Introducing Miah Johnson

Introducing Miah Johnson

"It made me learn to love and live in every moment as if it were the last." -Miah Johnson

11
views

It was Daddy Donut day at Teasley Elementary School, but for Miah Johnson, it was just another day in which she had to pretend everything was okay. It had been a month since Miah's dad was deported and left her hopeless.

As Johnson took her last sip of coffee she laughs. She shares how hard it was for her to talk about her father. Many people do not know about the days she spent crying because she needed him, or how she was not sure if they would ever move past the hard times. How she went days without being able to eat a proper meal because they did not have enough money to make ends meet. Ashamed and embarrassed she shares her memories of going to church early in the morning for bread, canned soup, and powdered milk. She explains that there are times when she gets excited to share something with her father but strange darkness takes over and she loses hope that one day a real relationship with him will exist.

Johnson was born in Fort Lauderdale Florida in 1999. She is the only child of her small sheltered loving family. Her childhood was a fairy tale, her best friend was her stepfather, "I wasn't his biological daughter, but he raised me as one and I will always be grateful for the memories." Johnson's eyes flood with tears as she reminiscences on her past. School work was the best way she coped with her loss. She always made herself busy, if she didn't have any homework she would read, pick up a new hobby or dance. Going to bed was the hardest part of her day. All of the thoughts and feelings she fought so hard to keep away came pouring out in a way she does not know how to describe. Not having her father broke her in many ways, but the one she speaks about most often is not having a financially and emotionally stable home.

Johnson attended Elon University on a full ride her freshman year but decided to transfer to a school closer to home. Johnson was not ready to leave she admitted quietly. She describes that there was a shift in her during her first semester there, for the first time she failed classes, gained 20 pounds and lost her scholarship. Her failure comes from a lack of stability and support. The friendships she made there weren't enough to keep her there, she could no longer afford the prestigious college. Now she takes classes online at Kennesaw State University. She has to work two jobs in order to make ends meet for her and her family. Johnson laughs at the situation and explains how her father used to lecture her on how education is the best way out of their situation. Now she feels like she has disappointed him and that she has to make up for the broken promise.

There is never enough money. Johnson has made plans to visit her father multiple times but has never been able to visit him. There is always something that comes up. Her mother's car broken down the first time, they couldn't afford to pay the bills the other time, and the last time she needed a car of her own to help get to and from work. She shows a screenshot of her bank account. Negative eight dollars. She sighs and states that life has a funny way of getting in the way of the important things.

Johnson believes that if her father was still here, it would be different. She would have never known what it was like to go hungry, feel so hopeless, and do not have a stable home.

She explains that it was an experience she doesn't share because it is painful to talk about but, "It made me learn to love and live in every moment as if it were the last."

Popular Right Now

Why The United States Shouldn't Ban Immigration

What interests me is how the Declaration of Independence claims we have “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” but these “rights” are based on what society says is right or wrong in a give time.
557
views

There are people in this world who pass judgement without a second thought. People rarely take time to think about why their opinions are their opinions. Is it because it’s what you, personally, believe or rather what society forced you to believe through manipulation of data? I think opinions and Opinions are two very different things. I have opinions on the weather but I have Opinions on the LBGTQ+ rights, the immigration orders, and age gaps in relationships. Opinions with a capital O are very sensitive and mostly are decided by what society deems right or wrong. Bandwagons are so fun to ride on, after all. What interests me is how the Declaration of Independence claims we have “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” but these “rights” are based on what society says is right or wrong in a give time. This idea of right and wrong is very subjective and once upon a time, society thought stoning people to death was the answer so it isn’t always fool proof. We have “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” only if it matches societal norms dictate.

One of the most popular opinions now a days is that immigration is a “crime”, that people who come here to find a better life are drug dealers, assaulters, and so many other terrible things. Ironically, the fact that we are all immigrants seems go over peoples heads and society disregards this fact by dehumanizing these immigrants, these people who only want what all people want: safety, love, money, and privacy. Most of these people coming to the United States are coming from hostile environments and are simply looking to live within the “American Dream.” The “injuries” stated in the Declaration of Independence are the same injuries people in Syria, Mexico, and other turbulent, crime ridden countries deal with. These injuries include; a tyrannical government, obstruction of people’s right to self-rule, and sending men who were to start wars trying to placate or control the colonists/immigrants. These same basic human rights are still being violated all over the world. Shouldn’t we as people help other who suffered as much as our ancestors? Or is it too far in the past for this current generation to understand and care? We, not only as a country, but as sympathetic human beings should let these people who are suffering and trying to survive into our home and help them make it their home. There are horrendous crimes that happen where they are and difficult circumstances.

