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#MicroblogMondays 127: Imbalance

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On the day we brought home Linus, a few miles away at the airport, a family with two kids were being detained.  Not for anything they did or intended to do but because of their country of origin.

That imbalance: One family can afford to keep a rodent as a pet, another doesn’t have a safe home.

It’s not as if you only have a single refugee family to choose from if you want to note the imbalance in this country.  We are a nation that entertains itself by wasting food.  We have television shows where contestants make creative dishes with expensive ingredients so judges can critique them, and those shows are filmed in cities where there are children dreading snow days because staying home from school also means a lack of access to food provided through the FARMs program.

That is privilege.  That is advantage.

That is what is giving me pause today.  What is giving you pause?

Actually, pause is the wrong term, since that pause means taking action: Make calls.  Join a protest.  Write a post.  Get out there and change things.


Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored post.

1. Women – The Future Of Employment | Naba 11. Traci York, Writer 21. Cyn K
2. Shilpa 12. Karen – River Run Dry 22. Ryan
3. Cristy 13. Modern Gypsy 23. Mali (No Kidding)
4. Jess 14. Risa Kerslake 24. Mali (A Separate Life)
5. Anamika 15. Just Heather 25. An@ mi
6. Unpregnant Chicken 16. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) 26. Chandra Lynn (Pics and Posts)
7. 35jupiterdrive 17. Pom 27. Empty Arms, Broken Heart
8. Isabelle 18. Journeywoman 28. Baby Blue Sunday
9. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 19. Daryl
10. Turia 20. Virg� nia


1 Nabanita Dhar { 01.30.17 at 5:18 am }

I think the chaos is something that makes me a little worried in spite of being miles away from the crisis. There once was a man who caused so much pain during the 2nd World War. And now there is a man who makes me wonder if something similar might happen soon enough and then no one will be insulated.

2 Beth { 01.30.17 at 6:04 am }

Giving me pause is the 5 year old boy who was detained Saturday for hours before finally being released to his mother. I have a 5 year old. Thinking of how scared and helpless they must have both felt has brought me to tears more times than I can count. I had the rare opportunity to go out, alone, to a nice dinner with my husband the same day. My biggest worry was the my 5 year old with separation anxiety would cry at bedtime – while in our warm, comfortable home, surrounded by her books and dolls, with amazing grandparents to comfort her. And I cry some more. And I feel helpless. I make calls, lots of calls, but I’m starting to feel like my voice is being ignored. I donate like I’ve never donated before – ACLU, PP – but it’s not enough. I feel lost in this, too far to realistically make it to the protests with two little kids, but feeling ashamed at not going.

I saw a sign from the protests Saturday that said “Then he came for the Muslims – and we said NOT TODAY M—–F—–“. That’s who I want to be right now – someone who can stand up and say NOT TODAY. I just need to figure out how to do it. Because the world doesn’t need more 5 year olds kept from their moms.

3 Shilpa { 01.30.17 at 6:16 am }

Life has become unpredictable now, Peace is slowly vanishing . Don’t know what is in the store for all of us in the future. Just praying & kept fingers crossed.

4 Cristy { 01.30.17 at 6:40 am }

It’s truly a scene out of 1984. Families being detained solely because of where they were born. The excuse of “extreme vetting” is complete and utter BS. Our president knows this and so he doubles-down.

It’s the very definition of a bully. And a coward.

5 Jess { 01.30.17 at 7:01 am }

Civil liberties being stripped left right and sideways…that gives me pause. This feeling some people have that disagreeing or protesting what’s happening is “un-American” or “whining.” What gives me hope is all the people calling their Senators, sending mail, protesting peacefully, activating their democracy to fight for what’s right, for humanity. I wish it wasn’t necessary, but here we are. Great contrast, the pet carrier vs a home and this idea of privilege that is all too real and yet utterly ignored by a man who has known nothing but. Everything goes downhill fast when you trade principles for “safety.”

6 em { 01.30.17 at 7:33 am }

everything. everything is giving me pause.

7 Anamika Agnihotri { 01.30.17 at 7:38 am }

These events call for a pause. While I am sitting comfortably in my home, safe and secure, there are millions of people facing war and displacement. How terrible will it be to feel to be forced to leave your home country and having to bear atrocities in a foreign land. If pause means taking action, then I am sending thoughts of peace and solidarity into the universe.

