No Time for Silence

We are 9 days into the Trump presidency and already he and his administration are working on dismantling the fabric of our civil liberties. 

It’s like a giant F-U to the founding principles of this country, to the 1st Amendment and to decent human compassion. 

As an American woman of Arab and Jewish heritage I am horrified that this nation of immigrants is setting up policy to turn its back on those seeking asylum here, those seeking an education, those seeking a living wage, those seeking refuge from war, those looking for a better life. 

In October and November I spent some time with Holocaust survivors who are traveling to classrooms to teach about compassion, empathy and history. Their message is a poignant reminder of how easily good turns bad to worse to unimaginable. A few told me they were worried it was happening again, right here, in the country they’ve adopted because they could not live where they were born. 

Here’s what I wrote about them.

I’ve always thought my unique heritage gave me a certain perspective. At one point I thought a career as a diplomat would be suitable. As a young newspaper reporter I had my eye toward the AP Jerusalem bureau. I wanted my work to help wage peace and understanding. 

I’ve always felt relatively safe here in my country. I haven’t always felt like I’ve fully belonged, and have felt like an outsider. But other than when I was forced off a plane and detained, I’ve felt a general sense of safety. Now I’m not so sure. 

It’s a scary time with many uncertainties for non-white Non-Christians living in America. It’s a scary time for immigrants and people trying desperately to get in the country. 

But I believe we are better than this. And I hope, sincerely, that our goodness outweighs the racism, xenophobia, isolationism and hatred booming from the White House. 

As this continues to unfold, I’ll be following the ACLU’s work and supporting its efforts. I hope you will too. 

Further Reading:

Leave a comment


  1. Michael Burns

     /  January 29, 2017

    My dear habibi, welcome back to the Heartland, or have you been posting and I haven’t seen them. No time like the present to have your voice, heart, and thoughts heard. Thank you. I signed up for an Aqua bike event in half moon bay 4/23. I’m now curious about where my swim bike abilities match up with other old farts. If local events are encouraging, I may step up my motivation and go to nationals w/ Kurt!! Maybe when I’m 70, at the bottom of an age group I can pick off some 75 yr olds? Ha.

    Keep up the good work younin’.

  2. Pocono Chuck

     /  January 29, 2017

    I’m confused; in Dec 2015 President Obama signed into law the “Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015,” which listed Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen as countries requiring extra scrutiny for travel. I don’t recall protests or lawsuits over that. President Trump is following the law to suspend immigration from these nations — most of whom have no formal government which can participate in proper vetting — for about 4 months.

    Please explain why following the law signed by President Obama is suddenly ‘scary’.

    • There’s a difference between additional scrutiny and barring entry to all who are coming from certain areas. People are being detained. There’s a big difference.

      • Pocono Chuck

         /  January 30, 2017

        I’m still confused: if the countries lack any formal government, how can there be ‘extra scrutiny?’

        This isn’t a ban, this is a temporary suspension of immigration until the scrutiny can be assured. There is not now, nor ever been, unrestricted immigration to the USA.

  3. I’m with you! We must all speak out. Go ACLU!


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