YEPITSPAT / Pat Byrnes


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This is not freedom

This isn't the land of the free, this isn't the America we were taught to be proud of.   We as a nation are so much better than this.  Today I was supposed to drive a friend to the airport for a trip she had saved six years for.  Unfortunately, in today's america, this didn't happen.  She, a legal green card holder living in New York for well over a decade, had to cancel her trip as she was unsure whether she'd be able to return to a life she has lived for years, to her job that she's had for years, to her city, the one she has called home for years.  All of this because she had been born in the middle east and had been raised in a muslim family.  She herself has identified as an american since she came here as a child (fleeing desert storm), and often had been looked down on by some members of her family for being "too Americanized" or for acting "too western".  When I last spoke to her she expressed to me how much of a misfit this thinking makes her feel, here she is identifying as an american but looked down on for being muslim by the very government that preached of our strength through diversity; and looked down on by many in the muslim community for being too western and "denying the ideals of her faith".  From a young age she decide that she preferred to dress more american, and hadn't worn any form of head dress in years; she said she was an american and had the freedom to decide for herself whether or not to wear it.  She like most americans her age had lived through, mourned, and feared like we all did during and post 911, probably more than she told me.  She went to and graduated from a NYC public school and went to college like the most of us americans.  She took up a part time job to help pay for college, that luckily turned into a full time job post graduation.  And she cried when she got word that her grandfather was sick and likely to die back home.  Fast forward to today, a day where she no longer feels free, she and countless more americans of islamic descent, no longer feel as if they can be free, afraid to be who they are; and with talk of camps on the horizon are afraid that this america, the one that they and myself were proud to call home, is quickly heading toward a land much like the one muslims around the world are trying to escape from.  In the land of the free where we preach equality and freedom, some of our own people are no longer guaranteed these rights.  My friend will most likely never get to see her grandfather alive ever again, and the likelihood of any of her family being able to come here is almost as unlikely.  

As for people who are celebrating this as a victory for America, I am sorry, but I think many of you have forgotten what america was supposed to be.  Let's think about this for a second, we have people who are afraid of their governments, looking for better lives, and trying to flee persecution simply based on who they are.  These are people trying to flee to a better world, a new world if you will, despite the obvious parallels to this current refugee crisis, I was actually describing the pilgrims.  The very people who are seen as "the first americans" (which I am not going to get into in this post for obvious reasons*) the pilgrims who after time, and a revolt for their freedom, founded the country known as america.  Sure this america was drastically different than today's america, but the fundamentals haven't changed, america was and has always been a country of immigrants looking for a better life, for their freedom.



*I assure you, at some point I am likely to make an entire post about this

Don't Be Part of the Problem

I'm So Over This