Let them in

For the first time in my entire life, this morning I actually cried at the news.

It’s impossible to ignore what’s happening in the world, but if you want to, or if you think that speaking on the current political climate should be left to politicians then you’ve come to the wrong place.  I usually refrain from writing anything even remotely political on social media because it undoubtedly will attract scrutiny and counter arguments but on this matter, frankly I don’t care. I am so comfortable in the way I view the world and I would be tremendously disappointed in myself if I didn’t have some commentary on the horrendous path the world is on right now.

First of all, I’d like to point out that my mum was born in the United States. Consequently, my brother and I have the right – for now – to claim dual citizenship. The prospect of moving to and living in the US has been very much a likely scenario for us both for our entire lives up until now. What doesn’t make sense to me is how I – someone who’s entire family bar my mother is Scottish – have the right to fill out the appropriate paperwork and jump on a flight to any US state with really no questions asked, whilst people who have lived and worked and loved in America for years are now barred from reentering because of where they were born.

America is built on immigrants. It is a nation of immigrants. Even when speaking to Americans, they identify with the country their family emigrated from before describing themselves as American. Nobody is from America apart from Native Americans, and you just need to open a book or read the news about how greatly mistreated they have been.

To tarnish seven countries as terrorist states is astounding. Truly astounding. How can one of the most powerful men in the entire world be so unfathomably ignorant? How can racism and hatred and sheer bile be at one of the most admired posts on the planet in this day and age? How can Islamophobia be acceptable and normalised and to some extent promoted by these sanctions? How are shootings in and burning down of mosques failing to make headline news? How is this the modern world?  We have taken such a step back in recent years because of stereotypes, scaremongering and ignorance.

I have Muslim friends. Beautiful, kind hearted and smart girls. I sat in history classes and learned about how Jewish discrimination started off with them and now bans are being implemented and registers are being discussed over their religion. I sat in religious education and learned about their religion, about how important it was to give back to those less fortunate, about the importance of self-purification. At a school with such a large Muslim student body I saw first hand the importance of tolerance and the hurt that racism can cause. I can safely say that I don’t see people by their colour, I don’t ask their religion or their sexuality and even if I find it out I would never allow it to alter the way I view or felt about that person. Being Bhuddist doesn’t make you good, being Christian doesn’t make you better, and being Muslim certainly doesn’t make you bad, or a terrorist, or a threat to any body or country. 

I cannot even begin to imagine how it must feel to be afraid of what’s coming over the next few years purely because of my faith or the country I was born in. I can only hope that the marches and protests and hundreds of thousands of dollars being raised across the globe to aid those who are stranded or being discriminated against is a tiny piece of solace during this horrendous period of time.


67 thoughts on “Let them in

  1. Caitlin, very proud of the girl you are. Your thoughts are exactly the same as mine, I truly worry for the young people in this world.

    1. I am a second generation American. My Grandparents were born in Europe. If it weren’t for them and people like them Donald Trump might never have achieved a thing, never mind become President of the United States.

      Mr. Trump takes pride in saying he hasn’t got time to read books. He seems to get all of his information from Television. If he doesn’t read, gets his news from Television (probably Fox) and won’t listen to his experts is it any wonder that he makes bad decisions?

      A lack of information doesn’t address all of his actions, though. His appointments and nominations seem to defy logic. The Energy Secretary, for example, once sought to abolish the agency and was surprised to learn all that it did. His appointment to be the Labor Secretary is opposed to labor. He’s publicly stated that in his own business he would rather have robots and the Education Secretary and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development have absolutely no experience with their agencies. The only acceptable explanation is that he appoints people he likes and who never disagree with him, qualifications are not important.

      This is indeed a frightening time Caitlin and I agree with you. Your comments are insightful and timely and you deserve a great deal of credit for speaking out. Thank you for doing so. You can count me in as an ally.

  2. Well-written post that is entirely to the point. In the United States, I feel under attack by my government at this point, as the values that brought me to this country are being blown to smithereens. I can’t even imagine what people, whose families are being torn asunder due to this executive order, are going through. It’s heart wrenching and we’ll continue to fight for what is right and just!

  3. I completely agree. Everything that’s happened in the past week is such a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. Just know you’re not alone in thinking so and that there are so many others protesting for change every minute. Even if it doesn’t feel like it makes a big difference, it’s all little steps towards making things better!

