The other dayI told a co-worker that there are only twelve people in the world with my last name and I am related to them and love them all. She was surprised there were so few. I responded, "The rest of my family were murdered by Nazis." So, nowadays while people are comparing Trump to Hitler, I have been really struggling. The struggle goes beyond disgust and horror at the U.S. political climate.
My father is a WWII survivor. I grew up knowing children can starve and die. WWII was not a memory for my family. It permeated my childhood letting me know that safety is not a guarantee. I knew how lucky that we had food and clothes but that could all go away. We also had volumes of albums made by my grandmother. As I turned each page, I saw pictures of my father and my uncles growing up. But with each page turn, I also saw this disconnected faraway look grow in the little boys' eyes. They didn't have a childhood, they survived. And now they make up those twelve people left in the world with my last name.
I want safety to be a guarantee for everyone. I want children to be able to play without fear. I want to be proud of this country that took my father's family in as refugees. I want families to love and grow - not just survive. I don't think everyone in America has these same wants and that terrifies me. When I commute to work, I look around the train car trying to figure out who is a Trump supporter. Because I grew up knowing safety is not a guarantee and all that I have can be taken away. I also know how many "Other" boxes can be ticked off for me.
While each week at work, a new person is being forced to resign so I feel tense and anxious, I feel just as tense and anxious just simply living in this country. John Oliver helps "Clown town, fuck the world, shit show" was my spirit buoy. Chicago, North Carolina, and Kansas City protests lessens the cloud of despair following me everywhere. I'm probably going through something like John Mulaney says, "Jews don’t daydream, cause folks are after ‘em and they gotta stay sharp, you know what I mean? They have to be there. They haven’t let their minds wander since Egypt."