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no trespassing sign

I Talked to Conservatives about the #MuslimBan. You Should, Too.



I’ll bet you didn’t think you’d spend the weekend talking about immigration policy.

In the wake of President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the national political conversation has exploded among two camps: those who believe we are veering toward 1930s Germany, and those who think we finally have a leader willing to stick up for American security interests.

I happen to disagree strongly with this action, but in my zen-like quest to quit engaging these issues using anger as my sole vehicle, I figured there was no time like now to get started on peaceful conversations.

So last night on Facebook, I asked for some help from my conservative friends:

civil rights protest in Birmingham, AL

Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King.


To live in an America free of prejudice requires constant work–work that may never be finished.

There are people far better equipped to write poignantly and eloquently about this day’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., but I am mindful of the fact that offering up words of encouragement and support and empathy is important.

Today ought to be a day in which we look for unity, to applaud our forward momentum, to carefully reconsider our missteps. That’s what I felt growing up–this was a celebratory day, not a reminder of how far we have to go–and even now I’m troubled by how wide that chasm seems.

The nation’s intensified gaze upon our growing racial divide, sharpened among police brutality, riots, and elections, has emboldened a lot of people harboring racist words and deeds. I always wanted to believe they were the human equivalent of carnival sideshows–Look! A racist! What a creature!–but in truth so many of them live and breathe openly among us.

This Land is Your Land

We don’t forget whom we mourn on Memorial Day as much as we do why.

Yes, let’s all remind ourselves that this Memorial Day Weekend, while occasion for backyard barbecues and festivities, was wrought to mark the somber occasion of those heroes who charged into battle, who laid down their lives to ensure the light of liberty would endure.

This is the meme that surfaces for a breath every year, filling timelines with lines like “Our day at the beach is thanks to their day at the beach,” over top a photo from Normandy, or a little boy dressed in his father’s Marine uniform, lying prone against brilliant emerald grass, a tombstone in the blurry background.

Yes, people–men, women, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, some little more than children, others career-long servants–these and many more died for our country.

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