It sucks when people with good intentions say something that I find problematic. It is unfortunate when folks fighting for others do something that I think is ignorant.
I want to say something not to insult them or discourage them, but to share new thoughts with them so that in the future, they can be even more supportive.
With all the hate boiling over in the US right now, I am beyond grateful for everyone who is taking action to combat it. I wish intention and action were enough; I truly do.
I think that listening to others, creating space for marginalized voices and educating ourselves on history and systems of oppression are ongoing challenges for us all.
I hope my soapbox posts can be a resource for you and I look forward to ways in which y'all will challenge me.
So I truly appreciate the intention and the attempt at using humor to take a stand for immigrants, but it's still problematic and perpetuates harmful notions.
I think this may be a helpful icebreaker for folks who are against immigration reform and I'm glad it can be useful for that. I also wish there was a better way to say it that took the following four points into consideration:
1) The people applying for the same job that a native-born American wanted deserve it just as much as they do even if they didn't have the opportunity to be born within arbitrary borders. Why should where you entered the world disqualify you from employment?
2) Just because their name is Muhammad and/or they have an accent doesn't mean they aren't American and/or weren't born in the USA.
3) We use these "skills" that folks have as a barometer for who we let in under certain visas. So Muhammad can come because they're a neurologist but their cousin can't because they're a farmer. It's assumed that their cousin doesn't have anything to offer our country and that they are less worthy.
4) Access to education and employment are privileges that some people (e.g. folks born into poverty) don't have. That doesn't inherently make their opinions about issues less valid. It's hate, racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, etc. that make people's opinions less valid.