Less than one week before Blaire and I were set to board a plane for our next big adventure, #notmypresident Trump signed an executive order banning all people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia – all predominantly Muslim countries – from entering the United States for 90 days; blocking all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days; and indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States. Green card holders and visa holders alike were refused entrance to board their flights; others were denied entry upon landing, and still more were detained at airports.
It is impossible not to juxtapose our adventure with current events. We were planning to travel – with a dog, no less -and be welcomed in a foreign country while ours was closing its doors on the world, including its own legal residents. We would be leaving out of LAX, an airport still buzzing with the energy of the thousands of protesters who had been there just days before.
This was one of the many moments when I as a white, straight-presenting ciswoman was acutely reminded of my massive privilege.
Over the past few months leading up to this trip, I have stirred up more questions than answers. What are the most effective and impactful actions I can be taking right now to #resist the fascist regime that is ruling our country? By leaving for this trip, am I abandoning my communities in their greatest time of need? Is my physical presence in the US necessary? How can I fight from abroad? What does it mean to be a traveler in a world of travel bans?
These questions – and their evolving answers – will be constant companions on our journey. For now, here is what I have committed myself to doing:
I will keep myself informed on what’s going on in the United States and globally.
I will seek out ways to remain active in the resistance, including calling my representatives (which can be done online for free), intentionally spending/not spending money, and attending international actions.
I will check my privilege.
I will work to unlearn and fight colonialist and racist frameworks, especially as I learn about cultures new to me.
I will focus on intersectionality.
I will continue to have the difficult conversations and call people out/in – including and especially close friends and family
I will keep asking questions. I will keep searching for answers.
What are your methods of resistance? What questions are you asking, and what answers have you found? Share your thoughts in the comments, and let’s learn from each other.