An Open Letter To Anyone Defending The Muslim Ban

We will fight. We will prevail. We won’t give up.

It is not just a “couple hours” of inconvenience.

It is oppression. It is racism. It is bigotry. It is xenophobia.

All at their finest, for 90 days.

It is a rash, unadvised, vitriolic decision handed down by an incompetent clique full of selfish human beings.

It is checking off Muslims as other, throwing them to the side so your kind can get ahead. It is the eternalization of the idea that they don’t belong.

It is anti-American. It is preposterous. It is dumb. It is dangerous.

It is Saudi Arabia being left off the list due to obvious special interests. It is the severing of any tie we had with Iran. It is a precedent for more wars and more conflicts.

It is the Syrian boy who was captured in a chilling photo, looking dazed and confused, covered in dust and blood. It is the Iranian-American man who “builds houses for the American people” but sheds tears of frustration at the news of his brother being deported. It is a 75-year-old grandmother from Iran who was detained for eight straight hours with arthritis throbbing from her joints.

It is a big “sorry, but not sorry for leaving you stranded while having to dodge the hell that drops from your skies” and an even bigger “fuck you, you’re not human enough for these borders.”

It is the small glimmer of hope that vanished with a few strokes of a pen for every refugee who ever dared to look at our nation as a beacon of hope and life and prosperity and all that is good within this wretched world we live in.

It is the permission granted to other countries to follow suit, allowing them to believe Islam is the problem and that it needs to be flushed out and ostracized. It is leaders of the free world digressing into textbook examples of inhumanity.

It is the normalization and frequency of such executive orders in an attempt to wear us out, to have us standing out in cold weather, questioning if protests merely bring traffic instead of change.

It is the use of fear to hold on to the masses, to use it to blind them, to herd them like shepherds do with sheep, and leading them not into green pastures, but dirt roads full of lies and deceit.

It is the foreshadowing of what’s to come for black and brown and transgender individuals, relaying the message that the supreme crop of white folks are fed up with the people marching in streets for black lives and the theft of American jobs and the constant babbling from wacky liberals, urging the righteous right-wing conservatives to consider the possibility that not everyone is as straight as them.

It is the inability to recognize the difference between numbers on a spreadsheet and real, actual lives.

It is the utter lack of empathy.

It is sadness, the overwhelming kind, the kind that cripples you and makes the world seem blurry and unclear, which turns into anger which devolves into bitterness, furthering the continental divide between ideologies and morals that is already so prevalent.

It is all of these things and worse.

But listen up and listen well.

It is also strength and it is kindness.

It is the legs of those who stand and march on the common ground of humanity with pickets in their hands, demanding better from the United States of America. It is lawyers working pro bono, tirelessly and together in an effort to free people from unlawful detention. It is people coming together to fight and struggle for others they have never met.

It is the very best of the human spirit.

It is courage and grace personified.

It is Sally Yates standing tall and proud in the face of angry old white guys and wearing the firing from her job as a badge of honor and glory. It is vocal leaders like Shaun King who continue to lead tirelessly by example. It is the millions of nameless individuals who understand the strength in numbers and come together with the stubborn knowledge that they will eventually be heard.

It is beauty and it is hope.

It is the diversity that’s evident at protests and rallies. It is the little girl on Daddy’s shoulders marching alongside the elderly couple next to them. It is the different shades of color, linking arms and planting their feet during blockages in traffic.

It is Obama’s final “yes we can!” coming to life.

And above all else, it is love, in its purest form.

The kind that serves generously and gives freely. The kind that cries together in moments of defeat, but celebrates harder in even the smallest of victories.

So, no, Mr. Spicer or Mr. Bannon or Mr. Trump or whoever else is defending this unconstitutional Muslim ban, it isn’t just a couple hours of inconvenience.

It is history that will be written in your children’s books, printed alongside pictures of terrible wars and evil leaders, and you are, undoubtedly, on the wrong side of the cover.

We will fight. We will prevail. We won’t give up.

Your message has been received loud and clear. It’s time you hear ours.

A version of this post originally appeared on Opinions of Gu.