8 Kaeleigh { 01.30.17 at 9:15 am }

I’m exactly where Beth is in this right now. Needing to fucking help, looking at that picture with the same protest sign, over and over again. But then you add the fact that I am a Canadian, living in Canada, and it means I am not only figuratively impotent in this, I am literally so, too. I have no government offices to call. I have no protest I can join. Though I can donate money. I suppose that’s where I must start. Know that I am with you in the States in my heart. Solidarity. RESIST. Sending love!

9 Natasha { 01.30.17 at 9:19 am }

As a refugee, as someone who used to have a green card… this is a nightmare that I want to wake up from. I keep thinking “this can’t get any worse” and then it does.

10 Working mom of 2 { 01.30.17 at 10:16 am }

Unconstitutional. Really scared that court orders aren’t being complied with. Then what?

11 Isabelle { 01.30.17 at 10:22 am }

The condition of this country and how quickly things deteriorated in just mere days gives me pause. The doubt for the first time in my life about bringing children to this world gives me pause. I have read 1984 many times in my life and it gives me chills. I cannot believe a similar kind of scare is unfolding in front of our eyes.

12 loribeth { 01.30.17 at 10:31 am }

The world is giving me pause right now. So much seems to be changing so quickly, and not in a good way. On the other hand, as others have said, the massive protests and acts of kindness were & are heartening to see.

Something specific that gave me pause about this whole mess is that this new ban was thrown together and enacted without any review or consultation with the departments & subject matter experts that would be responsible for implementing it. No wonder there was mass confusion. Totally aside from the reprehensible edict itself & the moral questions it raises — this is no way to run a government.

13 Turia { 01.30.17 at 10:37 am }

Trying to figure out how to balance being a mother to two small children with the inner voice of my younger, twenty-something self, who would have been off protesting somewhere by now. Trying to figure out what I can safely do to help given I’m not just responsible for my self these days (and Canadian to boot).

I’m stunned and speechless at just how quickly things have deteriorated and how little respect the administration has for the traditional avenues of power and justice.

14 Traci York { 01.30.17 at 10:41 am }

Like Em said, everything.

15 Karen { 01.30.17 at 11:05 am }

I’ve been lost in all the fear and words about everything going on. I deleted Facebook off my phone and have limited myself to logging in once a day, if at all. But it’s been so tough, because limiting my access to what’s going on isn’t the right answer, either. I cannot bury my head in the sand.

Last week I finally started taking action. There’s a great website for liberal-minded, completely freaked out people like me – http://www.dailyaction.org, which sends you text messages with talking points and then automatically routes you to the applicable representative (or federal agency) on daily issues.

In the past week I’ve made my first political calls ever, and I finally feel like, okay, it’s tiny steps, and I’m still terrified, and I can’t fix everything, but even doing SOMETHING helps.

16 Modern Gypsy { 01.30.17 at 11:20 am }

The world slowly seems to be imploding. Where is this hate and division going to lead us? Down what path are we headed? I can’t seem to find any answers. At least the good thing is there are people there willing to be out in the streets protesting. Even that is a privilidge, because there are a lot of places where that right to protest and freedom of speech are not constitutional rights. Such a paradoxical world we live in!

17 Sharon { 01.30.17 at 11:32 am }

Words fail me. I am, by turns, shocked, dismayed, sickened, saddened and angry. I refuse to do nothing and am forced to work activism into my already jam-packed schedule.

18 nicoleandmaggie { 01.30.17 at 12:04 pm }

This past weekend I donated to http://www.nilc.org. Lots of people are donating to ACLU.

This morning I:
1. Called my senators and left a message (this took several tries for both) about Sessions, DeVos, Pruitt, Bannon (deFacto President), the Muslim ban. Only one line is working for one of my senators and I’m not sure that voicemail box actually works.
2. Called my rep and told the nice lady (got through first try) that he needs to do everything in his power to remove Bannon, to remove the Muslim ban, and he or his social media intern needs to be more professional on twitter.
3. Talked to an undergrad interested in starting a student Indivisible group
4. Talked to my (international) RA about how he and his international friends are doing. His dad has cancelled his trip to see my RA’s graduation. One of his friends has been caught by the ban and has had to freeze his semester.
5. Talked to my colleague who is starting an Indivisible group for our twin cities. (Indivisible is super helpful for people getting started– they’re hooking her up with a facebook page and a bunch of other stuff.)
6. As an academic, signed the petition at notoimmigration dot com .
7. Told my sister she needs to take care of herself because she’s burning the wick at both ends with activism and s going to get sick. She went to two protests this weekend among many other things (she started a group 11 weeks ago and has been instrumental in connecting groups in her city together). She is so inspiring to me.
8. Talked to my friend across the country about what she’s doing and what groups she’s joining and what her college is doing in response.

