I have a vivid memory. In fact not too long ago I had a good friend say I have a memory like an elephant.
Well there's one memory I have from my childhood, and it's of an artist's rendition of a group of Klansmen throwing a white man, bound and gagged, off of a cliff.
Since the man wasn't Black, and since I learned that the KKK also targeted Catholics, especially in the 1920s, I reasoned that the victim was Catholic. That reasoning turned into a paralyzing fear of these white robbed men breaking into my house and doing the same thing to me.
Now I'm older, and White Supremacists aren't after Catholics, at least White Catholics, but that same anti-immigration rhetoric that fueled these men to participate in such atrocious deeds is alive and well today.
It's that same ideology that drove a man to kill 11 Jewish people in a Synagogue.
The same belief that caused a man to kill 9 Black Christians in their house of worship.
And it's that same fear based hatred to have a crowd of people chant "Send her back," while a man who occupies the White House stands in silence with a wink and a nod.
I shouldn't have to be against this blatant racism because of my upbringing, but I wouldn't be telling the truth if I didn't say that it was a driving force in how I view the world today.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Our lives begin to the end the day we become silent on the things that matter," and it's for this very reason that I will never stop being vocal and annoying my friends and peers by "making everything about politics."
If anyone, especially those who come from a a bloodline who have faced bigotry before adhere to this hateful rhetoric, then they are desecrating the blood, sweat, and tears of their ancestors who came here in the first place. And if they adhere to the belief in an afterlife, which I do, I'd put my money on it that their ancestors and the big guy upstairs are watching.
To all of my friends: immigrants, people of color, and every single group of people marginalized by this administration, you are welcome here, you are wanted here. I want you by my side not just as American but as a human being.
And I'll make steps every day with what little power I have to ensure that my home will be more inclusive than it was before.