First things first, I’m stealing my title and inspiration from this excellent Miami Herald article
My YAV year is a little under halfway over which means I’ve spent about 6 months in my new city, Miami, Florida. I’ve worked and lived, explored and walked and eaten throughout this city.
It’s a beautiful, diverse and vibrant city. It’s that way because of the people who live here. Miami is made up of many people who are immigrants as well as the children and grandchildren of immigrants who keep the best of their heritage alive. They are equally welcome and at home here alongside people born and raised in the US by parents and grandparents born and raised here like me.
That’s why it breaks my heart to hear such an important public figure denigrate and insult these valued members of my community. As well as whole countries and continents that we share our Earth with. I can’t imagine anyone who could speak from a place of knowledge saying anything like these things our president allegedly said on Friday. Someone who’s tasted the range of food from the many countries you can find in Miami or has taken even a moment to appreciate the art that is created here knows why this is so patently untrue.
It’s a incredibly dangerous to assign any degree of good and bad to things that are different from what you’re used to. Fear of the other and blaming immigrants for a society’s problems leads to dangerous ideas that become dangerous actions. I thought I understood this and much more before I began my YAV year but my new experiences have taught me a deeper, truer understanding. My daily interactions at work and the other volunteers I’ve met who come from different places and backgrounds and understand these concepts differently than I do have shown me that this is a never ending journey of thinking, growing and understanding.
YAV is currently taking applications for the next year. Learn more at https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/yav/apply/
If you want to support my YAV, click here https://hannahshosteltakeover.wordpress.com/support/