By now I’m sure you, as well as I – have gotten your fill of the “I’m moving to Canada if Trump gets elected” threats. In the beginning, we all spoke of this possibility in a teasing manner “Hahaha! Like that would ever happen,” we jokingly whispered in the back of our minds. It was just a ridiculous notion, an easy joke – like the Cubs winning the World Series, or Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize. Well, we all know how everything turned out.
As many of us now wake up each day to a blistering new reality, those gags that were the staple of comedy routines and late-night talk shows have abruptly lost their humor.
The calm that once was is now filled with loud rumblings. Smoke rises from the purple mountains. For many of us who call America home, the amber waves of grain are now crowded with poppies, threatening to put us to sleep forever.
The fear is very real for many of us. Throughout this election we have been scapegoated, demonized, de-humanized, blamed for everything that is apparently “wrong” with our country. The recent election of Trump as President of the United States has solidified in certain people’s minds that it is acceptable to oppress, abuse and exploit us.
The results of this election has sent waves of fear and trauma throughout our society. We are past placing blame, we are past asking “Why?” we are looking for hope, for safety, for refuge.
We are children of history, and prior to us becoming adults and knowing Canada as the land of Beavers, Moose, Mounties, Robin Scherbatsky and the birthplace of Justin Bieber, we knew Canada by another name: The Promised Land.
Canada was the land that the slaves escaped to through the Underground Railroad. Canada was the place that Sitting Bull led his people to after battling the US Army. Canada was the divine destination, the goal of those who were enslaved, oppressed, forsaken, and hunted to seek refuge and a better life.
The Free North.
Canada, you are no longer a joke. You are our last hope.
As I mentioned before, we are children of history – and another thing that we learned from our books and lectures was that the minute a society scapegoats, degrades, and accept certain peoples as sub human, they can, and will, start to eliminate us with impunity.
The America we knew is disappearing. The light of hope that shone over Ellis Island is now dimming. The Mother of Exiles has been replaced with the Father of Hate. We need hope. We need strength.
I am begging you. I am imploring you. This isn’t funny anymore, especially coming from an American. We are truly afraid.
I know you’re no land of Milk and Honey. You have your problems too. You have your bad politics, your racists, your criminals, your wall builders. But what you don’t have is a leader who fans the flames of hate upon our fruited plains.
Our golden door has shut.
That is not to say it is shut forever. We are Americans. We will stand our ground. We will fight for our freedom. It’s what we do after all. Our births have committed us to the oath: “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC.”
But for those who cannot fight. For those too broken of body, spirit or mind… For those who just want to live.
Canada. Please consider.
Do not shut your doors. We are human. We want safety. We want life, liberty, we want happiness. We want to live our lives in peace and know there is a place out there that still holds what we are losing: Hope.
Very honestly and truly yours,
An immigrant and woman of color, on behalf of all the oppressed and marginalized communities of the United States of America.