  4. Very well said, Caitlin. What with Trump in the US and Brexit unleashing the same sort of xenophobia in my country, Britain, it seems as if the Atlantic world is entering a very dark place. Don’t apologise for writing a ‘political’ piece!

  5. You have written from the heart Caitlin and I feel exactly the same as you. However, I would never refer to anyone as being a powerful person – position does not equal power. I never see colour, only a fellow human and hope I treat everyone with respect, dignity and kindness. Let’s stop categorising people and allow everyone to live together on the one planet.
    I also want to say thank you Caitlin for liking my post “Chinese New Year” .
    Now I have lots more to read on your site. Best wishes – Margaret.

  6. G’day Caitlin, I admire your humanity. Unfortunately the world shows no mercy to innocent people who suffer genocide that flee to other lands. I have started a new political party “Australia New Era Party” to gain a better future for our children and their children which is not going to happen easily. The problems are many but the main problem is Poverty that is spreading around the world. There are fifty civil wars and more happening today and hundreds of thousands and millions are being killed and displaced. To regain sanity in all this first must come an end to genocide of all peoples and a stop of the flood of people displaced from their homelands. Greed is the main force that causes the above. Poverty causes loss of hope and dignity and indifference, regression and soon aggression and I fear the event of World War Three. If I am ever elected Prime Minister of Australia I will implore the United Nations do its job and end wars and genocide of all people and maybe sanity will prevail, Thank you for following my blog on WordPress, Cheers Ray.

  7. You ask “How can one of the most powerful men in the entire world be so unfathomably ignorant? ” The answer, at least part of it is, Donald Trump comes by ignorance naturally. Trump is ignorance personified. (Your blog is excellent!)

  8. Totally agree with your comments. You’re not alone out there – many more of us are appalled at what is happening in the United States, Great Britain, Europe and Australia. Thank goodness there are so many people standing up for decency, compassion and loving people just as they are.

  9. Caitlin, you hit the nail on the head. We can only hope, a faint hope for sure, that Trump will change once he got his campaign out of his system. All presidents have a learning curve and his will be the longest in history since he has no political experience. It he doesn’t change, he might not be able to finish his four years once he loses the support of Congress Republicans.

  10. Many Americans share your horror in relation to the man who is now our President, but more so for his many supporters who still cling to his demagoguery. The one good that has emerged is a resurgence of people of liberal minds, who are now recognizing that they too need to crawl out of the shadows and participate in moving the U.S. in a progressive direction.

  11. good morning caitlin
    thanks a lot for your appreciation of my post of yesterday on https://fredericstrips.wordpress.com/ , it make me happy
    due to your post here , I suggest you to read the 3 last chapters of my book EARTH IS THE AIM 6 Exodus and survivors , on my grouped blog https://earthistheaim2.wordpress.com/ , concerning America , Africa and South East Asia
    just in case , my preferred restaurant in Edinburgh is the : Vittoria on Leith walk
    have a nice day
    Frederic

  12. Dear Caitlin,
    Firstly thank you for liking my blog post https://bakerbalham.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/a-history-without-a-geography/.
    Secondly, I like the above post. Xenophobia is a bad thing and we must learn to love our neighbour. I’m a Christian but I’m sure all faiths have a similar “commandment”. Years ago, I read a fascinating book by Spencer Wells (The Journey of Man) He discusses the scientific techniques and theories of genetics and evolutionary biology he used to trace the geographical dispersal of early human migrations out of Africa. It seems we all originated in the same place. Food for thought.
    Regards,
    Richard

  13. Labelling all people of a country as a security threat based purely upon the country they were born in is unequivocally racist, and to call me naive because I’m able to vocalise this fact and to even have to pose the question of how its related to race is pretty sad.

  14. Thank you first of all for liking my post and I will definitely be following yours . As for this particular post, I so agree with you . As an American , I am so ashamed that my country has gone from the compassion of the Obamas and the Bidens to a travesty as Donald Trump as our president . I am so sorry that we have become the laughing stock of the world by electing this very ignorant man to lead one of the most powerful countries in the world . For the next four years , GOD PLEASE WATCH OVER AMERICA!

  15. Thank you Ms. Russell, very well expressed. And to those outside the United States, please know that the whole country hasn’t gone monster. There are many, many of us who are equally aghast.

