As we get ready to celebrate our freedom and independence in this great nation of ours, we wish you all a happy gathering of families, friends, neighbors and strangers. As the only refugee in the office, I want to say that I continue to believe America is great; it has always been great in my eyes. It has never ceased to be anything but great. However, recently for some reason, immigrants are labeled as bottom dwellers, rapists, drug dealers, murderers, gang members, etc. I don’t get it. If you were to put my family members and fellow (friends) refugees together, we could open a hospital with legal representation and even a pharmacy. We would have management from top to bottom. Mangers and doctors with training from Harvard, UCSF, UC Davis, UC San Diego, Creighton, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Johns Hopkins, Michigan Ann Arbor, Columbia, USC, Stanford, Georgetown, Santa Clara University, University of Florida-Gainesville, Cal Poly, all the great schools in this nation. And that’s just in my circle of friends. My family has all races mixed into ours, even the ones labeled rapists and freeloaders. In this time of open hostility towards immigrants, separating families and blatant racism, I sincerely hope this, too, shall pass.
We are a nation of immigrants. Some have been here longer than others, but we are all immigrants. Only Native Americans can claim this is their land, as history has taught us. Regardless of race, nationality, legal status, please continue to extend some kindness and hope to those who have less than you do. It is not written anywhere in the bible to treat others differently based on race, nationality, or legal status. The bible teaches us to “love thy neighbors.” You don’t have to go and hug a neighbor, kindness can also mean to bite your tongue and withhold mean words. This will be the only time that I ask you to bite your tongue. Enjoy your 4th of July celebration.