2017-01-28

sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
The other post, the political one.

On the day dedicated internationally to the liberation of Auschwitz and the remembrance of the murdered dead of the Holocaust, the man who holds the highest office of my country closed its doors not only to refugees in danger of their lives, but to immigrants whose lives are here, lawful permanent residents and visitors, for no less bigoted reason than their countries of origin, their religion.

In his obligatory official statement on the Holocaust, he could not bring himself to say the word "Jews." Perhaps he thinks no one now will say the word "Muslims." (Who remembers the Armenians?) We will say only "refugees." We will pretend the vetting process had nothing to do with religion, or color, or caricatures of terrorists. We will tell ourselves it has to do with securing the safety of our children. We will tell them a story of desperate times and desperate measures, not opportunism, hatred, and nationalist fear.

I am not the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. My Jewish roots were here in this country a generation before the cousins of my grandfather's side died in Auschwitz and Chełmno. I can't invoke their ghosts; I never knew them. That loss and that haunting are not mine to claim.

This is mine: you let the stranger in. Especially if they are Muslim, right now. Especially if you are not. In the names of everyone who was ever turned away, you hold the door open. Or you forget the word, you cannot say it, because you have no more right to speak of light and darkness, good and evil, terror and tolerance and love: you chose the wrong side.

And though I do not believe in a God of accounts and ledgers, if you do, I hope you dream of Him, burning the page on which is written your name.
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
So today I basically fell over and slept for most of the afternoon. Three days without sleep will do that to you. This must be the self-care half of the equation.

Tomorrow there is a protest of Trump's anti-Muslim executive order taking place at Copley Square and I will be there. It's early in the afternoon, so I figure I can make it and still get to the active bystanding workshop in the evening.

Trump's Muslim ban is unconstitutional. It is already being challenged by the ACLU. But it was already implemented by officials in U.S. and foreign airports. People have been turned away. People are being detained. Refugees, green card holders, foreign nationals with U.S. visas, original citizens of any of Trump's cherry-picked list of countries (carefully excluding his business interests) now traveling on visas of different countries entirely. People are behaving as though it is legal, as though it is right, as though it is business as usual—or maybe they think it's sketchy and it makes them feel weird, but they must be following their orders anyway, or there wouldn't be anyone in detention or anyone stranded, unable to come home. And I keep coming back to that. It is not a moral act to follow immoral orders. We fought that out sixty years ago, if it hadn't been clear before. Stop making Trump's fantasies a reality. They don't deserve to be.

There are protests at JFK and Logan Airport tonight and those are only the ones that have crossed my friendlist. I hope at other airports. I hope in front of the White House. Anybody going to one of those, stay safe.

This must be what it feels like when people say to one another, "We need to take our country back." What an interesting historical feeling.

[edit] I got home and heard about the nationwide emergency stay of Trump's ban. That is good. So is the list of states with protests. The news about Bannon is not good. The All Lives Matter-ing of the Holocaust, as my husband calls it, is also not so hot. But the other things are also true and they may make a difference yet. And Autolycus has not thrown up once so far today (don't make me a liar, little cat), and that is also a victory.
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