An Immigrant’s Response to Racism

I think back to when I moved to this country — land of the free, home of the brave. I never thought it could come to this. I keep trying to think where we went wrong. I know this always existed, but has it worsened?

The realists argue that the progressive agenda is what pushed the right, but since when is a black man becoming president considered progressive agenda? When did fighting for equality, a pillar of our constitution, become progressive rhetoric?

Does it come down to the fear of the unknown? Or is it how society shaped our fears? Can we ever reach those that fell in too deep? Probably not.

Strangely, I don’t even feel angry with them anymore. I feel sorry for them… They’ve been fed bullshit about the “other” — black, brown, urban, secular… They’ve been told that immigrants took their land, even though this land was never theirs to claim.

Sometimes, I wonder if they would feel the same if they knew my family’s story — risking everything in hopes for a better life. Would they call us freeloaders if they watched my parents struggle every day to put food on the table, clothes on our back, and convince us that this was the dream all along? Would they say we have it easy if they watched my family racially profiled and targeted at every border?

Would they feel the same if they knew my story — a brown woman who experiences racism and sexism in a country she was told would protect her. Would they think the same of me if they knew that I’m willing to combat the hatred with love — that instead of rioting in the streets, I’m forgiving them for their bigotry. I’m channeling this rage into serving my country.

Though I’m not a citizen, this is my home. This has been my home. I can’t give up hope because I know its potential — I’ve seen it. I’ve felt kindness in this country that I haven’t experienced anywhere else — I know we can be better.

You can fight me, profile me, and constantly try to scare me away, but it won’t do you any good. I will keep loving you. I will show you that I bring you no harm — I’m trying to help you recognize that the real enemy is the one who fed you these lies.

I will dedicate my life to this. I don’t expect love or compassion in return… just civility.