I am so ashamed of my country right now. And I am very, very sad.
Our new administration is choosing to strand thousands of desperate people who need our shelter. Many of them have already obtained the legal documents they need to be in the US, but because of a rash, poorly thought out executive order, our borders, and the lives of thousands, have been thrown into chaos.
Most of you probably read Anne Frank's diary when you were in school. But did you know that the reason Anne Frank and her family perished in concentration camps is that her father was unable to secure visas for them to escape the Nazis? They were denied for all the same reasons that are being given today... people were afraid we might be letting Nazis into our country, we thought the problem was someone else's, we wanted Europe to handle it. Sound familiar?
Today, Anne Frank would be a Syrian girl. Columnist Nicholas Kristof eloquently pointed this out in a NYT op-ed piece. While we live our safe, protected lives thousands of women, children, fathers, brothers, elders are perishing in Syria. Just like they did in the concentration camps, victims of their own government.
I marched on January 21 against the Trump administration. I don't consider him qualified to be my / our president. But my objection to how all his campaign rhetoric is playing out goes beyond my being a democrat.
Everything Trump is doing violates the principles of Stone Soup. Principles I have built my beloved creation on.
Stone Soup is a feast made from seemingly nothing. As the fairy tale goes, poor beggars enter a village looking for food. The villagers are frightened of them because they are strangers. The beggars see this and offer to make a magic soup that could feed everyone. As they boil their "magic" stones, they quietly mention how much more wonderful the soup would be if only someone had a carrot. One villager goes into their pantry and emerges with one. The beggars gently suggest cabbage would be amazing, and perhaps a bit of bone, and maybe a turnip...one by one the villagers add their small bit to the soup.
The result? A feast for everyone. The villagers, through their eventual generosity, share the feast not only with each other, but with the strangers who are now becoming respected friends.
These refugees, as all the immigrants before them, want to raise their children in safety and add their minds, muscles, hopes and working class values to our American mix. We would be much richer if we let them. Shutting them out only makes us stingy and mean. And it all makes me very, very sad.