My intention was to publish a post, What To Do In Havana, Cuba, but with the recent executive orders, this felt more timely.
America currently resembles a group of friends gently coaxing their inebriated buddy back to the table to prevent a fight. They’re embarrassed by his sudden, unnecessary aggression and are left walking him back to the table, raising one hand up in the air to the whole bar as if to say, “Alright! We’re alright. We know. We know. He doesn’t represent us. He’s a moron, but…*sigh*…he’s our moron.”
President Trump signed an executive order that barred refugees, migrants, legal residents and green card holders from 7 Muslim-majority countries, which in turn, triggered chaos and outrage. I won’t bore you with the statistics and facts about this unprecedented event, as that’s not what this little space of the interwebs is about.
I would like to, though, restate what I’ve alway believed in the deep, dark crevasses of my heart. Traveling can prevent fear. Fear of different religions, race and ethnicities.
I was lucky enough to grow up in Metro Detroit. Outside of the Middle East itself, Metro Detroit has one of the highest concentrations of people of Middle Eastern descent in the world. Before I even knew what Islam was, I found myself sharing pivotal life lessons as a kid and eventually as a teenager with many Muslim friends.
There wasn’t room for hate, these were my friends and on a very basic level – humans. I guess that’s what’s so hard to wrap my head around and man, traveling makes you conscious of that. It slaps you in the face with your preconceived notions and makes you aware of your privilege.
Traveling shows us that were are far more alike than different. No matter where I go, what corner of the universe I place my foot on, on an incredibly fundamental level – we all have the same common hopes, dreams, goals and priorities.
Think about that the next time you run into a divisive rhetoric.
The Women’s March on Washington was one of the most powerful and positive experiences of my life. I learned very quickly I wasn’t alone in feeling worried about our future, but that sort of energy brought about something different: hope.
Let us cling to hope. Let us resist hate.
I’d love to share a few of my favorite photos from the Women’s March.
I appreciate your time in reading this and hope it at least sheds some light on the current mood in America.
Hi, found your blog from your MMS interview, enjoyed some of your travel posts and reading about how you work on your relationship. Inspiring stuff!
I feel like I have to comment on the political stuff though. I voted for Jill Stein myself, don’t like Trump much at all, starting with his style.
HOWEVER, the vast majority of the righteous hate spewing out is from the liberal side of things. Sure we got scorned, but is more hate and anger how to fight it? Is arguing that nothing is an overreaction to be taken seriously? Can we really stand with anyone and hold their flag just because they hate Trump too?
Linda Sarsour is bad juju – anti-semitic, apologist for Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women, it goes on. BLM’s platform advocates for BDS and is blatantly anti-semitic. It doesn’t stop there, you know this. Are these the people to find “common cause” with? Malcolm X would be thrilled with the tone and actions of this crowd, MLK would not feel welcome at all. And probably be called a race-traitor, as he was then. For years I thought this sort of hate and rhetoric was the monopoly of the other side, now I am waking up that it is actually much worse on the left.
If you are truly serious about distancing yourself from hate, find a different crowd than these people who think the path to change is through anger, suppression, shared-hate, and unquestioning loyalty to a demagogue of the moment, and I am not talking about Trump here.
Caroline Peterson says
Hey DL. Thanks for the compliments. I may not agree with everything you’ve said, but I do hear you. I haven’t experienced the sort of hate that you’re speaking of and that sucks if you have. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts!