|As the world grows darker, we must shine brighter.
What does it look like to promote world citizenship in the age of renewed nationalism and “America First”?
One first step is to be supportive of immigrants. One way to do that is to support the work of the Tahirih Justice Center with a financial contribution. You can click the link, or, if you are on Facebook, you can contribute to my birthday fundraiser.
Another way is to educate yourself about immigration issues and know how to respond accurately and respectfully to the anti-immigrant talking points that you hear or see on FB.
Always use Abdu’l-Baha’s technique when talking to ignorant people… “admitted, agreed, but now lets look at it from this other perspective.”
So when they say “immigrants are flooding the country, answer, “yes, it can seem like a lot of people, but did you know that without immigrants, our population would be shrinking, which would really mess up our Social Security fund.”
And when they say “they are using our social services,” you can say “yes, it is true that for the first year or so, immigrants are a real drain on our resources, but studies have shown that in the long run they actually give back in taxes, jobs and services much more than they use.”
And when they say “illegals are taking our jobs,” you can say “yes, undocumented workers can be forced to work below minimum wage, which is why we should let them come in legally so that employers can’t take advantage of them at your expense.”
And when they say “they should just follow our laws,” you can say “I agree. We are a country of laws. But did you know that according to international law, these people have a right to seek asylum, and we should be processing their asylum requests quickly. Otherwise, they run out of money and have few options but to try to cross illegally. If we followed our asylum laws, they wouldn’t be breaking them.”
And when they say “they are drug dealers and criminals,” you can say, “you are right. Some of them are, which is why we need to invite all of them to come through regular border crossings where they can be vetted instead of being turned away and forced to try to sneak across. That way only the criminal will have to try to cross illegally.”
By acknowledging their concerns, but responding with facts, perhaps you can help people see that if we behave like citizens of the world, it will benefit everyone. At the very least, you will let them know that some people see people from other countries as assets and welcome them as valuable members of the human family.
So are you ready to have meaningful conversations? Then load yourself up with some of our many many World Citizen items and start sharing.