#WeAreNotThis

  1. When HB2 was passed in NC last year (aka the bathroom bill), those in opposition to its transphobia began using the hashtag #WeAreNotThis to indicate that North Carolina and its citizens were better than the bigotry of the bill.
  2. I've been thinking of that hashtag a lot the last day or so, because America is not this.
  3. The America I know and love does not reject refugees or immigrants due to their religion. It does not jeopardize lives and succumb to Islamaphobia to score points with small minded rednecks.
  4. I've been thinking of my friend and former coworker who came here on an H1B visa from Sudan, who was willing to basically start his medical training over after nearly two decades so that he could have a better life for himself and his children.
  5. One of the things I worked on at my job was helping our visiting scholars with their visas. The most important thing I ever did there was work to help him achieve status as an outstanding professor or researcher, so that he could get his green card. When he received that certification, it was one of the best and proudest moments of my career.
  6. When he got his green card, we celebrated. We thought he and his family were safe and secure and would never have a problem staying in the U.S. One of the most joyful things about getting his green card was that it would allow him to travel to Sudan to see his aging parents and still return to the U.S.
  7. I emailed him today to say I was thinking of him. He replied that he and his family were well but weren't feeling very secure, but that they hoped everything would be okay.
  8. I wish I could have reassured him that it would be.
  9. I do think it will be okay. The ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center have already filed suit. I have faith that they'll prevail. But it's still scary. And if it's scary for me, I can't imagine how my Muslim and immigrant friends and neighbors must feel.
  10. I have never been as ashamed of my country as I have been this week.