Hey you. This is our second week of the semester and boy, I gotta tell you, what a week it has been. It pains me to say that this week is one of the most disappointing weeks of my entire life. This disappointment does not lie in anything personal like academic performance or behavior, but rather in our nation’s leaders and those who find the last week normal.
Last week, President Trump issued an executive order the would prevent many of those who are not naturalized citizens from entering the US. That includes students, green card holders, and refugees. Take a second to digest that. Just imagine that you decided to go overseas for a weekend to visit family and what not. Imagine expecting to return to your school, your friends, and your belongings only to find out you are to be sent back because “The Man in the High Castle” decided on a whim what being American really means. Amazon Instant Video-exclusives jokes aside, I was sure that this stunt would anger all my fellow Americans. Although it angered many to the point where airports were filled with protesters of all races and religions, there are still those that adamantly feel that abruptly barring engineers, doctors, teachers, refugees, students, etc. is the best solution right now and that it is fine that one man made that decision for all of us.
Whatever happened to “Give me your tired, your poor…I lift my lamp beside the golden door”? That quote by Emma Lazarus always comes to mind when I think about what it means to be an American. Over the past two weeks I have already seen that we are moving away from what makes this country such a country to be proud of.
My parents are both immigrants from the African country of Morocco. I was raised in a family that was constantly adapting to American culture, while still being raised and taught by Muslim parents. As you may have noticed, there is a stigma around the idea of being Muslim. My parents have been in this country for about 40 years and it wasn’t until now that they’ve experienced prejudice based on the God they worship. They came here looking for new opportunities to build themselves and contribute to a society you and I admire and live in. They’ve worked many different jobs and interacted with countless people and it isn’t until now that they learn that many of our neighbors, and even close friends, disregard the fact that they are human and deserve basic rights and respect. It isn’t until now that they have to come to terms with the fact that half the country they live in support a side that fears them.
This isn’t acceptable. This isn’t what we, as Americans, should accept. This gross manipulation is an attack on our well-being. I implore you, my reader, to stay informed and don’t give in to fear. Take time to understand the people affected this week, and of course the last couple years. They may be your colleagues, your neighbors, or even your friends. With that, I fear for future but I remain optimistic. As we all should.