Monday, January 30, 2017

Do Not Stand By

I was so upset reading the news over the weekend I sat down and hand wrote a letter.  It became this.  to which I have now sent to all my elected officials.  I cannot stand by. Someone must stand up.  Write a letter. Make a call.  Do SOMETHING.  This is not the freedoms our ancestors fought for.

Monday, January 30, 2017
Dear Sir,
I find myself watching the news and starting to see the past repeat itself in this country.  I am writing to implore you to speak up against this current ban on visitors and refugees from the Middle East. This is no longer a race issue, or a policy of fear.  This is a policy of uneducated, ignorant hate. Of bigotry.  Of unseen interests driven by a man—one man—who has an enormous amount of power that is going unchecked by fearful, weak enablers.  This country was founded on acceptance.  We are failing, as a people, to fight for those unalienable rights that were promised and put forth by our founders.  This policy to exclude people based purely on their home of residence is not what we were founded upon.  Families should not be torn apart because of ignorance and fear. 
Christians, Jews, Muslims—we are all disciples of God. All filled with the teachings of our faith. Whether it is the Torah, the Koran, or the Bible we are taught by example and always through love.  It is the defining characteristic that binds us all.  The deplorable nature of the new, brutal exclusionary order is its immense lack of compassion and understanding of this one universal truth of faith.  Love binds.  Love heals.  Hate divides.  Fear, when given an open door, will rush in and win until someone stands up and speaks from Love.  Love of humanity.  Love of all faiths.  Love of God. 
            These refugee men, women, and children have all spent months and often years being vetted and checked by our very government to come here.  To the land of the free: to visit family; to study and better themselves, and often return to their own countries to better the situations there; to work hard and rebuild some semblance of what they have lost so violently, so literally blown up by hatred.  By extremism.  By a severe twisting of the very faith and ideals they themselves have grown up being taught to live by.  Extremism is not just cause to blanketly persecute an entire demographic of people. 
            This country is not superior.  Is not without blame.  We fearfully turned away fleeing Jews while trying to put our own heads in the sand during the early days of the Second World War.  Not long ago the south was murdering innocent African American men, women, and children in the name of their own Christian delusions of racial purity.  Our own home grown terrorists operating under blankets, proudly toting superior ideals of what this country should become.  My own family, second generation immigrant Germans of the Jewish faith, changed their name and hid their faith in the south to avoid this persecution on home soil.  This is our history.  We should be reaching past this divide.  Learn from our own errors if we are unable to see past our own borders.  We cannot look outward without looking inward.  We are not innocent. We are not without fault.  But unlike others we can choose to stand up for humanity, for the rights and safety of others and speak out.  This must not happen.  This must not succeed.  We must stand for the rights of those who have no voice and not remain quiet because we are afraid to hear. 
            This policy, while enacted in theory to protect this country from terrorists is directly feeding the fear and hatred of our country in the Middle East.  By shutting our borders, by assuming everyone is a threat, we are feeding their delusion.  Feeding this extremism that haunts us, and haunts the good people who uphold many faiths in these war torn countries.  Our military has spent decades forming beneficial relationships in these regions we have now just blanketly labeled as beds of terrorism.  This is not true.  My father spent the early 1990’s building refugee camps for people who had nowhere to flee to as their homes and their people were destroyed.  There are children, now adults, who carry my very Anglo-Saxon maiden name of Gilmore as their middle name as a way to honor his work for their families.  My father and his U.S. Army Special Forces unit’s humanitarian work was not wasted purely because these people were of a race and religion that contained extremists.   These people our military men and women are helping ask nothing of us but a life to live.  We are endangering our own progress, endangering our own people, putting our military (especially those still in country) at further threat and weakness.  This policy puts a brick wall in their face as they try to build relationships that are built on trust and aid.  This is not good policy. This is not foreign policy; this is isolationism based on fear and a lack of understanding and knowledge.  This was not an educated decision based on facts.  This will solve nothing and prove only that we are weak, fearful people fueled by a similar hate as those we are so desperate to fight.  This policy leaves no room for error.  No discussion.  No proof of success except in shutting down the very foundation of welcome that all our ancestors strove to deserve. 
I will not quietly stand by and watch people looking for freedom have iron doors closed in their faces after they have done everything we have asked of them to prove they are not a threat to our nation.  I am blessed to live a life here, free to my beliefs.  They, as humans, have just as much right to the chance for freedom as my ancestors did.  We are fortunate, we are blessed, and we must open our arms with love to these people who have already done everything we have asked.  This country deserves better than fear.
Please speak up.  Please use your voice, the voice that you have been given by us your electorate.  Take the hard road.  Do not stand meekly by as this country crumbles to fear.  Be brave Sir.  I beg of you, be brave. 

Sincerely and Prayerfully,
Colleen G. Crocker, MPH

Mansfield, Texas
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