TO THE EDITOR:
I consider myself an immigrant.
I was born and raised in Kenya. I went to school in South Africa. I was then blessed with the exciting opportunity to study in the U.S., a nation of immigrants, and for four years, I have called Chapel Hill home. In my time here, I have learned in some small way what it means to be an American.
Bluntly and truly, Trump’s executive order barring immigration from seven Islamic-majority countries is un-American. Its injustice, discrimination and cruelty outrage and pain me in equal measure. It should outrage and pain us all; not just because it is illegal, but because it is immoral.
To all of our affected students, to those who can’t go home to see their families, to those who have seen your hopes and dreams erased with the stroke of a pen, to those who are scared to leave the country and to those who are too scared to even leave your rooms, I stand with you in solidarity and understanding.
I know my home, Kenya, could just as easily have been on Trump’s list. Jihadists infamously bombed the US embassy in Nairobi almost twenty years ago, and in 2015, radical gunmen slaughtered nearly 150 Kenyan college students because of their faith, among other horrific attacks over the years. Trump could have easily banned me out of fear of the extremism in my own country.
My heart truly breaks for those going through the tragic repercussions of this new reality.
I am with you. Carolina is with you.
Trump’s order does not define us. It does not represent us. It is not us. When I ran for student body president last year, I closed every debate with the same phrase from South African Zulu: ubuntu.
“I am because you are.”
We each exist and grow because of the generosity, ingenuity and love of our respective communities, especially our Carolina community. We are a multicolored, multifaith, multiethnic, multinational, multicultural family, and we grow stronger by strengthening our ties, not cutting them off.
A Proud Kenyan,
Student body president
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