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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Making Sense and Speaking Up in the Face of Injustice

The news reports tonight are very frightening and worrisome. There has never been a time in my life that I remember specific groups of people targeted for non-entry in the United States. Though as I look this up, I notice that this has happened before, but not too often.

In the first few days of his Presidency, Trump has promoted a number of limiting and seemingly unjust efforts--efforts that target Native American advocacy against the pipeline and now efforts that ban certain peoples from entry into the United States including people who have green cards which give them permission to live here. Further he is working to eliminate health care for many United States citizens, health care they have come to rely on.

Instead of working with the world's people to provide safe homes to refugees, he is denying them entry to the United States and not doing his part on behalf of the worldwide community to share in the tragedy that has left so many Syrians homeless.

What is happening is unimaginable and frightening for many Americans like me who have come to expect that our leaders will support and promote "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" with careful, thoughtful collaborative action that enriches and betters our lives and communities. Yet to lose health care, deny entry, and disregard treaties and our Native People are all acts that lessen life for those that live in the United States. His actions serve to divide us as a people, and it seems that he is unaware of what people need and the positive potential that exists to continue to build and strengthen our strong and wonderful country as a part of the global community and not as an island unto itself.

So many are fooled by sensational news stories and frightening rhetoric, yet when you look at the numbers, you will notice that the world's biggest problem is poverty, not terrorism. Yes, terrorism is a worldwide horrible problem, one that we have to solve with other countries since it is not a problem here alone, but poverty is a bigger problem. Deaths from gun violence, accidents, and health issues like cancer far outnumber terrorist deaths, and are big problems to solve too.

We need to be smart about our time and money. We need to have vision about going forward, not back. We need to look beyond sensational and perhaps untruthful news stories to the truth of our increasingly diverse and interconnected country and world to prioritize together about what is really important.

I was surprised that so many Americans voted for a President who was so mean and demeaning to women, Muslims, and others. Yet I was hopeful that he only spoke that way to win and would perhaps change upon gaining office. Now we see that he is not changing and with his new power, he is much more of a threat to all of us.

On the plane I sat next to both a Trump supporter and non supporter. I tried to keep the peace and not rile anyone up. I wanted to respect both citizens, but now, I can't stay silent. He's disrupting the lives of all of us, threatening our peace, and challenging long held human rights and laws. This is a worrisome time in America, one in which no one can stay silent.

I welcome your feedback on my thoughts. I'm sure many, like me, find it difficult to put into words what is happening and how we should react as it's very challenging. I just keep thinking about what side of history do I want to be on, and I want to be on the side of history that supports human rights and benefits for all people because when people have their needs and rights met, everyone enjoys greater peace, happiness, and prosperity.