On who we are

Sadly it seems that my page here has become so much less about my life, adventure, and good times and more so an opinion place where I have been voicing my concerns about the current state of our community

I don’t intend to change it too much as long as things keep happening I will keep bringing it up.

This weekend things went belly up when this country decided to shut the borders down to the people who need us the most. If you know anything about us, you know exactly what this means to us. Just read this or this if you are questioning why it matters so very much to us.

Sheila is here as a result of this country accepting a refugee, from a country we had just been at war with. How can we not understand how many of us are like this?

Oma, Shme, Me. Celebrating together with our favorite refugee at a family wedding
Oma, Shme, Me. Celebrating together with our favorite refugee at a family wedding

How can we look at the data, the raw data that shows not one person that we brought here from these 7 countries has committed a terrorist attack here since at least 1975 and not say, “hmm something doesn’t add up to me.”?

Recently I have heard the argument “we need to take care of our homeless, and our vets before we take care of……” and let me say it because I have read it “those people”. I hear this over and over and over.

Those people.

Our students are “those people”.

MY students are “those people”.

I find it fascinating that the people who are protesting a Muslim ban actually live in cities it would impact the most. They ride the bus with Muslims, they sit on the subway, they work with, live with, and sometimes even fall in love with Muslims.

They are the ones who were actually attacked on 9/11 (NYC, Washington DC) and will most likely be the targets of any future attacks. They know this and will fight for the fact that the people we are bringing in are not terrorists. There is on a personal level, a relationship. They understand this quote from Warsan Shire, “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”

The people who seem to want the ban,well they tend to yell about how the “coastal elites” live in a bubble. They say we don’t know “real America”. I would say real America is that subway. The White guy, Black kid, Refugee, Jew, and Asian all on the same car with not a fear or hate toward each other. Riding to their next destination, together.

I would say real America understands the value that subway car holds. We learn more, we accomplish more, we love more when we are together like that.

I wrote a while back on Facebook that I was ashamed at this country and it’s leadership. Some things have happened since then though. The women’s march took millions of people of all backgrounds to the street to speak up, together. They were positive, they sang, they chanted. Strangers became life long friends. This weekend the protests in support of refugees popped up everywhere as well. Millions more. Many the same as the women’s march. Many emboldened by it. At the airports, the major cities, the town meeting sites, true Americans who love the actual values written by our founding fathers were on display.

I actually unfriended a person this weekend on Facebook, which I said I would not do because he was upset about the rally downtown in support of refugees. He called it quote, “fucking ridiculous”. His point, the tired argument; “We have homeless and vet problems right here in America, fix that first.”

Let me put this out there. If you have a problem with a rally against refugees and your reasoning is that you want to support Rochester homeless and vets in need. Organize your rally. I will stand with you. I will raise money with you.

I will write for you, social-media for you, and cheer for you. But if all you want to do is complain that we have problems that you deem “more worthy” of MY time while doing nothing yourself to fix what you think is an actual problem then I don’t think we are really friends.

If you think wanting to bring refugees to this country is “fucking ridiculous”. I am unsure of how we can be friends. How can I look you in the face as we continue to search for ways to help children that went as far as going to trainings to become foster parents specifically for these children?

If you can’t see people facing genocide and not even having streets left to be homeless on because they are bombed out as an issue that we should address, I am not sure how we can move forward in conversation.

I just don’t know how to do it. How can I have that conversation? Sheila and I have opened our doors in the past and will likely do so again in the future. How can we move forward with people in our lives who don’t see these values? Who think when we do these things we are literally ruining this country.

How?

I don’t want to lose “friends”. I don’t want someone to say “How are you going to let politics get in the way of friendships”. I don’t. I just don’t see a path forward with some of, and quote me “those people”

Meriam Webster on the word friend –  1 : a person who has a strong liking for and trust in another person. 2 : a person who is not an enemy <friend or foe>

I can’t trust you if you don’t believe our life work is not worthy. I can’t like you if you believe my job should not exist. I can’t sit in a room and have someone make a disgusting comment about black people and turn to me and say “You know what I mean, right Eric?”

No. I don’t know what you mean. I should have spoken out that day and I regret it to this day that I did not.

If you have some advice on how to handle this, I am all ears. Just keep in mind our life, our profession,  and our passion comes from a place of helping those less fortunate and our very existence here comes from being one of those people.

Hearing someone say it’s “fucking ridiculous” is in my opinion, the thing that is actually fucking ridiculous.

“Love will find its way through all languages on its own”

One thought on “On who we are

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s