One of the reasons why I enjoy conducting interviews is the amount I learn but occasionally such knowledge comes at the price of some startling revelations. I had such a moment in the latest interview in my “Interviews with Immigrants” series.
A week ago Tuesday I spoke to Maria, a woman in her late 40 to early 50’s (you didn’t REALLY expect me to ask her age did you?) she something that delighted me, then shocked me, then really brought the Sarah Sanders/Maxine Waters business into focus.
I asked her when she decided to move to the US, she answered talking about visiting her sister in Leominster Ma back in 2003. She was sitting by a pond/lake seeing some young boys and men around and suddenly realized that she felt completely safe, even around these strangers. She had no worries about being robbed, attacked, shot or worse and decided. “This is where I want to live.”
There was joy in her face when she said it which I took a great pleasure and pride it. This is exactly what the 4th of July is all about…
…but then a bell rang in my head concerning something I had noticed at work for a while. The Spanish-speaking women when coming from or going to break routinely interlocked their arms with the woman walking next to them. I always thought it looked rather odd, but when Maria brought up her feelings of safety it suddenly clicked that it might be a habit developed for safety from the days before they came here.
I asked both Maria and Christian, our 20-year-old translator about it and they confirmed this was routinely done by woman as a necessary safety measure both in her home country of the Dominican Republic and in Puerto Rico where he was from.
To me the implication of this was horrifying. but it was consistent with three interviews I conducted with people from Iraq, El Salvador and now the Dominican Republic. In each case women and men commented on the idea of feeling safe here in America compared to their home countries.
This safety in everyday life was a precious thing to them and a powerful draw of America, but I and millions like me took it as the normal state of events, something to be taken for granted.
And that’s when the full horror of the Sanders/Waters business hit me.
We have people on the left, for the sake of winning a few political points and virtue signaling, putting this safety at risk by trying to expel those they disagree with politically from places of public accommodation and encouraging others to threaten and harass such people both in public and at their homes.
These are tactics that invite a response. I guarantee you well armed Trump voters aren’t going to let themselves or their families get threatened, hurt or killed so Democrats can feel better about themselves or score points with their base. Nor is it likely once Democrats regain power (as they eventually will) that said well armed Trump votes will give those who demanded their harassment a pass in public spaces. Once this happens it will go from being a fringe to becoming the norm and the ability to go to a shop, eat at a restaurant or even sit at home is safety as a matter of course will become a memory.
This is what fools are throwing away for the sake of anti-Trump obsession and once that safety that you’ve been taking for granted for your entire life, the safety that brought Maria, Alvin and Hanna such joy is gone, it will be hard to get it back.
We still have time to stop this before it happens but I fear they will not realize what they’ve lost till it’s long gone.
if you think this site in general and this project in particular is worth supporting please consider kicking in here:
Or even better subscribing.
Either way it’s most appreciated.