BY SHARON MARTIN
This administration does not want your tired or your hungry. The president could care less that you are fleeing from persecution. If you’re brown, willing to work, and are paying taxes on your income, that doesn’t hold the door open for you.
In the State of the Union message, the president commended those Americans who, building lives “between the ocean and the wilderness,” fought for freedom. He didn’t say that those brave folk were immigrants, many of them fleeing persecution. There was no mention of the people who were already here when they arrived.
While the door is being slammed shut, the president and his advisors stoke your fears. Refugees are their favorite targets.
If your government was killing its own citizens, wouldn’t you try to get your family out of harm’s way? Wouldn’t you try to find a safe place to go?
Young men cross borders, live in horrid conditions, suffer beatings and jail, but they don’t give up. Families struggle to save their young children. Children of immigrants who make it to safety learn new languages and adapt despite the trauma of their young lives.
Aren’t these the very humans the human race needs? Evolution favors adaptors, problem solvers, the brave, the thinkers and doers. These are our ancestors, those who came across the Bering land bridge and those who sailed across the ocean. These are the people our president and too many conservative leaders fear. They don’t want thinkers and doers; they want unquestioning followers.
There is also unabashed racism in their platform. The shithole countries comment that made its way to the public was a rare moment of truth for this president.
Already, babies of color outnumber white babies in the U.S. By 2020, children of color will outnumber white children in elementary schools. It appears that this scares the GOP.
Not all conservatives are racists, but the racist right fought President Obama on issues that they would have supported if he’d just been a white man. They want you to be afraid of children fleeing violence in Central America. They want you to believe that Green Cards are handed out without oversight and that allowing a family to bring their elderly parents to this country is a danger.
They want you to be afraid because they are afraid. They aren’t afraid of terrorism nearly as much as they are afraid of losing their entitlement.
Perhaps the scariest moment in the president’s speech came when he suggested that a “major event” was the only way to bring America together. It was almost palpable, that feeling of needing an attack to cement his power.
Not only could he unite the country in common horror, he’d have the very excuse he needs to lock the doors. Let’s pray he doesn’t start a war to get what he wants.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. Her children’s book, Froggy Bottom Blues, can be purchased in hardcover or paperback from Doodle and Peck Publishing. It also is available in paperback from Amazon.