I know, I know, this is supposed to be a blog about teaching math. I should probably blog about math more often. I would argue, however, that more than math, what matters are my students. Right now, that means standing against the policies of this administration that make them feel unsafe. They will not learn math when they fear for their safety and that of their families.
Moral of the story: We are stronger (and feel stronger) together. We can heal wounds together. Showing up matters.
I just got back from a protest at the Minneapolis Airport. I had been hesitant to go, but was overcome by the ABSURDITY of this ban, so I went. Here are some things that happened while I was there:
- Upon unfurling my sign, an airport worker stopped me to say that he really liked my sign. I don’t know that the man is Muslim, but he said, “thank you for your support”. I thanked him for helping to keep the airport running so that immigrants could actually get through. We were both smiling. It was a great exchange.
- I saw dozens and dozens of people cheering things like, “Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Islamophobia has got to go!” and “No hate, no fear, Muslims are welcome here”!
- We sang “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land”.
- Another teacher stopped me and gave me a high five.
- Cars drove by giving thumbs up and honking. Everyone cheered.
- I FEEL BETTER.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no illusions that everything’s fine now, but this morning all I saw was how awful everything is and I felt awful. At the protest, I saw and heard and was surrounded by other people who are opposed to this. It felt safe. I know that’s not the case for all protests, but the more of us that show up to them, the safer they will be. Strength in numbers is a real thing. I feel empowered to do more. I’m calling my representatives and donating to the ACLU.
I have been hesitant to show up to protests. I’ve always been a good Minnesotan who just says nice things and doesn’t cause a ruckus. That felt crummy. We need to make a ruckus. We need to hear and see each other. I will be fine under this presidency. Others will not. Others ARE not. When my nephews ask how I acted when the president tried to ban Muslims, I want to look them in the eye and tell them I said NO. I don’t want to regret inaction because I felt nervous about showing up. Come join me! You will be welcomed with open arms. Love. Trumps. Hate.