As I believe y'all know, we have a 'no politicking' rule in Vintage Ads. This really isn't the place for it, and we also have members of varied political beliefs. When we did Dump Trump in July of 2015, that wasn't really politicking as he was considered by a vast majority as a joke candidate and he had just recently announced his candidacy prior to that. To have such an event now, would be politicking, and to be fair [I'm wearing my mod hat] I couldn't approve that.
We did some Gay Equality events when Putin decreed draconian laws and Russian LGBT individuals were being subjected to physical and verbal abuse. Not to mention arrests, false accusations, kangaroo courts, etc. That was human rights, not politicking, and the right thing to do. Those laws are still in effect too.
Everyone is welcome to Vintage Ads. No matter your gender, color, religion--or lack of, nationality, sexuality, political beliefs, etc you are welcome here. We're all equal here, as we should be everywhere else.
People being banned from entering the United States and/or detained at airports with no legal support is not what this country is about. These are individuals who have the proper legal right to be here. Either to visit, continue their studies, to live here, or for other reasons. People with green cards can't come home. Can you imagine? I have a neighbor who has a green card; but she's from Argentina, so she could come home if she left the U.S. But if she was from another country, she'd be stranded. Her home is here. Her husband is here. Her job is here. Her school is here. I'm using her as an example, as it's someone I know.
I also have neighbors from Iraq. They arrived here a few months ago. A widow with her children. Her husband was killed for helping U.S. troops. If she didn't arrive then, she and her children would be in extreme danger in Iraq. While, of course, it's difficult for her to adjust to a new country and language, her children are adapting very quickly. They're very friendly, and can speak pretty good English already. One of the kids wants to be a police officer when he grows up. We're suppose to villainize these people because they're Muslims from Afghanistan? She's grateful to have what she considers a huge house, safety for her family, an education for her children, and food on the table.
There are about a half dozen Nepalese refugee families in my neighborhood too [North Hill is known as the International District of Akron]. Most of them spent years in detention camps for their religious beliefs. A couple of the families are Muslim. All of them, no matter their beliefs, are very friendly people. They work very diligently at learning English, many start jobs within a week of arriving here, and you can see how much they appreciate everything they have, no matter how little it is. One man said, "As long as we have some food to eat and shelter, the freedom we have in this country is the greatest gift God has given us." Now, regardless if you have religion or not, I think he, and most of the refugees, appreciate what we sometimes take for granted. Freedom.
The United States was founded on the principle of FREEDOM. Particularly freedom of religion. When individuals who have the legal right to be here, are denied that right, they are being denied the freedom they were given. When one group of people are denied the freedom they were given, one must seriously consider, what group will be next? What group will be the group that makes you say 'enough'? If you wait, it might be too late.
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me." ~Pastor Martin Niemöller
This isn't politicking. This is a human rights issue that affects us all. Things you can do:
If you are in the United States:
- Send a message to the White House. I think they forgot to remove this page, oops! Fill in form style here. Let them know this is not America. Just PLEASE be polite. If that page gets pulled, you can put pen to paper and support the post office sending the White House a letter:
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
- Contact your State Representative. Find them here. No, they cannot change the law; but they can hear countless people saying "This law is not America". Say whatever you wish. Just please be polite.
- Do the same with your Senator. Find them here.
- If you're in a major city, find a protest group to join. There is strength in numbers. PLEASE protest legally and abide by any requests given to you by law enforcement.
- Donate to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. They do a lot of civil rights advocacy, and you can read on their site all they do.
- If you have any neighbors or friends who are here on visas or green cards, send them a message of support. Even if they are from a considered 'safe' country, at this point, you can imagine the anxiety and fear they might be having. I left notes for all my neighbors today in that situation.
- If you have an International Institute in your city and some time to spare, contact them about volunteering.
- Anything positive to help others!!
If you are outside the United States:
- Send a message to the American Embassy, Consulate, or Diplomatic Mission in your country. Find them here. Tell them you thought America was founded on freedom, not fear. Tell them whatever you wish, just please be polite.
- And you could pretty much do most of the above too. You might have friends, neighbors, or family, who are personally affected by this. Be as supportive as possible. You might have travel plans to the U.S. yourself and you might be in France, but, what's next? It's scary. It's okay to admit to being afraid.
- Please keep in mind, that most Americans fully support freedom.
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." ~FDR Well, that's partially true now. It's okay to say you're scared. It's okay to say you're anxious. We don't know what's going to happen next. Just know that millions of others feel the same way. Millions of us are joined, not only in fear; but in support of one another. There IS strength in numbers. Light always will shine through decimating the darkness.
We are ALL that light. Let it shine. Let it shine bright. When all our lights join together? Darkness disappears.