President Trump’s ban on Muslim immigrants and refugees is shameful and un-American. And it feeds into the false stereotype that Muslims are terrorists, refugees are dangerous, and immigrants cannot be patriots.
These limiting narratives are not only dangerous, they are outright wrong. Not even one person from the seven banned countries has killed someone in a terror attack on US soil in the last 40 years. Compare that to the over 12,000 people who are killed by gun violence annually in America.
And this ban goes against the very values that we hold dear as Americans: values of equality, religious freedom, the dream to be a land for the weary, the tired and poor, the huddled masses yearning to be free. Immigrants and refugees have in fact made this country great.
From Albert Einstein to Indra Nooyi, from Madeline Albright to Steve Jobs (whose father is from none other than Syria), there is no limit to what we can accomplish when we break down these limiting narratives, and allow every person to contribute, and to reach their full, human potential.
My heart was broken this weekend when I saw the scenes of chaos and confusion, of families separated from children who were screaming and terrified. These are not just news stories, these are the lives of real people, with dreams and hopes like the rest of us, many of whom are fleeing from unconscionable pain and injustice. The ban is dangerous, misguided, and morally bankrupt.
But I am encouraged by the outpouring of activism that we saw over the weekend. We need a connection revolution in this country, where we commit to doing more for others than for ourselves. And we can start by voicing our outrage and speaking out for those who may not have the same platform.
Join a protest showing your solidarity. Donate to organizations that are doing the legal work to overturn this ban or who are committed to cultural change. Remember that every day you vote with your dollar, and that your dollar expresses your values. And reach out to your Muslim community members, and let them know that you value their whole humanity, that you are not afraid, and that you will fight with them, as fellow Americans, to make this country safe for everyone. Together, we must remember and affirm our common humanity.