So what will you do?
|Amy Widdowson||Jan 30, 2017|
I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night, which isn’t that unusual in itself when I know I have to be up at 3:30 in the morning for a 6 AM flight. But instead of Netflix, I spent my waking energy reading of stranded green card holders at American airports on Twitter. Reading this knowing I’d be going through pre-cleared US customs the next morning.
I know what it's like to get greenroomed by ICE while trying to enter the US. I've been in that windowless room while you wait for someone to review your documents, where you can't bring your Mum, or your husband, or your lawyer. And never had I understood privilege as much as I did when I knew that they'd probably take it easy on the smiley white woman from Canada on a fiancee visa. So I sat quietly in that gray room, after heading up the one-way escalator and sitting in front of a large security camera with micro, answered questions politely and was sent on my way. What every one of these green-card holders and refugees has already been through, on a case-by-case basis.
I've cried more in the past few days than I have since the election, reading about legal immigrants, papers in hand, denied entry to US-bound flights. Planes turned around to comply with the executive order. Families split up and detained because when they took off, everything was fine, but when they landed, the document already approved on a case-by-case basis is suddenly invalid. Naturalized Americans from targeted countries stopped, and asked if they love their country.
My heart aches. And I don't mean that in a cliched way; my steady diet of caffeine, sugar and Command-R on Twitter means that I'm feeling my pulse in my temples constantly.
At this point, I just ruin conversations. Someone will ask my opinion on the current situation, I'll go to the worst possible scenario. They'll chime in with some version of "well, that could never happen," and I'll look them dead in the eye and angrily tell them not to ever tell me it would never happen. I tell them to write their lines in the sand, and to note if they cross it. I tell them to take care of themselves.
But there's good: Sergei Brin was at the SFO demonstrations "as a refugee." He taught a little one how to protest. Lawyers, who take a lot of shit for their profession, are descending on airports, filing motions from their phones and fighting back. Twitter friends are loading up their cars at target and delivering supplies to protestors. I romanticized resistance when I was a teenager. Now I install scripts on my twitter account to delete what I say, in case the lowercase KKK pull me into their mentions again, and am one of the 356,306 people who donated to the American Civil Liberties Union.
There's a lot of stuff that's already happened that a lot of people swore never would.
Except Trump, he told us exactly what he wanted to do, and now he's doing it.
I know I want to do more - so what are you doing?