly, those same EO’s should not give that President’s followers the right or rationale to spew hatred toward our fellow men and women. THAT is actually the most disturbing part of all of this.
OK, that’s enough politics for this week. It’s not my intention for this blog to become a voice for one political party over another. In my heart, I’m an independent anyway. I subscribe to ideologies from both major political parties. I was just struck by this video which I actually received via email a few days ago on my Georgetown listserv. Then came the events of this weekend, and I just had to vocalize my deep concern over what I see happening in a frenzied pace.