A finely dressed older woman in white clothes and fine jewelry, was at restaurant, bashing a man who was inappropriately dressed as a worker in the restaurant.
The daughter was standing beside the woman….in even more lavish jewelry. Watching.
I found myself sitting at a bench beside a ‘non-white’ man in a dark striped shirt and dark pants, of simple styling, with worn dark shoes. He was working at the restaurant and was being let go by the manager for inappropriate attire.
The older woman was telling him to go back where he came from.
I took the woman by the shoulders and nicely spoke to the woman about walking in his shoes. And.
Did she have more than one pair of shoes?
These were the only shoes he owned. And he had walked thousands of miles to find refuge in a country that spoke of freedom.
He had one pair of ‘good’ clothes. These were it. They were all he could carry.
Did she have a fine clothes she took to the cleaners? Or maybe a washing machine at her home to wash her clothes clean?
He was having to go to the laundromat across town, because he couldn’t afford a washing machine.
Did she have a car that was new, shiny, and in perfect working order? To travel in, for any whim?
He came to this country on foot and could not afford a car to go to work in…nor to the laundromat, nor to the grocery store. Yeah about that car….
Did she have the ability to walk down her street without the fear of armies of people slaughtering others in the streets? He left his country because of that fear.
Was she standing beside her daughter? Enjoying a Sunday meal with her?
His was taken away at the border months ago, and he had no idea where she was, or if she was safe, or if he would ever see her again.
He had been working 2 jobs to survive…at low hourly salary, until she had told the manager he was not fit to work at this restaurant. And that he had to leave.
I woke from this dream, very aware, that I am of privilege.
However, I stand beside those who cross our borders in refuge, seeking asylum. You can ‘scare me’ with thoughts of fear of gangsters. But let me remind you. We came…as refugees as well, from Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and Germany, just to name a few…and invaded a country already home to Native Americans.
Don’t talk to me about ‘go back where you came from’.
Living fully – carving a life,