Tonight my DH is going to a university rally against the ban while I stay home with the kids. I need to fix my lecture tomorrow on discrimination to add in current events.

Check out our activism tab on our blog (upper right hand corner) if you’re interested in finding groups to connect with or weekly to-do lists with action items. Everything we do is so important, and it is a marathon and not a sprint. But oh my lord it feels like a sprint these days.

19 nicoleandmaggie { 01.30.17 at 12:08 pm }

p.s. I first say that First they came for the muslims from April Daniels’ twitter feed. https://twitter.com/1aprildaniels/status/798749588953800705?lang=en

20 Risa Kerslake { 01.30.17 at 1:01 pm }

Same. My husband and I went out on a date the weekend and we had a long discussion about this. We eventually had to stop, because my anxiety was getting so bad. This is an embarrassing time for our country.

21 Ana { 01.30.17 at 2:41 pm }

The rapid pace at which things are going downhill is overwhelming to me. I had to step back. I deleted facebook, and I’m trying to come up with a list of my top 3 priorities to spend time/energy/$ supporting. Its really hard to narrow it down, but I also know that I shut down when I get overwhelmed and the net result is much better if I keep focused.

22 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 01.30.17 at 3:25 pm }

Just this morning I was trying to imagine what it would be like to pack for a trip and then get to my destination and be turned away for no real reason. Or to not be able to go home, even though all my documents were in order. This whole thun is heartbreaking.

23 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 01.30.17 at 3:25 pm }

*whole thing

24 Journeywoman { 01.30.17 at 3:27 pm }

How quickly this is happening. How I’ve started thinking about making alyah and moving to Israel though that won’t be safe either.

25 Daryl { 01.30.17 at 5:51 pm }

All of it. And feeling so helpless being so far (physically) removed from it all. I joined a protest here after tucking my daughter into bed tonight, and still had the nagging feeling it’s an exercise in futility. Not enough eyes on us, and certainly none that could affect change.

26 Cyn K { 01.30.17 at 9:28 pm }

I’ve been sick and my son has been sick. I’ve missed a lot of work because of it. I have sick time to cover the missed hours. That’s my privilege. I can’t imagine trying to juggle two jobs and getting sick. I know people lose jobs because of this. I can’t imagine having health insurance that is so expensive that one can’t afford to be ill.
Still, the hypochondriac in me keeps imagining I’m going to end up with pneumonia and have to take an unpaid medical leave. This kind of bullshit is keeping me awake at night (that and the coughing) when I really need to get some sleep so I’ll recover from a non-life-threatening viral infection.

27 Ryan { 01.30.17 at 10:29 pm }

Working and staying woke. Supporting those who also speak up for what’s right. Action takes many forms, so don’t think even small actions don’t matter. They do.

28 Mali { 01.30.17 at 10:47 pm }

These juxtapositions have concerned me for years. As a kid, I never had much of anything, but we never felt poor (though I knew we weren’t rich). Then I went to Thailand, and really understood what poverty meant. I’ve always felt such a helpless rage at such injustice. Now though it feels so urgent. I

f there are things you in the US can do, and that I can do from afar, then maybe that will feel us less helpless.

I’ve also been thinking about how I can deal with the anger and frustration on a longer term basis, as we’re all in this for the long haul, and need to look after ourselves, yet not lose our energy or enthusiasm for change.

29 Ashley { 01.31.17 at 11:25 am }

Last night on the news they did a brief story on a family in a town near me who were expecting 6 relatives from Syria this past weekend. The family here in the States had a house all renovated and furnished for their relatives only to have them turned away at the airport, they weren’t even allowed to speak to them. Watching this story was like taking a sucker punch to the stomach. I sobbed for both families, not that my tears do them a lick of good but the injustice of what they endured angered me to that point. The clip ended with mention that there was a lawyer involved and they had hope the returned family members would still be able to make the trip and stay, but it shouldn’t have happened the way it did. What’s more heart-breaking is to know this story probably happened to other fine up-standing citizens who were just trying to get their loved ones out of harms way. I brought my ex over from Nicaragua and I know how complicated and lengthy the process can be, I cannot imagine going through all of that only to be turned away in the last possible moment. It’s not right, it shouldn’t happen and we should continue to raise our voices until we are heard.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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