DISCLAIMER: This post is political in nature. These are my opinions on the current situation in the USA and it’s impact on the world in reference to my upcoming trip abroad. I choose to keep most of my political opinions off of Facebook for several reasons, so if you have any comments regarding this post, I will ask that you leave them here on the blog. Thank you.
Hello dear readers! We are toeing the one month mark until I meander across the ocean. Wahoo!!
My excitement today comes with a massive scoop of salt. Not a grain. Not a pinch. No not even a spoonful. A giant helping of salt.
I am so dismayed by the direction our country is moving – to the point were I don’t even know if I’ll want to admit I’m from the US when I go abroad.
As we all know, Trump has taken office as the leader of this nation. Many of us, myself included, were extremely worried and skeptical of how this would play out. I was encouraged to give him a chance to prove himself, that no one knows what kind of president he would be. Ahh yes, the days of naivety.
Now we are faced with the continuous repercussions of this “choice”. With only a few weeks in office, he has managed to piss off almost every country except Russia (way to go man), removed sanctuary cities, banned refugees, immigrants, and visitors from 7 nations – none that he has business ties with, of course, repeal the ACA with no plan to replace it, and is moving to reverse the protections in place for gay and trans citizens, deplete the rights of women, increase pharmaceutical drugs costs, and sell off over 3 million acres of national park land. Oh, and I almost forgot about the border wall between US and Mexico, 2 oil pipelines ripping through Native American burial grounds media blackouts, and “alternative facts”.
For me, he has no more chances. I always thought he was a dangerous fascist, and he has done nothing to prove me wrong. It’s only been 2 weeks people, and he has done irreparable damage to our country and to our Worldly reputation that will take DECADES to repair.
I am one of the lucky few in the current state of affairs. I’m white, straight, and married. I have decent health and dental insurance through my employer, and, even though I no longer belong to or attend any church, my past religious affiliation was Christian. My biggest personal concern is loosing my right to choose what to do with my own body and having limited access to birth control.
I don’t know firsthand the reality of being African-American, Middle Eastern, Native American, Hispanic, gay, bi, trans, queer, Muslim, immigrant, refugee, a single parent, or veteran. I have, however, witnessed horrors committed against all of the aforementioned groups. I have seen racism rip through the country, religious bigotry tear even the closest knit families apart and blatant disregard for basic human decency run rampant throughout the world. This has to stop. Have we learned nothing from the past?
To be honest, I have seriously thought about cancelling this trip. Not because I’m afraid of traveling necessarily, but because so many have waited longer than I have and are being sent back to a war zone. After a 2 year vetting process, families are being turned away because the people controlling the country are xenophobic.
The reality is that – unless you are a Native American – we are ALL immigrants or products of immigration or forced immigration. Many of our ancestors were fleeing religious persecution, crumbling economies or war. Many others were were forced here as slaves or indentured servants. Without immigration, the USA would not exist as a melting pot of cultures. How can we justify closing our boarders to the very bread and butter of our country?
I know I know, I’ve heard the oh so popular analogy of ” if I gave you a bowl of 100 Skittles and 3 of them were poisoned, would you still eat the Skittles?” My answer? FUCK YES. I would eat every goddamn Skittle I could find until I found the poisoned one. And I would die knowing I ate a shit-ton of Skittles to save thousands of innocent people. Because the real question that people are hiding behind with this dehumanizing, racist metaphor is “is my life more important than thousands of innocent men, women and children?” And only a selfish asshole would say yes.
I will hold dear to the little faith in humanity I have left, and I will continue to fight the good fight – because Black Lives Matter, Muslim is not a synonym for terrorist, refugees are people too, women are the rulers of their own goddamn bodies, climate change is happening, and history will repeat itself unless we change.
I realize that it seems there is a lot of negativity and hate spewing out of me. But it isn’t hate, just massive amounts of frustration. Because we can be better. We should be better. We should be striving for a more accepting and prosperous future for generations to come, not destroying what millions have already fought and died for. We should be learning from the past so we do not repeat it. We should be proud of the innovation, creativity, uniqueness of each other; and instead of seeing only what is different, we should be focusing on what we have in common. We should grow and learn from one another.
As of right now, the trip is still on, and if the day comes that I am no longer able to go to Ireland, you all will be the first to know.
There will be another post that is more akin to my previous posts by Saturday.