When Home is Not Safe

Good Monday morning. I hope everyone had a great weekend, filled with lots of fun activities. I had three performances of the play in which I am playing four different roles. “String of Pearls” by Michele Lowe is written for four women to play 27 roles. We have seven women in our cast, playing the various roles, and it has been quite a challenge to become totally different people within the span of an hour and 15 minutes. Talk about multiple personalities. LOL

The show has gone well, the audiences have been wonderful, and I am working with the most amazing cast. Here is a picture from one of our rehearsals.

I thought I could be silent about political stuff, but the ban on Muslim immigrants recently signed by the Trumpster, as well as the aftermath, simply cannot be ignored. Leaders of other countries are speaking out, especially those with a large Muslim population. In an article for The Daily Beast, the Iranian Foreign Minister called the ban, “An insult to Muslims around the world.” And he further indicated, as have many other world leaders, that the move will help terrorists recruit more followers.

A friend posted a link to this poem on Facebook and I clicked over to read the whole thing. “Home” is written by a by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, and surely speaks to the heart of every person seeking a better place to live than their war-torn country, or the terrible poverty of other countries.

Yes, we do have to be concerned for those who would come to this country for illegal, or terrorist reasons. And, yes, we have to find a way to balance the needs of the people coming here with the needs of the people who are already here.

But in finding that balance, we do not need to demean and dehumanize the people who are different from us. Once the Executive Order was signed, travelers at airports were stopped, some put in handcuffs and others sent back, while families were split between those who made it to the United States the day before, and daughters and sons stranded in the native country without their parents.

It could have been handled in a more compassionate manner.

The following is just an excerpt from the wonderful poem by Ms. Shire, and I encourage you to click over to read the whole thing. Or listen to it being read by Canadian actress Yanna McIntosh, who read it for the Sunday Edition of CBC Radio on September 13, 2012.

While the poem was written a number of years ago, as well as the recording on the radio, it speaks to the realities that refugee parents make today.

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.

your neighbours running faster
than you, the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind
the old tin factory is
holding a gun bigger than his body,
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

who would choose to spend days
and nights in the stomach of a truck
unless the miles travelled
meant something more than journey.

no one would choose to crawl under fences,
be beaten until your shadow leaves you,
raped, then drowned, forced to the bottom of
the boat because you are darker, be sold,
starved, shot at the border like a sick animal,

I didn’t post this to start a debate about Trump. Like it or not, he is our president. But I do hope that perhaps reading the poem can help some folks who see this immigration issue as totally black and white – and some people literally do – can perhaps see that there are shades of gray.  What do you think? Could this issue be handled better?

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