Trump said he would bring back jobs? I lost my new job in refugee resettlement today precisely because of Trump.
Last night Carp and I had a discussion about the events of the week, and he was openly panicking about everything happening, while my pulse hardly rose at all.
Am I a sociopath? I thought
I don’t think so. I think I do well in crisis situations, as long as blood, guts and shit are not involved. I feel like I am doing all I can right now, really throwing myself into the world to learn about it, and change with it. And I don’t believe that being bitter or upset is going to change anything, so I just am not feeling those emotions quite yet. I know I can be more productive and helpful if I stay level headed about the country. If I keep moving.
Flash to this morning. I wake up and find that there is still warm coffee in the french press from when Ben went to work. I grab a mug and head over to my laptop, with the intent of watching Democracy Now!
I check my email first, and see a few urgent emails from the HR department at the new refugee resettlement agency I’m beginning work at on Monday.
“Call me as soon as possible. Very urgent information.”
This cannot be good. With the week that the nation has had, and with this being the day that I am to sign my name on a paper to receive full health insurance and dental along with a sweet new job that I get to learn about the people of the world as well as help them learn about America: this cannot be good.
I think about just not calling, because I already know what she will say. But I pick up the phone and call anyway.
“Hello! Good morning, how are you?”
“Because of the executive order Donald Trump ordered last week, we are rescinding our employment offer for the refugee resettlement team. I’m sorry. I bet you had a feeling it was coming, though…. Please keep checking our website for possible openings, hopefully after 120 days.”
My voice cracks a little bit as I tell her goodbye. I hang up the phone and stare at the wall for a split second, then break down crying.
I haven’t cried this spontaneously in a while. I hauled ass driving across three states yesterday so that this morning I could wake up and go to a drug and TB test to begin my new life as a Refugee Employment Specialist. Now, because of a sad old man who dyes what’s left of his hair orange in a desperate attempt to be noticed, I am unemployed while refugees are in danger and locked out of our country.
What does this mean now? The profession I thought I would immerse myself in for the next few years is now laying off their workers, and will become a hard business, if still a business at all to get into. Is this the point where I give up working in refugee resettlement for awhile, or is this the point where I fight harder than ever to stay in it?
What does this mean for the 1-2% of refugees who are ever actually resettled in another country and given the chance to start a new life? And we’re not even talking about the 98% of refugees who spend their lives in refugee camps.
I check my pulse to see if it’s started to race now, but it still feels the same. I feel in shock. The only giveaway is the crazy sweating under my arm pits that happens whenever I am excited or nervous. I realize I am let down, but I am not ready to hate someone, or even the system. I feel a certain numbness from the system and those that run it, mostly because I half expect the worst from them, so when it happens, I take it and move on. I never give them my trust, and I have learned to try to never give them my power.
I accept this decision, which is probably the best choice for the agency, and the refugees that they serve. And my brain begins to come up with possible ways to continue to be involved with the refugee community, and where will I get money, and the fact that now I can write more, and at least I was offered the job so I know I deserve one in the future, and goddamn it- I’m going to watch Amy Goodman and see what’s happening on Democracy Now! while I make a list of personal actions my boyfriend and I can take to actively be involved toward social justice, peace and cultural competency.
I am not the president’s puppet. And I will not respond in chaos the way that I know he wants us to. I am going to do what I can right here and right now, and I am going to hurt Trump’s ego first and foremost by not letting him get to me, but instead continuing to live my life the way I want to, loving the people of the world.
And, I mean, at least I didn’t have to pee in a cup before they told me my job was kaput, right?
The truth is, I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time- the day when the majority of the population can’t help thinking about the hard issues constantly. When radical leftists, democrats, moderate and independents and even some conservatives can take to the streets together and say, “We want to change as a Nation! We stand up for all human rights, and we are not going to stand for your bureaucratic, bombastic, bellicose bullshit!”
I’m going to start blogging about these issues in the coming future, and ways that we can all get involved as a community. We cannot feel helpless, we all have a part in this country, in this world, and we cannot feel defeated.
