“I sat openly weeping this morning at London Heathrow airport with my American passport in my hand. I wasn’t the only one.
The people who took the time to comfort me with sympathetic smiles and pats on the shoulder were almost exclusively people of color and of a faith that Donald Trump suggests we ban from entering our country. I watched their affection for Evangeline and saw the beauty in the interaction and realized the gravity of this situation.
It’s not just the audacity of Donald Trump and all the ugliness that comes with him, it’s that so many of my neighbors - my brothers and sisters -are desensitized to the constant stream of hatred and ignorance we have heard come out of his mouth with our own ears! It’s not the hype my friends. It’s not just the media, I watched him say these things just like you did.
I feel tried and convicted. I instantly understand how in abstract ways pertaining to entertainment and complacency, I was a part of it - there is no us and them.
It felt like it would have been so easy in that moment to just take a few steps backward out of terminal 3 and catch the train back to London and look at renting a flat with my wife and the little woman we’re trying to raise to believe in the goodness of all gods creation. But I know what my role is now in this, I’m an American folk singer… and a gay woman, who’s a wife and the mother of a daughter and Christian who believes that for me it was a refugee that changed everything… an "illegal” even.
Nobody needs to be moving to Canada! We need to stay here and hold down the fort. We need to revive the music, activism and volunteer culture that we saw in response to the Vietnam war. But this time we’re responding to climate change that will devastate those living in poverty, we’re responding to fight mass incarceration, racial profiling and the family destroying deportations that our “country of immigrants” is on the verge of imposing on our brothers and sisters - “Building the wall” sums up what we’re heading into plain and simple - wake up! I know I’ve certainly been sleeping… have you?
I plan to dedicate myself for as long as it takes to advocate for children whose lives are being destroyed by conflict, racism and greed. Let’s seek out those with a mission statement, or make our own plan, but act now.
There is no moral justification for turning your back on the needy, it will always be and always has been a risk to do the right thing. We aren’t going to be scared into “extreme vetting” and “bans” that leave children to drown in the sea.
Tell your daughters that Hillary Clinton didn’t fail. No way forward was ever paved with a sweeping victory but with back breaking struggle and sober retrospect. History will hold her up and so should we.
I’m awake! I’ve been shaken by the apathy and I’m comforted by the promise that God still hears the cry of the poor no matter how many billionaire real estate/casino moguls we elect to lead us down the super highway of “prosperity”.
The gate is narrow - of course we didn’t win.
Few and mighty doesn’t even begin to describe the battle cry of a just cause based in love.
What are we gonna do?
- Brandi Carlile