This is Not Who We Are
The future belongs to the people, and gradually, or in one strike, they will take power, here and in every country.
~Ernesto Che Guevara
Shortly after my first protest, a friend and I were having a discussion on the consequences of invading Iraq. He told me that the UN had estimated that close to 500,000 could be displace internally, and that they were bracing for the worst. This conversation, of course took place pre-invasion. I did what I could to raise money for organizations I knew would be working in the country. To me, the thought of 500,000 fleeing their homes was more than I could handle. With a daughter barely four months old, I thought of Iraqi women with infants and placing myself in their shoes, I knew I could not sit by and allow my country’s actions to harm them. The idea of losing medicine, shelter or food, during this vulnerable time sent shivers down my spine. I knew that if I were in Iraq at that time, I would hope above all else that someone somewhere would do something to help me.
Years later, I find myself constantly frustrated at the lack of dialog in this country regarding that same refugee crisis the UN was bracing itself for. Even the UN could not imagine the grand scale of the displaced in Iraq, and grossly underestimated the number by 3.5 million. Oddly, Americans go about their daily lives acting as if we have not destroyed the lives of over 4 million people. Adding insult to injury, these 4 million people have been left homeless and without food or medicine for phantom weapons of mass destruction, a democracy that never took place, and the theft of all their natural resources.
As an American, this is not who I am. This is not what I believed about my country nor was it the image that so many in the world had set their hopes and dreams on. Few in American politics have bothered to mention this issue or to make an attempt to address it. Sad, but not unexpected, President George Bush made no mention of this crisis during his State of the Union address and neither did any of the responses. Unfortunately, this crisis rarely, if ever, finds its way into America’s living rooms.
This is not who we are. As a people, Americans understand the ideals of justice and if given the right information, I am of the opinion they will act. It is time for us to do what our leaders have refused to do, show the Iraqi people we are compassionate, caring people. We simply must tell their stories, give them back their humanity, and let them know we are not our government, we are a people that believes in democracy and justice for all. I am asking all of you to join me, to join us, in fighting to fix the wrongs of our government.
Please click the banner below, donate what you can, and help us to give Iraqi refugees a voice.