My neighbor, Dhara, came to the states from India 20 years ago as a graduate student. She became a U.S. citizen 8 years ago, and her son and mine have grown up together riding their bikes on the sidewalk between our San Francisco apartment buildings.
A couple nights ago at a postcard-writing huddle organized by another neighbor, Dhara told the story of being detained by US immigration agents at the Canadian border for 15 days because she held a PhD in molecular biology, which made her a suspect for terrorism. This is a mother, a woman, a brilliant cancer researcher who has dedicated her career to helping people live longer, who chose to give up her Indian citizenship to become an American.
As we ate cheese and crackers and drank wine and talked about the horrible immigration raids taking place in our country, an angry white man shot two Indian engineers in a bar in Kansas, killing one of them. The 51-year-old veteran allegedly yelled "Get out of my country" as he opened fire.
This is being investigated as a hate crime, and the White House has remained silent. No words of sympathy for the dead man's widow, no statement decrying hate speech or condemning ANY form of violence against our neighbors, like the Bible teaches.
My son and Dhara's son were born in the same city, they live on the same street, and they watch the same cartoons. But they don't look alike. Dhara's son is Indian. My son is white. And they face a very different future in this country if ALL OF US do not stand up and fight for tolerance, and civil liberties, and justice.
If you're not speaking out and standing up for our constitution and the principles this country was built on, then you must accept responsibility for the families being torn apart by this administration's orders, and the violence perpetrated by angry white men.
As for us, we will not be silent.