“Not MY Problem!”-Saith The Right

I’m thinking I should start a new blog entitled “Bus Stories”. That seems to be where some of my best material comes from these days. So, I was on transit last week and listening to three men converse. They were all older white men and were discussing the Rockville incident. The topic turned to immigration and DACHA, though they did not use those terms. They were uniformly against giving Dreamers ANY sort of help, be it schooling, healthcare, or housing. They agreed that anyone here who is an “illegal” should be sent back to where they came from, period. When I spoke up in defense of DACHA, they turned to me and said, “I don’t care how they got here, they’re illegal. What part of “illegal” don’t you understand? So they were brought here as children? NOT MY PROBLEM!”

Several things stuck me about this exchange. The first was the the absolute lack of any glimmer of compassion in their voices. And these men all would probaby describe themselves as good Christians. I knew one of them outside of the conversation and had always found him to be very friendly towards every rider of the bus. That was before this election legitimized showing bigotry, though, and I’ve noticed an increase in racist remarks from people I’ve never heard make them before Trump got elected. The second thing I noticed was their uniformity of tone. There was no real back and forth in this conversation. Even the phrases they used were identical. It sounded more like they were trading slogans than really talking. I felt odd, like I was eavesdropping on a secret club-house meeting. Maybe a steady diet of Fox news does that to you….Even when my progressive friends and I get together, we do argue.

I want to say to these men that YES, IT IS YOUR PROBLEM! And it is my problem, too. And it is is OUR problem because we live here and immigrants live here and how we deal with them says volumes about who we are and what our actual values are. Are you going to live according to those “good Christian values” you presume to uphold, or do they only apply to your white neighbors? This country was founded BY IMMIGRANTS. WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS! Just because YOUR ancestors got here a little earlier than some of the others and had whiter skin does NOT make you better! And YOUR brand of religion is not any better than that of the “illegals” you purport to despise or of the Muslims you want to ban or even any better than the unbelief of the atheists like myself. We are all in this together. You can say it is “not my problem” and try to stick your head in the sand but you live here. The draconian laws over immigration will ultimately trickle down to affect someone you know. The taxes that get imposed to build more private prisons to hold those that Trump (#notmypresident) and Co. want rounded up will affect YOU. We’d better start thinking about this.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on ““Not MY Problem!”-Saith The Right

  1. Well said! My grandmother taught me to treat everybody like I’d want to be treated. Even when it’s hard, even when they’re not nice to me. But especially if they don’t look like me, speak like me and especially if they appear to be in trouble. Be kind, that’s what she said – and she lived it.

    She taught me that my family came to Washington County Va way back in the 1700’s. We have a g-g-g-grandfather who took part in the Revolution – he’s buried in Hayter’s Gap, right here in Washington County. I’m proud about that, but I also remember that he moved here and participated in that war because he wanted to live in a place where immigrants, like himself, his wife, father and other family could live in peace. Yes – my family has been here a long time, but they are NOT from here – none of us are (except our Native sisters and brothers). Let’s try to respect and lend a hand when we can.

    And please let me speak to “good Christian values:” My grandmother told me these things when I was a little boy, and I remember her words now. She’d say, “whatever you think, whatever you do, always remember that Our Good Lord was a stranger too.” “You always be kind, you always look out for those who are in trouble. Because that’s what He would do, and that’s how you need to live your life.”

    Have I always been lived up to her words? No, I’m ashamed to say. But, I remember her words and I have a renewed belief that we are all called to treat others as we want to be treated. Period. I appreciate you giving voice to those “others.” During this time of 45, we have got to pull together and treat each other with dignity and respect – it may be our only hope.

    Like

  2. It’s funny. I’m known on transit as the “militant” b/c I’m outspoken about being:atheist, queer. progressive, trans, Jewish….all things that most of the poeple who ride transit have been taught to fear and loathe. Yet I’m ALSO known as the person who is quick to help with packages, give up a seat if need be, and pay complete stranger’s bus fares. Several years ago I made a conscious decision to be vocal about who and what I was here JUST so people would see that all those stereotypes embodied in a living breathing human being. You might say I’m waging a one-person consciousness-raising campaign, lol. I’m giving a LOT of people some heavy problems with cognitive dissonance, not that they’d use that term. Hehehehe.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s