I was wrong. 

A few weeks ago I wrote that I didn’t want to be invited to any more vigils. That I was tired of them. That I wanted action. Fast forward to 45’s announcement that he wanted to do away with DACA. I thought about all the people in my life who might end up hundreds or thousands of miles away. I thought about their stories and remembered why this legislation was so important. It’s honestly quite simple.

Where 45 erroneously sees people who don’t pay taxes and steal jobs from “Real Americans,” I see people working as hard as anyone else you know to put food on the table, get a decent education, and provide for the next generation. No job stealing.  Yes, tax-paying. People. Human beings. When did it become illegal to be a human being? At that moment I felt helpless. And then I heard about a vigil. It wasn’t the action I wanted. There is still work to be done. But for a moment, the anger that fuels my need for action was replaced by the need to hug my friends a little tighter and simply be present so they know I care.

There will be time to protest, time to call your legislators, time to get out in our communities and create our own change. But if we forget what it means to feel–forget the love of humanity that brought us to this work in the first place– we may wake up and realize that we’ve become exactly what we thought we were fighting.
There is time to grieve and grow. There is space to weep and work.

This time, I was wrong.
Yours in Activism,

Karli Janay

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