"They Came For Me"
Alton B. Pollard, III, Ph.D.
Mere days into the new president's administration the immigration ban began. The response has been swift, defiant and necessary. The protests are many, fierce, and profound. They are taking place across this nation and around the globe. From airport terminals to business enterprises and all manner of venues in between a majestic movement of women, children and men is taking place. A fire has been lit. Consciousness has been raised. The resistance has begun. It is freedom's pulse, struggle resurgent, the people awakened. It is more than the sum of our solitary lives. It is the very meaning and power of the children of earth who will not be denied, defined or bound by reason of religion, race, gender, color, age, language, region, sexuality, ability, political party, occupation or any other divisive designation. We reject the will to quarantine. We are rising.
We are sore troubled that the president has signed an executive order restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. A nation born of immigrant peoples, displacing the indigenous, enslaving Africa's descendants, demeaning women's lives, indenturing persons without means, continues its sordid and violent refrain. In the midst of social apathy, in times of moral complacency, in fear and uncertainty, despots come. We remember the words of Martin Niemoller, "At first they came for us…" The black, the brown, and the poor. The women, the children, and the men. The believer, the non-believer, and the half-believer. Again and again they have come.
This time they come for our Muslim sisters and brothers. No more. Not today. Not ever. I am my Muslim sister's keeper. I am my Muslim brother's keeper. We come together in this moment turned movement, in all our human interconnectedness, changing the things we cannot accept, embracing the divine imperative, to become the change we seek. No Muslim Ban. Black lives matter. Women you have struck a rock. Stand together with Standing Rock. Mujer power. Queer love. Science is real. Water is life. Welcome the stranger. Fear not. Justice is what love looks like in public. God is love.
Alton B. Pollard, III
Howard University - School of Divinity | Holy Cross Hall - 2900 Van Ness St. NW Washington, DC 20008 | (202) 806-0500