Happy Birthday to my grandmother Ruth Pitt. She would have been 97 years old today. She was a survivor of Nazi Germany and was the only member of her family to make it out alive. She came to New York City by herself at 16 and was able to raise two children and build a family in America. Since yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day I wanted to honor her memory and share a few quick thoughts on our current situation with the Muslim Ban.

Ruth inspired me to be a History major in college. My senior thesis was about America’s abandonment of the Jews during WWII. The whole world turned their backs on Jews. Some Jewish refugees were able to find safe havens in America and then Israel but millions and millions of others were not so fortunate.

With a heavy heart today I feel disgusted with myself that I was not more outspoken during the election this past year. I thought Trump was all talk and his xenophobic fear instilling rhetoric only existed temporarily so he could have a better chance of winning the election. Now look at where we are today January 28th 2017. A Muslim Ban really was executed by our President (and coincidentally he announced it on Holocaust Remembrance Day without acknowledging it). I’m not sure if it’s even legal what he has done.

To the billions of peaceful loving Muslims worldwide please understand that tens and millions of Americans know the rotten terrorists out there don’t represent you or your ideals. To the hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees trying to find a safe home I will continue to educate myself in how I can contribute. The motto of the Holocaust is “Never Forget” and today it feels as if we have forgotten our past and the vicious cycle of xenophobia, government sanctioned religious persecution, and pure racism prevails. My grandmother would have despised Donald Trump. In her honor I stand in solidarity with Muslim refugees and immigrants worldwide. Stay strong we will figure this out.