Leslie Cook

America First!

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2017 at 9:58 am

america_first_committee

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Emma Lazarus

I memorized these words in grade school. To me, these words are more than just a poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty. These words always stood for American values. It’s what I thought the United States stood for. We were founded by refugees who all came together to make a better place. We’ve sometimes lost our way, but, in our hearts, this is what America stood for.

On Friday, that optimism was murdered by 45*. On Friday, 45 signed an executive order that bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for at least the next 90 days. This order also suspends our US refugee program for four months and bans Syrian refugees.  This action threw our immigration process into chaos.

45’s executive order states “The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred…or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.” If only this ban were applicable to those who hold higher office.

45’s actions may or may not comply with the laws of the land, however, they do violate the spirit of this country. We seem to have once again given in to fear and hatred. The writers of this executive action have forgotten that their ancestors were not from here. They were immigrants from troubled countries that needed help or were looking for a better life. The US opened its doors to them.

I’m not saying that we should not have a vetting process. Of course we should. But to say “No, we don’t want you” to people just because they hold a particular religious view is wrong. Are we, as Americans, going to jump into our holes, grab our guns and say “Go Away” to people in need of freedom and justice? Is this what we now stand for?

It’s only been a week since 45 took office and he’s determined to fulfill all of the promises he made to his fans.Build that wall! Get rid of Muslims and Mexicans! Dismantle Obamacare! Make America First!  After the election, I kept hearing calls to give the man a chance. To that I said “No.” In the words of the great Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” 45 has been showing us who he is for 40 years. He wasn’t going to miraculously change the minute he took the oath of office. I was correct. He hasn’t changed. If anything, he’s more of who he is. Scared, hateful, and full of anger.

As Americans, we need to decide what we believe. Do we really believe that we should shut our doors to the poor and huddled masses? Should we lock up the innocent? Should we ignore those in need?  I know what my answer to these questions are. Do you?

 

*45 stands for the 45 President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

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