The unease bubbles up in my stomach, leaving me slightly nauseated as I hear the stories about the "Muslim ban" on people from specific countries.
During each class I teach, I look students in the eye who come from those countries, especially Somalia because Columbus has become a haven for Somali refugees. They are no different from my own children -- fighting with their parents, working to buy cars, waiting to write their essays until the last minute.
The new president signed an executive order yesterday that bans all refugees for 120 days and Syrian refugees indefinitely. "Additionally, it bans the citizens of seven countries—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen—from entering the U.S. on any visa category. This appears to include those individuals who are permanent residents of the U.S. (green-card holders) who may have been traveling overseas to visit family or for work..." according to an article in the Atlantic.
How many people are in danger because they have been denied entry to a flight, after years of vetting and finally approval to move to the United States.
The irony of this order coming the day after the "life" march in Washington, D.C. We see once again that only the right kinds of life matter to some people.
|The People for Bernie Sanders' photo|
This urge to do something to make a difference nibbles at my consciousness.
Should I go to the airport to protest?
Should I twist my scarf into a hijab over my head in solidarity.
I understand the idea now that older women can lead the way. We have raised our children. We have kept them safe within a bubble. Maybe it is time to step out of that bubble now, to take risks.
I wonder how I can contemplate moving to France to teach English while my husband and I drink wine and break bread, while in other countries, less fortunate people, fear bullets and bombs. They shrink from a sound at their door that might mean Boku Haram is coming to steal their daughters.
How can we sit by?
But what can we do?
I contemplate going to Mass this morning, wondering if the priests will address this new un-Christian move by our president, being comforted at the proximity of people who mourn the direction our country is going. I picture throwing myself into prayer, but the relief would only be for me, not for the people left behind.
Another part of me wants to gather my computer and tromp to the nearest coffee shop where I can pour my overwrought emotions into the characters in my novel. Maybe they can make a difference that I cannot.
I walked this morning, which makes it harder to outrun my thoughts. But when I woke up today, a blood vessel had burst in my eye. I chose not to go for a run worried that excessive exercise might exacerbate the redness streaking through the whites of my eyeball.
And the stories from NPR pouring into my ear only urged me to take some action.
It's a helpless feeling.
This song from the Women's March, #icantkeepquiet helps remind me that I'm not alone though.