What is going on in this country? My U.S. citizenship could very well mean nothing soon enough. Perhaps I’m being overly pessimistic. I read an article today on how fascism develops and it always begins with denial. I don’t want to be in denial. Of course, I would hope that the two other branches of government do something to halt the erratic behaviour of the man who is currently serving as President in the country I live in. Sure, a temporary stay has been issued. But Trump, I’m sure, will have his staff do something on Monday (weekends are for relaxing, of course).
I’m not really thinking about what will happen to me. Right now, I’m furious at what’s going on in this country since Friday evening. Green card-holders (!) being denied entry, just because they happen to originally be from 1 of 7 Muslim-majority nations? I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. National security my a- donkey (I forgot that I don’t swear ;). If national security were really a concern, Saudi Arabia would be on that list. But hey, it’s not. Hmmm.
When I think about the U.S.’s not-so-secret alliance with Saudi Arabia, it turns me into a darned conspiracy theorist. In these moments, I like to tell myself I’m Canadian. It makes me feel better. It’s never been a better time to be a Canadian. But the fact of the matter is, I live in this country. And it’s distressing that the President of the country I choose to live in and his team are yet again using my religion this time to deny people their right to life. Because if you discriminate against another Muslim simply because of his or her faith, you ARE discriminating against me. And I take it personally.
Not only will this move, regardless of the legal battle and its results, embolden those who might actually threaten “national security,” it’s damned hypocritical. Don’t tell me this is the land of the free if you bomb every other country to death. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but my anger is not. You don’t get to sit on your high horse while you beat others with your polo stick. That was a horrible analogy, I know. But I hope my point is clear.
I attended an interfaith gathering today which, as you can imagine, addressed the fear surrounding today’s America. One of the questions that I felt passionate about was, “Are there any barriers facing you?” And I was like, “Yes, as a visible Muslim woman, I’m only useful if my opinion follows the carefully orchestrated narrative of what a Muslim ought to sound like. I have to prove my patriotism. I shouldn’t have to do that. Being able to criticize my government is the most fundamental right of an American.” Well, I was not as as eloquent when I said it. But that was my point.
As an American citizen, I have every right to express my opinions and call out whomever it may be on their discrimination and, which especially riles me, their hypocrisy. As a Canadian-born, I’ve never felt more American than I have today writing this.