I posted a poem and drawing from 2015 about refugees on my facebook page as one does, and was surprised although not shocked by a couple of comments I recieved. They were well composed, however they emphasized that the United States is not an altruistic society and how we must save our compassion for our own citizens first. Being the mischievous person that I am, or should I say make an effort to be, I could not leave well/comment enough alone. So ahead of The Fourth of July I will leave my reply here, in perhaps the vain hope that we might feel the rhythm and tether of history a smidge stronger right now:
The US is also the country that has instigated and perpetuated conflict in these regions for decades, are you familiar with that?
Is it not ironic when a country of immigrants and refugees whose architecture is built atop sediment infused with the remains of Native American civilizations adamantly argue that “we should come first”?
Are you sponsoring a reservation, are you an advocate for Native American Rights? Or are you just a 5th or 8th generation refugee whose pallor has changed, found themselves more deserving despite “all men being created equal” and now wants to close the only door that has made this country more than.
Because we should not be a country that chooses, because we can support citizens and future citizens, because the world is not as small as a comment thread on Facebook, because whether we are altruistic or not we hold the handle on the future of generations to come and that power, that significance, means we do something, we do not let humanity whither and go extinct because we wanted to insulate ourselves against helping.
The hands will be outstretched, sometimes farther than anyone can reach and to get to them tomorrow we will have to find our peace.