To All Syrian Refugees

WORDS BY ZOE ALLEN / @EOZALLEN
VISUALS BY JOHANNA STIEFLER JOHNSON / @JOHANNACITY

Image by WRITTEN CITIZEN staffer Johanna Stiefler Johnson at Boston's 2017 Women's March

Dear friend,

I am so sorry about the state of our nation. I am so sorry that the turmoil on our soil is being taken out on you. You, who has been through far too much turmoil already. This was supposed to be a place of refuge, of safety, of hope and dreams, and we have ultimately failed you. We have let the ideas of Lady Liberty go to waste and disappear into the barren voids of history past. It should not be the past; there should be no sense of regret due to regression into prior sins. Those who do not learn history are condemned to repeat it, and clearly we have not paid attention in class. It seems as though we are stuck in an inescapable cycle of bigotry and comfort, selfish and horrifyingly satisfied. We are complacent with saying "things could be worse" when the only thing we should be asking is "how can we be better?"

How can we be satisfied knowing these next 120 days are going to be directly responsible for the deaths of so many innocent human lives? America has trouble seeing the humanity in the skin that isn't white and the mouths that speak different languages. Humanity has become defined by those who voted for Donald Trump, and have therefore voted for someone who is against humanity.

America was supposed to be the home and asylum for everyone who needed it. America was supposed to be my home, and your home too. I do not want to live in America that is not your home, but is allowed to be mine because I am white and speak English and am fortunate. I am privileged because I am allowed to be here, and I am so sorry that those who are privileged let you down.

We have always had a hard time sharing, almost never have we been selfless. This "Muslim ban", a true, blatant manifestation of hatred and intolerance shows this.

Please know that it won't always be like this. My generation will come to power and reaffirm the humanity that Trump has stripped from you. To us, you are human. You are our friend, you are our neighbor. You are just as valuable as anyone. You deserve the world.

I feel as though the newspaper is a symbol of sorrow. Right now, I am downtrodden. I fear what will happen under this administration. But I will never let my fear make me static. I will always be mobile, shouting, and fighting. Fighting for you. Fighting for your rights and hopes and dreams, because they are just as important as anyones. I will fight for an America that values you like it should. I will fight for an America that will nurture you and love you as one of its own.

Because you are. You are you, and you are human.

Love,
Zoe A.

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