#NoMuslimBanEver

This Muslim has been struggling to stay upbeat since the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim Ban.

I’ve been feeling dissociated, drained, resentful, pessimistic.

But the images of protests and marches are giving me life. I’m sending you all love, solidarity, & strength  We probably have tough times ahead. Hold hands with me. And let’s go.

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Protective parent

My spouse and I argued today over whether to let kid sign herself in and out of summer camp.
baoHe’s cool with it.
I’m not.

I tell her: “When I pick you up, I’ll swoop in like a hawk, snatch you up like a mouse, and snap you up in my mouth like a dumpling.

You’ll get the last reference if you saw the Pixar short film Baoby Domee Shi. A film I loved, by the way.

Trump’s immigration policies are not new: a resource on the history of exclusionary policies

child-0.jpgDoes the separation of migrant families outrage and shock you?

But did the Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act, signed into law by the Democrat Bill Clinton, NOT shock and outrage you?

Did Obama’s record number of deportations of migrants not outrage you?

obamaIs our outrage limited to the boorish Republican violations of migrant, Muslim, and women’s rights?

Are we passionate only in the short-term to get rid of the Republican administration and install a Democratic government that continues the same exclusionary immigration policies – just with a touch of suave entitled elitist Whiteness?

I refuse to join this short-term activism. I will continue to vote my conscience. Let’s refuse to buy into the emotional blackmail of every Democratic campaign (‘What if they get elected!’) Let’s fight for a different political world that rejects exclusionary policies built on white supremacy, capitalism, anti-blackness, ableism, and Islamophobia.

This resource, developed by the Justice for Muslims Collective (follow them!) is a history of exclusionary immigration policies, created and sustained by Republicans and Democrats. Check it out. 

“The Muslim and Refugee Ban is not an aberration. It is the logical next step in a longstanding history of discriminatory immigration policies in the US that have targeted specific groups for exclusion. The express purpose of such policies was to concentrate wealth and power among elites at the very top, through cultivating an entrenched system of white supremacy, buttressed by capitalism and sexism, and shaped by ableism.” – NO ENTRY: The Muslim Ban and A US History of Exclusionary Immigration, from the Justice for Muslims Collective

Getting help: suicide prevention

Anthony-Bourdain-at-Gaza-1024x680This week, Kate Spade committed suicide. Then Anthony Bourdain committed suicide.
I cannot think straight. It’s hard to get on with my day.
My feeds are clogged with suicide prevention messages, pleading with people to get help.
We ask people to get help. But sometimes getting help is just one more overwhelming thing to do for someone.
Try going through insurance, going through providers, seeing an oncologist who barely looks at you, employers hassling you because you have health issues, asking intrusive questions about what you can do. No vacation time.
Following the horrible news about how children, the vulnerable, migrants, women, trans people, minorities, are treated by the powerful, by the state, by the police, by the excessively wealthy. How health provision is shrinking.—- These are all daily attacks on mental health.
Then there is the culture of rugged individualism that pervades our lives. But we say “get help.” Even though getting help means showing vulnerability, and possibly losing opportunities.
People who need or ask for help are stigmatized, called names, discriminated against in employment and relationships. People avoid going to mental health professionals because they are terrified of the stigma. How can people ask for help when this so often becomes another mark against them?
Worse, consider that when Chelsea Manning was struggling recently, armed police broke into her house supposedly to check on her. How are people supposed to get help when the state so often is against them?
Untitled 2So: make it better. Don’t put it all on the struggling people. Don’t individualize and personalize this stuff.
It’s not just about a person making a call, or a person calling a friend. It’s systemic. We need bigger change, more help.

But DO call up that friend. DO call up the lifeline. Because we’ve got to hold each other against the power. Our solidarity is resistance.

But on the other front, we must fight to change the world where we are hanging on to each other on broken dinghies in the flood.

Instead of only telling people to get help, we’ve got to make it better.