I’m not sure where to start — because there is just so much that is wrong right now — but let me just say this: I see you. I hear you. I support you.
I see you.
I see the fear in your eyes as you clutch your daughter’s hand while you cross the street, and the hurt that pools in the creases at the corners of your eyes and furrowed brow. I see the worry and doubt, wondering how the rest of the country sees you and how we could have gotten to this dark and dangerous place.
I see the love when you pick up your son after he skins his knee, cuddle your sleeping baby, and pet your daughter’s hair while she looks up at you. I see the determination and dignity in your eyes, and the hope. I see the courageous optimism you carry, certain that things will get better because they just have to get better. I see the confidence in the way your carry your head high, with a quiet but steely dignity, and trust that justice will prevail because God will help us make it so.
I hear you.
I hear the anger and passion in your voice when you speak out, not just about the wrongs committed against your people, but against all people. I hear the weariness in your voice, an exhaustion born by shouldering the burdens placed on the shoulders of all of us — job stresses, parenting challenges, health problems — as well as the heaviness thrust upon you because of the God you pray to or the color of your skin.
I hear the determination in your voice when we talk about coming together to fight this ugly beast of xenophobia and racism. I hear curiosity as we share book recommendations and social justice ideas. I hear your strong and unwavering voice profess that we’re still one nation, under God, indivisible. But mostly, I hear the joy in your laughter and your kindness.
I see you, I hear you, and I support you. Now. Always. No matter what.
I will fight with you when you want to fight, sit when you want to sit, and carry your load when it’s too heavy to bear. I will listen to your joyful laugh and your weary cry, soaking in the beauty of our shared humanity. And while I don’t know what it is like to be you, to live your life, I am committed to listening, learning, and empathizing.
I will hope and pray with you, for a bright future and a better world. And when hoping and praying isn’t enough (because it’s never enough), I will stand up with you and for you. I will show up and speak out, battling the monsters of hate, ignorance, and intolerance. I will reach out to you, texting and calling and visiting. Because while there are bigger issues affecting the whole, I am also concerned about each piece of the whole. I am concerned about you.
Our skin might look different. Your head might be covered with a hijab, mine with a baseball hat. We might define God differently and pray differently. We might come from different faiths and backgrounds and cultures, but trust me, we’re more alike than we are different. We’re all part of the same family. We’re all brothers and sisters. There’s always common ground, and those differences we do have only make us a stronger, more beautiful people.
We’re all in this together.
So while I’m not sure I can ever convey the depths of love in my heart for all of humanity, including my Muslim brothers and sisters, please know this: I see you. I hear you. I support you.
And because words are never enough, I will also show you.