Miles: Remember those who defended the refugees

Danny Miles, Columnist

The events that have occurred over the first days of Donald Trump’s presidency have served a heaping portion of chaos and fear. As President Trump begins to fulfill his campaign promises, which critics and supporters alike believed to be unlikely at best, the United States has been thrust into a situation of uncertainty. Many Americans are scared, confused and unsure of their futures in this country. The President’s recent executive order, barring any immigration from seven countries for the next 90 days, has been met with a massive public outcry, as nearly 134 million people are effectively barred from entering the United States. Permanent residents, refugees and students alike have been turned away by officials from the Office of Homeland Security, despite stays ordered by several federal courts calling for the order to be halted, giving others time to review the executive order.

In this tenuous environment, many people are scared for the future of the country, including myself. However, I was recently reminded of this quote by that childhood hero, Mr. Fred Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

We have no shortage of scary things in the news right now. But just as Rogers said, we can still look for the helpers. They’re out there. There is a movement growing massively on Twitter, with hundreds of people offering housing to those in need of it. ACLU lawyers have been working tirelessly, both inside the airports and in government facilities across the country, seeking to get these Americans home. Huge sit-ins are being organized in major American airports, and taxi drivers are striking to protest this edict from the White House. Even in our government, at this time when American citizens almost universally distrust them, there are helpers. Many Democratic politicians and even several prominent Republicans have publicly denounced this executive order and are calling on the president to reverse it. There are helpers out there.

As college students, we are in a difficult predicament. We’re expected to dutifully continue our studies, even as the world continues on around us. Many students have participated in the protests recently, such as the  Women’s March on Cleveland. Case Western Reserve University student political organizations have been scheduling open forums and rallies as well. However, it often doesn’t feel like enough. For many, it feels like the world might be ending and that there’s nothing we can do about it.

Please, I urge you, remember the helpers. There are hundreds of millions of people in this country who cannot and will not accept this. Take a deep breath, and a walk if you have to. Even if it’s cold. Panic does not help anyone. We are not alone, and we can fight. Breathe.

Then, think of ways you can help. Call your representative. Attend these marches and protests and rallies. Talk to your friends and family, and try to bridge these gaps that have been dug through misunderstanding and fear and confusion. Even if you know people who voted for Trump, for many, this is not what they wanted. We can start unifying again. Call your representatives, your senators, the people that represent you and ask them to fight. Read up on these events, learn the facts and don’t be swayed by fear and anger.

The house divided cannot stand, but our foundations are strong and we are many. Even if it’s only in a little way, resist. We’re in this together.

Danny Miles is a third-year student. #Resist