Lady Liberty in the Emergency Room
The atmosphere in an ER always feels thin. It’s impossible to breathe normal when you see blood draining from a parent’s body into a bag. That one time it happened at the ER, one of the 6 nurses in the room escorted me out. There, in the curtained-off area that has been designated as “hallway,” I sat listlessly as fear and uncertainty gripped me in a way that was both crippling and surreal.
When I was informed of the immigration ban that was issued on Holocaust Remembrance Day, I felt the same sense of dread and suffocation. I tried to comfort myself by identifying that what’s bothering me must be the uncertainty such a ban causes. But the truth is, it’s the certainty brought upon by the new executive order that fills me with dread. Overnight, we’ve robbed refugees of (promised) aid in their most desperate hour of need and given fuel to the factions that recruits against our way of life.
(Christian friends, who think of Trump as a vessel through which the Lord will work his miracles, show me a verse in your holy book that instructs one to turn away people on the run, in fear of their life. I vaguely recall the city of Sodom being turned into salt for wanting to fuck over two refugees that Lot took in. I wonder what will happen to us now that we’re going to fuck over a lot more refugees.)
During my ER trips, I used to familiarize myself with the administrative procedurals and the clinical procedures that needs to happen to my loved ones — partly to keep them informed, but mostly to keep myself sane. I need assurance that they will be okay. I had been doing the same since the political transition started: keeping myself informed of what’s going on, tallying the short- and long-term damage that is being sustained by the shields of democratic system that is sustaining Lady Liberty, keeping her alive.
Each day, we’re getting damage reports. Here and there are encouraging reports of resistance. In between these QA reports for Democracy, I wonder about when BAD THINGS will happen to me, a Chinese immigrant. An American. Yesterday they started to keep out brown people with green cards, where on the roster am I?
Lady Liberty is in the ER. and I can’t breathe.