For now, I have decided to focus my efforts on media. I can up with a short list of things I could actively do today to get started:
1: Keep a blog
I am intuitively drawn toward channeling all my thoughts into a blog. I have been seeing “Medium” blog accounts shared on facebook recently, and decided to try my hand at it, in addition to this wordpress blogpost.
I have previously been avoiding social media- I had deleted my facebook and was completely immersed in books. I am reminded of something my friend Ryan said when I was passing through Denver a few years ago. We were talking about social media, and I was currently on a purge from it back then as well. He told me that he didn’t think avoiding it completely was the answer, as social media was helpful in many ways. Similar to someone who is trying not to abuse drugs or alcohol, taking it away completely just makes it more forbidden. It doesn’t strengthen your resolve and commitment to yourself to not drink when you’re not around it. Same with social media, he said. Use it as you must, exist with it, and prove it doesn’t have power over you.
2: Support other writers
You can find his blog at (https://theavidfan.wordpress.com/). Because, the other part of my resolution for fighting propaganda is promoting freelance journalists who are kicking ass!
3: Submit timely pieces to newspapers/magazines
In other forms of Media, I submitted my first opinion piece to the Kansas City Star and was published three days later! It’s not as hard as I imagined, and I imagine I will continue submitting.
4: Watch/Listen to/Read/Support Independent New Sources
-I.e. Democracy Now!
In regards to direct actions outside of writings, protests and rallies are increasingly coming under attack in the US. According to Democracy Now! today:
“More anti-protest laws being pushed by lawmakers across the country. In Iowa, lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make blocking traffic a felony punishable up to 5 years in prison. Minnesota lawmakers are pushing an anti-protest bill that would allow cities to sue protesters in order to charge them for the cost of policing the demonstrations. In North Dakota, lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow drivers to ‘accidentally’ run over and kill protesters blocking traffic. Washington state lawmakers are pushing a bill that would label protests as ‘economic terrorism.’ And Indiana, Republican legislators have introduced a bill that would empower police to remove protesters blocking traffic using ‘any means necessary’ legislation, activists have dubbed the ‘block traffic and you die’ bill. New bills come more than 200 activists are facing more than 10 years in prison on felony riot trials for protesting Trump’s inauguration.”
We cannot have good media or good community actions/protests without intersectionality; sharing, listening to and supporting a diverse array of voices. Intersectionality comes out of feminist theory and is a way to bring all the social justice movements together. According to Webster’s Dictionary, intersectionality is:
“What happens when forms of discrimination combine, overlap, and intersect”
Intersectionality is about understanding, and terror is about taking away that understanding. Our country has been using terror to shape its foreign and domestic policy since I can remember, separating us from one another instead of bringing us together in our struggles to live together in the world. Growing up in the George W. Bush regime, my brother and I were told by my parents that he was using scapegoating and creating fear in the populace to gain more power.
Things haven’t changed since then, they’ve just progressed and become more extreme.
And so things haven’t changed in the way that I view the government, and maybe that’s why my blood pressure is not rising as much as others my age and younger. I expected this from our country from a very young age, and have been doing what I can when I can to make my own difference, but I know that I’m not going to change it all at once, all alone.
Which brings me back to how I started this blog post. Am I a sociopath because I am not panicking? I lost my job to the Trump administration today, and I may not have the same future of working with the international community in our country ever again because of this administration.
But I see myself and others existing within and without the system. We will do what we can to call it out, to help each other out, and to learn and relax, but we will not be able to help those in power out. They will do what they will do, and the greatest act of resistance I think I can do is keep my blood pressure normal, and keep acting in the way that I believe in and want the world to look.
Later, in the desperation of the newly realized unemployed person, I sent an email asking if there was any way they could contact me after 120 days if they are still looking to fill the position, and she responded to me right away.
“If things are lifted and we are able to hire; you will be the first one we call to hire; we are not sure how long that will be. We will also probably reshuffle current employees for new positions before hiring anyone new again. I have no problem with you keeping in contact with me though.”
I eat lunch and begin watching Democracy Now! , and realize that my heart is beating harder now. I am upset. This is too much. I am overloaded with social injustices, and it has all hit very close to home today with the surgical removal of my new job from my life, and the drastic changes that are affecting most of the county.