Desperation – When to Speak

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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.

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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

 

4 thoughts on “Desperation – When to Speak

  1. A similar conversation happened in our NOT SO MODERATE house today with a very different outcome. We both wanted to be at the CAIR protest and Muslim prayer service in Boston today, but only one of us grew up with a deep-rooted sense of entitlement courtesy of the First Amendment. I wanted to be there, our child wanted to be there (with a teensy bit of concern about being home in time for a friends birthday party, because he’s 10!) but, as much as my husband wanted to be there, fear held him back. This made me sad, not because I missed a chance to exercise my right to protest, because he (or ANYONE) didn’t feel safe to exercise his rights. Thank you for marching in our stead. ❤

  2. Sana, thank you, thank you, thank you for your actions. My severe anxiety and depression has kept me extremely isolated. The political climate is terrifying. I think of that poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller – first they came for the (name any oppressed group) and I did not speak out because I was not (that group, or the next group or the next). Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me. As a lesbian, 53 yo I have seen massive progress for LGBT civil rights in this country in the last several decades.
    As a woman with a severe and persistent mental illness I am scared too. I have been looking at ways to get out and support where I feel safe.
    Do you watch Samantha Bee, she has a wonderful episode covering the women’s march with a group of singers led by Milck that made me cry and I felt joy and hope for the first time in 8 months. If I could send you the link to the performance I would – highly reccommend listening and watching the performance of Milck and company at the women’s march on Samantha Bee. They also did impromptu performances during the march that can be found on you tube.
    Keep on!

  3. Another anti Trump lie by the left. There is no immigration ban. It is a travel ban from just 7 countries. These people are in no data base and no way to vet them. It is not anti refugee, not anti Muslim but about security. The left has been successful in stirring up people over these misconceptions.

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