We Can’t Go Back
George Takei

I spend a great deal of time in taxicabs here in Gotham, traveling to and from my sister’s home where we are caring for our 94 year old mother. NYC cab drivers are nearly always from other countries: I have ridden in taxis driven by people from Ghana, Mali, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, India, Egypt..last week I even had a guy from Nepal!! Friendly and helpful, to a man. One driver even had a ‘Proud to be in America” mini flag hanging on his rear view mirror. All of which suggests to me that these hard working people came from their countries of origin in search of a better life — for themselves and their kin. Last week however, (swear it is true) in the midst of our conversation, my cabbie pulled up to a red light. He then turned around to face me, saying almost in tears, “Why does Donald Trump hate us?” I am hardly ever at a loss for words. But, I confess I was, then. How could I answer that question? I am only second generation on my mother’s side: grandma came here as an infant after being born in Naples, Italy). I am an ESL mentor, my husband was born in Mexico City. No doubt, my view of the “others” as some call them..is different from many who voted for the incoming Prez. And I also don’t doubt this — that I’ll seeing the occasional raised eyebrows and sneers in response to my ESL efforts. Which incidentally I plan to continue, during the next four years!!

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