Let’s not just think about adults but children. Children, one of the most cherished things in the world, all round the world, and these children are dying in this hostile environment. Children are innocent and should be protected by all people. In Syria, we see schools and hospitals being bombed with children being the primary target. I can’t name one person who hasn’t seen one of those terrible Facebook videos of a child with blood on their face, terrified and silent while their whole world is destroyed. Instead of leaving those children in a harsh, violent environment, we should allow them, at the very minimum into our country and ask families to take them in until there family gains legal residence. People are thinking selfishly for themselves and not considering the bigger picture. These “illegal aliens” aren’t all using the system to live off of, but even if they are, they are simply trying to provide for their family. It is wrong for them to not work and live completely off the system? Sure but our own people do that so who are we to judge. It’s not the people who are flawed but rather the system. The cases where immigrants use the system are rare, these people earn their living rightfully and fairly. They aren’t taking anyone’s jobs but rather are earning their way like any other American in this country. We talk about giving “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” but only to those who are deemed worthy. Society wants to be selfish and xenophobic because they feel they should be handed what these immigrants work tooth and nail for. These men and women work until they shed blood, sweat, and tears; all to give their family a better life. Most of these people aren’t getting super great, high paying jobs like society leads most Americans to believe but rather jobs that are so horrendous it’s like a crime to make them work. These jobs are usually under the table with excessive hours, no breaks and less than minimum wage.

Why are we so concerned about these people “stealing” our jobs? I mean, in all honesty we stole from the Native people who lived here first. We stole their land, their “jobs”, and their livelihoods. We shoved them into “reservations” and destroyed their homes. What original settlers did was wrong but what these people are doing is peacefully coming to this country to save their children and their lives, trying to have a better life. Many of the original settlers wanted the American Dream and these people are no different that them. We found happiness and peace though brutal means of destroying ones home but these people aren’t like us. They want happiness through hard work and dedication. They want what all of us want: The American Dream.

One of the biggest fears of the American people with immigration and allowing refugees in is terrorism. In September 2001, we had one if the worst tragedies in the United States history when terrorist attacked our country. We, the American people, took that fear and we learned to push it onto a whole culture. A whole place, we demonized because we needed someone to blame. We needed a lot of people to take the blame because those terrorists used a whole regions religion as an excuse, as a reason for murdering. It’s sad that the Muslim people got their religion twisted by terrible people who used God as an excuse and we latched onto it. We have American terrorists and we have foreign. By refusing to let these people into our country based on the assumption that they are terrorists is small minded and unfair. We have terrorists within our own soil and honestly we can’t stop radicals like ISIS from attacking. The American people have to understand that Muslim does not automatically equate to terrorist, Mexican does not automatically equal drug dealer, and Canadian doesn’t always equal nice.

Most people don’t consider hundreds of thousands, of hundred thousands, people’s lives into their decisions. Most people don’t think how many people will die if we close our doors. Trump closed the gates and now Syrian refugee’s are locked out, even though many other countries offered them sanctuary, the United Staes turned our backs on people in need, on children in need, on human beings in need. We, as a united people, should try to have peace and hope eradicate fear and hate. We see a rise in racism within our own borders because the fear is fed like a ravaged dog. We can end the stigmas and stereotypes. We can save lives if we step up and allow people the same rights Thomas Jefferson outlined for us. All people deserve the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” that is afforded to us because of our forefathers. We are lucky. We can change the world with kindness and acceptance. We can lead by example by not allowing others fear weaken our morals and strength not only as a country but as American people with American ideals.

Cover Image Credit: All-len-all

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Dear Immigrants, Don't Let Yourself Be Silenced

You deserve to be heard.

530
views

Dear immigrants,

I write this not being from an immigrant family myself, but from a point of wanting to sympathize with you and let you know your struggles and sacrifices have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. We hear you and we commend you for your bravery.

All you want is to live a happy life in a place that provides you with the most opportunities to thrive and succeed, which your home country may not be able to do. Even if it means packing up your life and literally starting over somewhere completely foreign, you do it because you see the potential for the future for your family and children.

These choices are life-altering, and you put so much at risk by delving into the unknown. The melting pot that is the United States is quite the culture shock, made up ironically of a plethora of ethnic communities that all were immigrants once, too.

This can be comforting thinking that you are not alone in the immigrant aspect, but the process of assimilation can be completely overwhelming. You have seemed to create a happy mix of assimilation while contributing many admirable attributes of your own culture to society, which in my opinion is what makes the American culture so unique.

You have fought past the negative connotation that has been given to the word immigrant from the media, and continue to fight every day. You are an integral part of society and work so hard to chase your dreams and enrich society. The opposition and naysayers seem to be motivation, as you have successfully pursued rigorous degree plans at prestigious American universities, which is always something to be proud of. People may try to take away your strength mentally with hatred, but your education is one thing they can never take from you.

If you are reading this and you come from an immigrant family, I support you and respect you and all the hardships you may have endured. Whether it be to provide for children, siblings, or to pursue an education, remember to keep pushing past the struggles and celebrate all your victories. Although you may be thousands of miles from your family members, just imagine how proud they are of you.

If you are reading this and you do not come from an immigrant family, try to understand the immigrant community to the best of your ability, and think about everything they have been through. The United States was founded by immigrants, so it is very likely your family was in their position at one point. Take advantage of the rich worldly culture that surrounds us in our nation, you will be surprised by how much there is to learn from our international brothers and sisters.

I hope from this that one day we can all create a bright future united, for ourselves as individuals and the nation as a whole that we share.

Sincerely,

Carly Baysinger

Related Content

Facebook Comments