When people ask what my major was in college, I somewhat sheepishly mention my B.A. in Political Science. I haven't done much with my degree; the classes I took titled "Campaigns and Elections," "2004 Iowa Caucus," and "Political Philosophy" have not been particularly applicable to my recent jobs in non-profit communications.
I look back fondly at my college years when I was more idealistic, more politically engaged. I can't put my finger on exactly what changed since then. Is it cynicism about my ability to change the world? My exhaustion from taking care of small children? The relentless 24/7 news cycle that reveals only slimy scandal after another? Whatever it is, I have been checked out this election season. I even wrote about what I am doing to survive until November 9th.
The thing is, I have felt prodding from the Holy Spirit for some time now to speak out against Donald Trump. I have felt guilty for staying silent after hearing his misleading and untruthful statements about refugees and immigrants during the presidential debates, especially given my experience in these communities.
Last week I visited the school where my husband is a middle school science teacher. On the door to the bathroom was this sign: "Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent on the things that matter." Wham. I knew I needed to do something, but what?
Then, yesterday, Donald Trump flew into my state of Minnesota for a few hours to speak at a rally where he made inflammatory statements about Somali refugees. He claimed that we are "suffering" because of our large Somali refugee community. I got so mad because I know his words will only stoke the hate against refugees who have already endured so much trauma.
The good people over at Sojourners let me write for them about it. You can read my article "I Used to Screen Somali Refugees. Here's Why Trumps' Latest Statements Are Wrong" on their site.
So, happy election eve everyone. I hope that those of you who are still waiting to speak out - whether it's to your family members, on social media, or to a coworker - decide to say something.