I haven’t been politically vocal on social media for a while because it was exhausting me.
I am technically part of the first born generation in this country on my dad’s side. And that’s a big deal. I got so many opportunities from day one than my family before. I heard stories only a month ago about moving to this country that I hadn’t before. About establishing life and a community here. My grandfather brought over and created a whole community of filipino families, both our own and close friends. He was a surgeon. Several family and friends that came with him were doctors, including my grandmother, a pediatrician. We watched videos from the 80s and 90s of him as a leader for his hospital and his family. He created a space for Filipinos Americans in Terre Haute, IN that was never there before. Where there were doctors of different backgrounds, working together to create life-long relationships and connections with patients. When my grandfather passed, his funeral was full of family, friends, and a lot of his patients. So many people of all ages and backgrounds, thankful for his care and wisdom.
So where is this leading? Well, as I watch Trump and his supporters demean, bully, and demonize immigrants, this is who I think of. My surgeon grandfather who built a good life not only for himself, but everyone around him. My family who brought culture and unique experiences to this country. People who literally changed lives. And Trump wants them to never have been here.
I would not exist without this marriage of people from other countries. None of us, in America would. I am proud of my family. I am a proud bridge between white and brown. But I am also a scared one. Scared of not just of Trump, but the amount of people who agree with him and his racist, homophobic, sexist, nationalist ideals. Touting these ideals as patriotism is a mockery and an embarrassment to the people who worked so hard to make this country a free thinking, progressive place.
So on the eve of this election, not only am I urging you to vote, but I’m urging you to think about the way you vote. We have many things to change. But we cannot change them unless we do it together. And at the moment, we have one way to ensure change for the better is even possible. And it comes in the form of one of the most qualified people to run for president in some time.
I have already voted. I have voted for the person who ensures that all my grandfather’s hard work won’t be dismissed. The person who understands that communities such as the one my grandfather cultivated will flourish and maybe more bridges such as myself will exist and thrive. We all can be a bridge to the next step in driving this country forward. Even if your life hasn’t been directly affected by an immigrant, you surely are related to one that came to this country. Immigrants are what make America special and amazing. I hope you’ll vote to help keep America moving forward, in its intended direction of diversity. Not backwards. I am with her. Are you?