I’m about to park in LA for the LAX protest against the immigration ban.
Last night my husband and I debated whether to come or not and were both disappointed to realize that we both wanted to be here. I mean, it’s Sunday and we don’t get a lot of down space. We have our kids who, thank goodness, still want more time with us. We have projects and exercise and self care that is on our agenda. We are moving away from a “zero percent progress” every day toward something better, right?
Apparently, I’m a moderate. I haven’t felt the pain. I don’t have the fire. But not very long ago was the Jim Crow era, where our parents came from. When there’s something I’m passionate about, I have to get my feet moving or I’ll miss it.
But this immigration ban is bad. This is just xenophobia and racism. It is personal. I think of my Lebanese cousins who have been in the war and immigrated to our country with their hairy arms and scars. I think of Mom. I think of my in-laws who arrived in New York from the Philippines with $5.00 in their pocket.
What have immigrants done for America? Well. Look around. What have you done? This is who we are.
In a protest, community is strong. Unity is strong. Today, there was some prodemocracy stuff, but there was also a lot of anti-Trump-eting and name calling.
The protest felt a little like people were peaceful. They were upset. There was a lot of Trump-fest going on. But it wasn’t just that. There was a little anger with a little despair. Those guys were suffering, but it could lead somewhere.
When we start protesting a person, it becomes a zero-sum. We lose the opportunity. We didn’t waste all of the opportunity today. It was mostly a foreboding of what could happen.
When Martin Luther King marched at the Lincoln Memorial, it was very organized. They had basically shut down the city bus transport by not using them and choosing instead to walk seven miles to work, or set up car-pools, an early Uber system. They were unified in their despair. MLK had been put in jail many times for his fire. He was not moderate. When he spoke, he spoke about justice and equality, and didn’t give stage to McCarthyism. He mentioned him, but that was it. If Trump were president at the time, he would have gotten the same mention in his speeches and letters.
MLK said in his letter from Birmingham Jail, that moderates are just as evil because they are not going against what’s wrong. And that’s what’s wrong with all these things is because we are moderate.
So one of the reasons we go to these things is so that we don’t allow things to passively happen.
“Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
We have a general idea that this isn’t right. But we don’t have that despair. We are privileged. But we have a sense that this is wrong. So that’s why I move. To help me understand.
Maybe we, in this generation, have not suffered enough to stay focussed on the principles being violated here. We are America. We believe in humanity. We do not discriminate against another race. We do not believe our race is better than theirs.
The world is small. A refugee physically, manually by another human’s own hands, who is being pushed away back into the ocean from a Greek beach because the Greeks cannot feed their own countryman, affects all of us. Starvation changes one’s belief systems, I am told. These people are not moderate. They are being violated. I don’t want to be a part of who violates them. It doesn’t need to be said that I wouldn’t want to be them.
Why do we march? To get our feet moving. We want to learn more. We march to help us understand.
Self Care Tip: Find your fire, take a stand.
Questions: What’s your story about immigration? How is this personal to you? Keep on