Thursday, February 16, 2017

unpresidented

So the conundrum...I am actively trying to avoid ranting about Donald Trump and have deliberately not posted any spiels; you can find plenty all over the internet that are more thoughtful, interesting and informative than anything I have to say. On the other hand, this blog is supposed to be a record of my life and it isn't truthful to omit current events as though they haven't been overtaking my thoughts and concerns constantly.

The reality is that I am deeply troubled by the turmoil in my homeland. I don't want to jump straight into invoking Godwin's Law but boy are there some concerns about a president who undermines the intelligence community, courts favor from authoritarians, attacks the judiciary for disagreeing with him, and generally seems unconcerned about the United States Constitution.

SB and I were in the air, having launched our CNY holiday, when the executive orders regarding banning refugees, legally admitted workers, and visitors from several Muslim countries were signed. We entered the San Francisco airport to a surreal situation: the lights seemed to be dimmed at the international terminal just outside of the Immigration security point and there was a strange drumbeat reverberating throughout the area. We turned the corner and saw hundreds of protesters screaming with palpable rage while facing stony faced security personnel in riot gear. As we walked through the terminal we passed several hundred more people who were rushing to join the protest, carrying signs and shouting angrily, "Let them in! Let them in!"

I broke down, crying. I could not help but think of my own family, and how they were desperate, downtrodden, homeless refugees only 40 years ago. The US welcomed my family with open arms. I don't want to think of what would have become of the Tran family if the president had decided to ban refugees from countries in conflict with the United States. A ban against people from communist countries, or against countries at war with the US would have been a death sentence.

Later, I saw the Twitter account Stl_Manifest, which memorialized the Jewish people aboard the St. Louis who were turned away by the United States in 1939 and later died in the Holocaust. I broke down some more. I am sad, I am angry, I am in bewilderment and shock. I don't know what has become of my country that we can be so inhumane.

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