Why The United States Shouldn't Ban Immigration

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.
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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

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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My Date Did Blackface And That's Absolutely NOT OK

Only through education can we have a better society.
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I went on this date with a guy we will call Mike. He was from Argentina, he was a Coca-Cola distributor and he was very nice. We had coffee and drinks, then we shared a good-night kiss. Then I went home.

When you’re excited about someone, you want to know more about them. I went online and found his Facebook profile. When I was looking through the few pictures he posted, he had one from four years ago. He had one of him in blackface.

I asked him about it, and he said it was from high school. He didn’t understand why Americans were so sensitive to racial things. I ignored him. He Snapchatted me later and asked how I was, then said, “I don’t get why you are acting like I’m racist?”

Maybe because you are being racist.

When people say, “You’re racist” or “You’re being racist,” it’s automatically equated to “You are a bad person.” That’s not what it means. It means you’re being racist. Almost everyone is racist from time to time.

Blackface is super racist. Its origins can be traced back to the mid to late nineteenth-century when white people would put on grease to depict black people, most often free blacks or slaves, in minstrel shows. These shows mocked black people and depicted them as inferior to whites. Blackface has also been on Broadway and Vaudeville shows, and these shows were played as late as “The Black and White Minstrel Show” in 1978. Consider this excerpt from David Leonard, chair of Washington State University's department of critical culture, gender and race studies:

“Blackface is part of a history of dehumanization, of denied citizenship, and of efforts to excuse and justify state violence. From lynchings to mass incarceration, whites have utilized blackface (and the resulting dehumanization) as part of its moral and legal justification for violence. It is time to stop with the dismissive arguments those that describe these offensive acts as pranks, ignorance and youthful indiscretions. Blackface is never a neutral form of entertainment, but an incredibly loaded site for the production of damaging stereotypes...the same stereotypes that undergird individual and state violence, American racism, and centuries worth of injustice.”

Some people say it is harmless and all in good fun, but it’s not. It offends people of color and enforces stereotypes about black people. It’s a privilege to say you didn’t know blackface was offensive. “The ability to blame others for being oversensitive, for playing the race card or for making much ado about nothing are privileges codified structurally and culturally," writes Leonard.

If you have done blackface, it is forgivable. You just need to admit to yourself that it is unacceptable behavior, then not to do it again. If you know someone who has done blackface, please educate them. Only through education can we have a better society.

Cover Image Credit: BET.com

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