Sports and Politics: two constants in the United States
A couple of weeks ago, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry had a fiery reaction to Donald Trump and his recent legislation. Lowry wasn't the first person to comment on the political matters. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr were more politically correct with their responses. Whereas, Lowry was straight to the point as he had extremely descriptive words for Donald Trump's legislation.
Lowry said that he believes the Muslim Ban is "bullshit...absolute bullshit." The media even asked him if they could get more of a cleaned up statement for the papers and he said, "Y'all gotta bleep that out." Kyle Lowry joins the chorus of celebrities and athletes who have spoken up against Donald Trump. Popovich, Kerr and Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy have also spoken their minds publicly and causing Lowry to dub them "trendsetters." It is easy to see the cause for concern. Many courageous athletes and celebrities have used their voices to express their shock and disdain for Trump and his policies. Personally, I applaud their bravery as Kyle Lowry or Meryl Streep speaking out would appeal to a diverse background of Americans and inspire people to take action.
Numerous protests have arisen throughout the country; New York, Boston and Los Angeles to name a few. All have been prompted by the tremendous injustice and bigotry which has reigned upon this country. Was not this country built by immigrants and people seeking refuge from religious persecution? Why stop accepting people now? Doesn't that go against everything we stand for in this country. These immigrants can be anything from doctors, skilled laborers, priests or academics. The amount of hysteria in this country is absolutely ludacris. According to CNN, you have a 0.00003% chance of dying in an attack that is carried out by a foreign-born terrorist . Also, zero refugees from the countries included in the travel ban have killed anyone in terrorist attacks on U.S. Soil.
There have also been 17 people from these countries who have been convicted of attempting or participating in terror attacks on the US in the last 40 years.
Islamophobia and Xenophobia are becoming quite rampant in this country and I believe that is it incredibly unjust. I have the privilege of living close to an Islamic mosque and in a community that is incredibly inclusive and accepting of people from different religious backgrounds. One thing I will say, is that I used to identify as a conservative, with a lot of conservative principals and ideals mainly towards fiscal spending. I cannot comfortably say that I am a Republican any longer as my ideals have shifted. If Donald Trump's America is the vision that Washington will support, I cannot comfortably say I agree with him or the party whatsoever.
Remember this, we are all immigrants, unless you were truly born here you have no right to complain about immigration. We all have ancestors that were from different parts of the world. Many of our ancestors had their own reasons for coming to this country. I would be a perfect example of immigration in this country as I have ties to Slovakia, Russia, Germany, Neatherlands, and Italy. My ancestors were escaping something, and many of the people immigrating here are escaping something unpleasant as well. Whether it's a war-torn Syria, or they are chasing the promise of a better life from Africa, the last thing immigrants are going to want to do is cause a commotion. They are too busy in awe of the country and freedoms we all take for granted on a daily basis.
The numbers do not lie, the fact of the matter is these people are hard working, dedicated, and family oriented. Many of which are looking to make a better life for themselves. They are taking a chance coming over to a country where they don't speak the native language and trying to assimilate to life in America as quickly as possible. They do not wish to cause you harm. Quite frankly, they wish to go about their business free of interruption.
Comedian Aziz Ansari said it best on Saturday Night Live a very weeks ago. It seems that people were hiding their feelings until Donald Trump came into power. He was quoted in his material as saying "People don't have to pretend to not be racist anymore." The alarming thing about that statement is that satire is beginning to meet reality. It seems like folks from the alt-right are making it easy for closet racists to move about and say their feelings more freely. Jorge Ramos of Univision experienced that first hand at a Donald Trump press conference.
We all need to sit back and think what life must be like for people trying to immigrate into our country. Take a moment and research your family history to see where you came from. I guarantee you will see a lot of similarities between today's immigrants and your family history. In these uncertain times, be kind to one another and just be a good person. Treat each other with respect and love. Try to make a friend, because everyone has a story to tell. You might just learn something about a culture that you never knew before.