The Longer Ones

Saturday, February 4, 2017

I hate posting this.

Political topics are my game. But talking about it always bring contention, therefore I don't. Until one topic.

Immigration.

For the first time in a while I'm pretty sure I just saw my religion go against a fairly conservative belief. Of course most religions stay out of official politics, and they do that's why they didn't denounce the president... only his actions.

Should we protect refugees? Should we protect or help immigrants? Should we do our best to lessen the pains in the world?

Yeah. We should. Personally, religiously, every other topic-ly. Maybe it was my brownness that gave it away but I am an immigrant. I'm a citizen now but sometimes it still doesn't feel that way. When I came here to America one of the greatest experiences that I first had was with my local church. They were kind. I remember sitting there in Valiant 9 (Sunday school) and almost immediately the guy sitting in front of me turned around, gave me the world's biggest Disney smile and said, "Hi, my name is Tanner, how are you?"

I didn't know how to respond, but with whatever broken english I had I said, "Hello, I'm an Asian Narwhal. Good I think." He was my first real friend here. I loved that about America, they were accepting and kind and cared about us.

So what changed?

A guy in my religion class told me it's because he's afraid, but why? Whenever they hear immigrants or refugees they hear criminals or rapists but that's simply not true. They're running away from a home that wants to hurt them. They're distraught mothers, they're confused fathers who don't know how to protect their children anymore. But most of all... they're children lost and filled with sadness because no one seems to want to take them in. Why are we afraid of them? Why can't we take the time to understand them like Tanner did to me?

We're Americans. If we share the same religion then we're Mormons. We survived persecution. We're the pioneers who crossed the free world. We're the country to walk on the moon and set sail to the stars with our technology. We inspire other countries to be more like us... and yet somehow we're afraid of them. Is it because we don't understand them? We're willing to spend years and years learning about accounting or engineering and we're unwilling to learn about one more person? Is that the case? Because if that's true then why are we closing our doors on them? If our fears are because of our ignorance then it should be our duty to learn to stand in their shoes and find out.

Others say they're afraid because they might kill them and to that I have a few things to say. You are more likely to be struck by lightning twice in a row in the US than be killed by a terrorist. Secondly we're Americans. When has fear ever stopped us? We know it's hard, we know it will hurt but we did it anyway for our beliefs, in faith, that we will persevere and keep on going. Of course there's risk, but isn't everything else worthwhile?

I don't want to say it's easy because it's not. We are asked to must open our doors to them for the better welfare of our society, and some say that's weakness. But if it'll save a life. If it can bring that same joy that Tanner gave me... then that's a weakness that I'd proudly carry.
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Tomorrow I'm going to protest in the State Capitol for refugees. To those reading this, I don't need you to agree with me but I need you to understand why people do this. I need you to understand immigrants because we're in this country together, we need to stop fighting and shutting people out and learn to understand. Though it's a heated argument, we need to face this together.

If you want to help in other ways, contact local representatives and senators of your state, write an amicus curiae briefs to the courts, call Trump towers, ask your God for help and pray.

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