Anmol Sekhri wrote -
The world is hurting right now. And so am I.
It's apparent that Trump's "Muslim Ban" has a wider impact on people than the refugees it claims to target. We've heard of green card holders being detained, we've seen translators who helped the US Army be detained, we know that citizens of the USA have been turned away.
But as was the case after 9/11, the effects are felt in communities further away. At that time, Sikhs and Hindus were also mistakenly targeted in attacks; travel became much harder for brown skinned people. Most of my adult life I've had terrorist jokes thrown at me as part of systematic oppression, even from my own family, and all I could do was laugh them off and sometimes collude to "fit in".
Anyone who knows me knows I've enjoyed having the freedom over the past few years to make my own decisions which has included growing my hair out and growing a beard. It started as a way to fight depression - if I didn't feel like myself, I didn't want to look like myself, but over time it became a sword for me to challenge stereotypes perpetuated since 9/11: "you'll never get a US Visa with a beard", "You look like a terrorist", "You won't get anywhere in your career looking like that" and "You'll be targeted". All of those turned out to be lies people who were scared spread to "stay under the radar". But after the events the past week, I'm calling time on that crusade, for now.
I want to fly home to visit my sick mother on Friday, but I'm scared that I won't be allowed back in the USA.
I'd like to note that as a UK citizen, I should be ok, but the fact is noone can say for sure. Some factors include: I "look like a terrorist" and I was born in an Asian country... But I reiterate that even US CITIZENS were detained!! I will be in the UK for 12 days and after the last 12 days, noone can say for sure how the situation will change.
I feel sad and defeated. I've cried over this so much since the weekend, but I don't want to stop fighting. So I came up with an idea: I will shave my beard so I can go home and look after my mum, but I want to use it to raise funds which I want to donate to the ACLU.
So please donate. I'm going to do this, this time, but I don't want it to be a sad feeling. I want to feel proud that I'm doing something good, and that I get to see my mum.