My parents had been living on rice and beans for months with 8 children under the age of 10. Then, their only means of income was taken away from dad because of outstanding debt. They had no place to turn…..
until a friend extended an invitation to take them to Canada.
My dad and the kids came in as second generation Canadians born abroad. My mom had nothing. She came in as an immigrant.
Almost 2 years later, I was born here. In Canada.
You see, even if Canada hadn’t given them an avenue to come in and immigrate her legally, they would have had to do something. I can imagine many scenarios of what that could have looked like.
Even though she was the only one that immigrated and I was actually born here, I always felt like I didn’t belong.
“Hey you fucking M&M’s, go back to where you belong!!” We heard that so many times.
To have someone pull up and yell that out the window when you’re walking down the street minding your own, really does a number. You only need to hear that once to get the message.
Every time after that is just a nail in the coffin.
I would get so angry and want to run after them, mom would just laugh and brush it off.
My heart aches for her and every other person who has ever felt like they didn’t belong because of race, gender, culture, religion or whatever else it may be.
I was traveling when a huge statement was made just across the border from us.
Not once did I bring up the topic, but everyone that recognized us as foreigners asked me about it.
The pain in the heart and eyes of the Jewish woman sitting beside me on plane was real you guys. The Brazilian American standing in the airport line behind me said it wasn’t the same coming ‘home’ this time. Then added ‘maybe this never was home.’
You could feel the tension of South Americans serving us North Americans because they should stay or go back where they came from, but we’ll go wherever we want and they should be there to serve us. No you guys, it wasn’t just me and in my head.
It was real.
Some say it was all media and won’t be what it was portrayed to be. Well, I can tell you this, whether it was platform or media, what I felt all those years ago and what those people are feeling right now is real!
SO gosh darn REAL you guys.
We CANNOT sit back and let history repeat itself. We need to STAND UP and STAND WITH them. Loud and bold!
Because we all belong you guys. We all belong. Together.
Lets be intentionally and do life together. Regardless of race, gender, religion or culture. Next time you’re out and about, hold out your hand, whether literally or in action to say, I AM WITH YOU.
WE ARE WITH YOU! Always will be.
Until next time,