When you disagree...

This morning I saw a post on Facebook by a friend who talked about a political opinion that varies greatly from my own. I found myself thinking how to handle this...do I unfriend? Do I unfollow? Do I do nothing? This is one of those times when I really needed to examine how I feel about our current political situation and this impacts my feelings about people I know and respect.

Our current president has written executive orders that directly affect me in so many ways.  I teach many students that are refugees. These students often came from camps where they spent their entire lives or were possibly born there. These camps are tent cities or make-shift houses that are dirt floors and essentially four walls. There may not be running water. Their entire day is spent waiting in line to get staple foods that they may then share with their neighbors. They also stand in line for water and other important items. School may or may not happen for these students. These families have waited for years for their paperwork to be approved and often they cannot take everyone, especially if they have sons (or brothers) that are over 18. Those members of their families need to remain due to the "danger" they may present. Families from war torn countries are often separated with the hope that they can be reunited at some time.

Other students have literally fled during the night with the clothes on their backs. They have fled for their safety hoping that they will make it to the border and to a place that will provide them sanctuary. They often spend a year or two or more in a waiting place, a country where their paperwork needs to be vetted and checked. When they finally get the call they must gather their things and go with a day or two notice often missing the opportunity to say goodbye.

Members of my family are affected by the potential Green Card ban. Really? Even Green Cards? People who live in this country...legally, have a job and pay taxes. People who don't have the right to vote due to their lack of citizenship but still contribute to society. These people are being told that they too may be sent back to their country of origin...why? Because after all this time they may be dangerous? Ridiculous.

I have a son with a disability. We are being told that the Affordable Care Act may be retooled and potentially go away. There is no plan to replace it at this time. The ACA allows my son to stay at home, with nursing, and provides us with assistance on his medical care so we don't go bankrupt, although his is covered by our private insurance as well. Our potential Secretary of Education does not believe that students with disabilities should be federally protected so his school opportunities could decrease. Protecting our most vulnerable does not seem to be a priority.

There is more I could say, but it brings me back to the question from the beginning which is "Can I disagree and still remain friends?" This is a hard one because often the beliefs that are contrary to mine are ones I feel are so offensive and even oppressive. I keep hearing that those in Trump-land are "keeping us safe," but at what cost. When do we draw the line and say that we are not acting humanely and with love. When do we recognize that hate and intolerance is being spewed at the highest level? This is not about Democrats vs Republicans because frankly, in the big picture, I don't care.

What I do care about being able to look myself in the mirror and say to myself that I am kind and gracious and willing to help and care about others. I feel, as a country, we are walking this line. So, I am not sure what the answer to that question is...I guess only time will tell.


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