Last week, I posted a Flashback Friday from 2009 where I quoted lyrics from a NOFX song. The first part of that song goes like this
First they put away the dealers,
keep our kids safe and off the street.
Then they put away the prostitutes,
keep married men cloistered at home.
Then they shooed away the bums,
then they beat and bashed the queers,
turned away asylum-seekers,
fed us suspicions and fears.
We didn’t raise our voice,
we didn’t make a fuss.
It’s funny there was no one left to notice
when they came for us.
Yesterday I finished work to discover that yet another executive order had been signed by the President of the United States of America. One banning anyone born in a certain select number of countries from entering the United States of America. He says this is about the war on terror. To me, the tyrant is him. Some people laughed and shrugged off when I said that Donald Trump was following in the footsteps of Hitler. It’s now really not funny and not a joke. My own Prime Minister is in the USA on a state visit, and I am ashamed of her for not standing up and openly and publicly criticising some of these orders he has signed in the last week. Especially one that targets a specific religious group.
I don’t care whether you voted Republican or not. I do care if you do something about these awful acts now – before you become the people that our children and grandchildren around the world look at and go “How could people support such a terrible man?”
It is no shock to me that one of the world leaders on the phone reminding POTUS that what he has done is against the Geneva Convention is the leader of Germany (Go Angela Merkel!). All children who go through state school education in Germany are taught about their history and how it all happened. A huge element of recovering after World War 2 in Germany was community development through re-education. Both the catholic and protestant churches set up organisations to enable people to travel and learn to enable this process.
Today, myself and more than half a million of my fellow residents and citizens in the UK are asking our government to take a stand by not allowing POTUS a state visit while this despicable order – which has had US residents arrested at airports, prevented asylum seekers seeking refuge and more – is in place. Many of us will be taking to the streets for a 2nd or 3rd time since 20th January to protest, raise our voices and show that we stand with our friends who are most affected by this. I’ve been writing to my political representatives to ask them to stand against hate and racism. I’m considering writing to key Republicans, POTUS, and VPOTUS (because only a year ago he expressed condemnation for a ban such as this one).
This morning, I rode the bus listening to songs about Jesus. And I thought…Jesus said when we let a stranger into our home, we welcome him. Jesus stood up against the leaders when they stigmatised and oppressed certain people. He talked to the Samaritans, the poor, the sick, the prostitutes. He was himself a refugee, along with his parents.
Think about that. Then think about how your country’s leaders speak of the people that Jesus loves and asks us to love and care for.
The petition for any UK citizens or residents to sign campaigning for POTUS to banned from a state visit is here. approx. 41,000 people have signed it just while I’ve been writing this post. One of my American friends who lives and works in D.C. is currently outside the White House with others protesting. There is a protest organised in Edinburgh tomorrow evening, and one in London next Saturday.
I hope I will never become apathetic so that love continues to win over hate.