I use the fakebook mainly for family and friends. I also post most of my travel pics there because I keep meaning to figure out Instagram but if I did everything on my to-do list why would I keep getting up every morning?
In New Mexico I posted the most innocuous picture possible: food. Everyone likes food and anyone who doesn’t sucks, but at least their complaints will be about said food. It’s a safe space. But there’s always One…
The “be careful” I’ve become used to: we fear that which we can’t control (it’s why planes scare more than cars and sharks scare more than vending machines despite the statistics) and it’s their subconscious attempt to reclaim some.
But watch your back? Do you** think a caravan of illegal people has squeezed through The Wall and is lurking in Las Cruces, waiting to steal my job and initiate me into MS-13?
Did you not learn from my time in Thailand, when, between showing you the incredible street food and gleaming temples of Bangkok, I told you about Buddha’s teachings? That the only guarantees are pain and death, so live every moment you have, surrender fear, and treat others with love? The acts of kindness and sense of fun that Thais embrace and how it fits with their beliefs, along with the times and ways they fall short, showing that they are still human and figuring it out as well?
You must have been very nervous when I went to Indonesia, where more Muslims live than any other country in the world. And since they all hate us and nothing is more anti-American than a headscarf, surely I would be beheaded. So when instead I encountered nothing but interest, kindness, and hospitality the cognitive dissonance must’ve been working overtime. I told you about the rideshare driver who brought me into his home, fed me, introduced me to his family. Maybe you just prayed to your god, thankful that he kept me safe in the lion’s den. When in a single picture I showed you what Islam is I can imagine the mental gymnastics. Maybe you just ignored it.
Because it’s only been a year since then and you still think (or think again) that it’s us vs them. So what did you think when I went down to Nogales, the charming border town in Arizona? What about when I crossed over to Nogales Mexico and showed you The Wall that keeps you safe from invasion by The Other?
I said it seems so arbitrary when you’re here, these lines drawn on paper that we spend uncountable blood and treasure on to maintain. I said it seems wrong that so much of one’s life should be determined by which Nogales you’re born in.
You say nothing. You see, yet you turn away. I wonder how it is I don’t get through, if there’s some better or different way I can show you. But you believe your God created the Earth, yet you carve it up for your own means. Your Savior told you to welcome strangers, for what you do to them you also do to him, yet you build this ugly fence to keep Him out. And still you want more.