  16. Hello Caitlin,Albert Einstein once said-” What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice” There is nothing more disturbing than ignorance in action. Growing up in the East of London- My neigbours were Jewish. I can still hear the awful remarks presented to them. I lived in a certain nation ripped apart by cruel dictatorship.Looking into the eyes of young people- dying for what they stood UP for- made me want to stand also against this stupid ignorance. As you know if you go the extra mile- you will find that it is seldom crowded. You have stood up and become a voice for all who will listen. I am happy to walk that extra mile with you and others.I pray you and your boy friend have a great trip together. Be blessed and stay safe….. I have a daughter in University- and another preparing. They are young ladies in this future generation- with a voice as clear as clear as your own. Thank you sincerely- I wanted to comment – because I sense you deserve the respect of the writer you are..

  17. I came legally to United States years ago I meant with visa as an immigrant when I arrived in Los Angeles . But that was in the golden era of United States , people were kinder then, the government tried hard to be polite to new comer from different countries and job were easy to get, like I said it was like gold. At least to us the outsider.
    But now things are changed at least I am sure for the illegals , not just the government agent that they have to watch for but the people in general , I wonder sometimes how we become so vicious to each other just for such things?
    Thank you for touching this matter I am sure it is going to touch the heart of many people.

  18. Hi Caitlin!

    We came here to say a big thank you for liking our posts. Being newbies in the world of travel blogging, your constant likes are a big encouragement for us.

    You are really brave in voicing your opinion in this post, and being residents in Middle East for over 10 years, we cannot agree with you more on how unfair it is to harbor such discriminating thoughts. 😔

    We look forward to reading your posts and hearing your thoughts on ours.

    Happy Travels!

    1. Hi guys!
      Thanks so much for commenting. That’s what it’s all about! It really is awful. I don’t usually stray from travel but couldn’t watch this all happening and not voice my opinion. All the best in your blogging endeavours and I look forward to seeing more posts from you.
      Caitlin X

  19. Excellent post ! And so we could repeat how we liked your reflection in all the languages that represent the nationalities that have given rise to this country, founded and built by immigrants. Greetings from this open window to cuba !!!

  20. I am old enough to bless you and I do.

    I recognize your photo because you also sometimes look at my main blog, Vin de Vie.

    I have lived all my life outside my country and could not have survived except for the friendship of strangers. Thank you for this blog.

    Sarah

  21. I’m with you, Caitlin. I’m so embarrassed and heartbroken about what’s going on in my country of origin these days. My heart bleeds for those who want and desperately need to get here as well as those who are already here and now live in fear. My hope is that one day soon all the hate and fear-mongering we’re seeing will have the effect of moving people whose hearts are good and we will come out of this dark period into a brighter day.

  22. An excellent personal statement. We forget how many of us are only one generation or less from the same situation that many of our present US inhabitants find themselves. I have a son-in-law with no birth certificate because his hippie parents didn’t register his home birth. He is always having problems identifying himself as a citizen for loans, social security, jobs, etc. We need to open our doors and let the stimulus of immigration keep pushing our nation forward.

  23. What a beautiful post,Caitlin. I write about my immigrant parents of 100+ years ago, and how their experiences, lies, and secrets affected me. A Christian, I attended a mostly Jewish school. Thanks for advocating NO MORE STEREOTYPES!! Also for liking my blog.

  24. Thank you for posting this. I know it has recently been considered somehow impolite to talk about politics, but angry voices of hatred don’t speak, they shout, so if we want to oppose them, we have to speak in greater numbers. (Keep going!)

  25. Caitlin, that’s wonderful post! All anyone has to do is look at the aging labor force in China and Japan. The social engineering in China (One Child) has reduced the number of live births, and the current labor force is just getting nearer to retirement. In Japan, the higher standard of living has also reduced the birth rate. What saved Germany is the E. U.’s Open Borders Policy.

    The decreasing l=birth rate in the U. S. has, over the decades, been offset by immigrants who are looking for a better life–to work, rise families and, yes, pay taxes. Considering the nations where women are generally not educated, and sometimes cannot work, it leads to many other horrendous problems, not just a stagnant labor force, by sex-trafficking, rape, incest and domestic abuse.

    This is why Asia–where many nations educate their women–seem to have more booming economies than those that don’t. Many immigrants who come to the US, especially those from Asia, the Caribbean and Northern Africa, generally have higher levels of education than the average American. And let’s face it, each and every one of us Americans have ancestors who were immigrants.

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