Day 8

I have so many thoughts about this man and the rest of these people who think they’re in charge.

The first comes from the fact that I’m reading a book about North Korea. I do not mean to be hyperbolic. The book, Without You There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite by Suki Kim is, among other things, the only thing ever written by an undercover journalist in North Korea. Kim, a journalist and writer, goes undercover as a missionary with evangelicals who somehow built a school in North Korea where they’ll educate the regime’s sons. Kim goes twice undercover: as a missionary, and as a teacher.

Throughout the piece, we get to know Kim’s students, students who consistently express their gratitude for everything their Great Leader does, for them and for the world. At one point Kim iterates that some of her students think the entire world speaks korean– a weird one for them to mention, considering that the teachers are there primarily to teach them english. Why learn english if everyone speaks korean? Regardless, the inconsistencies don’t matter. The Great Leader said it, so it must be true. Though, they do wonder if this is in fact true. They ask Kim, and for her safety and their own she says something like “well I live in the US and I speak korean. There are probably people everywhere who speak korean.”

I tell you this anecdote because we all know about the story our Great Leader and his Minister of Propaganda made up about inauguration day: it was the largest amount of people to ever witness an inauguration EVER, PERIOD. Categorically untrue and easily disproved, this is some North Korea level delusion.

Another thing on North Korea as it relates to this FUCKED HORRIBLE EVIL refugee ‘ban’: families were permanently separated during the korean war. Kim talks about her own family’s separation; Kim’s mother is 4, Kim’s grandfather is in Busan for work, and there are bombs everywhere. Kim’s grandmother scoops up all of her children, with significant help from the oldest boy, and they head towards the south. They’re about to leave on a train when people start yelling to make room for women and children. Before Kim’s grandmother can even register what’s happening, her oldest son gets off the train to make room for women and children and is never seen again.

There are millions of these stories from the Korean war, millions more from every other war too I’m sure, and millions more now that this man signed an order banning all refugees, immigrants, permanent residents, etc. from certain muslim countries. He has separated families, lovers, children. He has sanctioned innumerable people to indefinite loneliness, and thousands more to death.

Is this reality lost on all of you scared and angry people who voted for this man? Do you genuinely have no problem with persecution? Or do you not realize what this is? I do not understand your willingness to separate people from each other, to impose violence and nationalism onto people you do not know, people who do not know you and people who wish you no harm. To sentence people, people like yourself, to die, to literally no longer exist.

I just do not understand how? And what? What stories do you tell yourself before you drift off to sleep? Surrounded by people you love, in a place you love, in a place that supports you and tells you that you and your disgust for other people are right.

And on these ‘journalists’ writing shit like “refugee ban doesn’t target countries with people who have committed terrorist acts against the US” — do you actually think this is useful? You’re essentially pointing out that this man is targeting ‘the wrong countries,’ like if he had included Saudi Arabia on this list of places to ban humans from maybe this ‘policy’ would be ok? Stop letting toddler president dictate the parameters of the conversation. Your hopelessly naive coverage doesn’t matter. This man banned individuals from countries the US is secretly bombing, countries full of people who have legitimate grievances against us and our infinitely expansive violence. He did not ban individuals from countries where the US as a country and he as a shitty person have money interests. This is literally the definition of business as usual, and your coverage does nothing to illuminate anything.

A final thing: Immigration and Customs and Border Patrol people, what do you think you’re doing? Why did you get into the line of work that you’re in? Did you do it to ‘protect and serve’? Something supposedly regular police forces are in the work for? Which, also, is problematic but not exactly what I want to talk about right now. Or did you do it to detain, persecute, and torment muslims and latinos? This is a serious question. If you genuinely want to help people, if you want to support and protect people, to welcome people, to keep people who are already here safe, you need to stop following orders. The man who is in charge of you wants you to be the stazi, the gestapo, the kgb. He wants you to persecute your fellow people, and if you don’t consent to be such a force, he can’t do it. Authoritarian regimes, dictatorships, they only work if you can get enough people to hate and agree to oppress their fellow people.