rm (rm) wrote,
rm
rm

open letter

“I agree with the Bush administration that we take the fight to them,” she said. “We never again let them come onto our soil and try to destroy not only our democracy but communities like the community of New York. Never again. So, yes, I do agree with taking the fight to the terrorists and stopping them over there.”


Dear Sarah Palin:

I have news for you. New York is not a community. It is a city with over 7 million residents with a significantly higher number of people within its limits at any given time for both work and tourism. And so New York is actually made up of hundreds of communities. Thousands.

Let me tell you something about the communities of my city: You hate most of them. For we are immigrants and artists and people who don't necessarily live, love or worship like you do. We are the strangers you fear and vilify even though we're like you in almost every way that should actually matter. We want our families to be safe, our children to be well-educated, our jobs to be secure, and our futures to be full of potential. We want nice things and lower taxes and dignity and the freedom to pursue our hobbies and our passions and our devotions.

All of which means some pretty simple stuff:

We don't have a lot of patience for you. Most of us have learned more about the world greeting our neighbors on the stairs and in our corner stores than you've learned in your entire tenure as the governor of Alaska. Within a mile of each of our homes is almost invariably a mosque and a synagogue and a dozen different denominations of Christian church. And within our city are some of the best universities and research facilities in the world.

So when you talk about keeping my community safe when you don't even know its structure or its scale, I am aghast.

When you vilify the very things which make the motor of my city run and it shine as a beacon of hope to those who have always been told that different is wrong or that hope is not possible, you betray not just your ignorance of New York and of America and of the world, but you betray us -- real people who were wounded first by 9/11, yes, but who are now bone weary with the exhaustion at being exploited for political goals we cannot support or trust or even believe weren't explicitly created to destroy the very communities you gleefully refuse to understand, recognize or even see.

So stop using my city and stop thinking aggression makes you brave. It's a child's mistake, and it cheapens us all. I refuse to be a symbol of your dreamed upon wars. Or a target of them.
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