reflections on the election after a bad night’s sleep

I. I am a daughter of immigrants. I am an immigrant myself, and I know the beauty and the heartache that moving between countries and cultures gives you. My dad is the biggest defender of the American dream you will ever find, and for him America has been a land of opportunity, as it has also been for us. That is now over. My dad is grieving, and I am grieving. This is the not the world I want to raise children in. This is not the world I want for my students, or my friends, or my neighbors, or anyone in America who is LGBT, or Muslim, or Latino, or otherwise deemed a threat by people too ignorant to see how you are precisely what makes America better. You are loved, and we stand with you.

II. I am a white immigrant, and a European one. I am going to be fine. I have an accent, but it’s not a Spanish one, and thus nobody really cares, not even Trump. And yet I feel fear. I feel fear as a foreigner, as an outsider, as a woman who knows only too well that #yesallwomen. I have been different often enough to know what happens next.

III. A couple friends posted a verse from Exodus on their Facebook walls this morning:

Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt. Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. (Exodus 22:21-23)

I take strength in this old, old story of liberation from oppression, and freedom where there had been slavery. And it tells me what we do next. We pray, and then we fight.

But we have seen periods of darkness before — segregation, McCarthyism, the internment of the Japanese, the Civil War, slavery. The American story is fitful progress punctuated by frequent reversals, some of which appeared at the time like they would last forever. None of them did. … fighting for democracy is part of America’s heritage, from abolitionists to suffragettes to the progressive reformers. Maybe you thought that fight was confined to history. It will go on. (Jonathan Chait)


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