11 October, 2016

salliek76 comments on #560: Abdi and the Golden Ticket

salliek76 comments on #560: Abdi and the Golden Ticket:

My husband and I (both middle-aged white Americans) visited Paris last year, and one of my memories of the trip still gets me so choked up that I can barely talk about it.
We were on the subway, and sitting in one of the seats near me was an older teenage boy who had the absolute blackest skin I have ever seen in my life. He was wearing brand new blue jeans, brand new tennis shoes, and a plain green t-shirt that still showed the creases from the package. He kept looking down at some papers in his hand, and anxiously looking up at the map on the train wall. Something about him just looked so pitiful to me--like I just wanted to pat his leg or hug him, but of course I didn't.
As we moved toward the door to get off at our stop, I could see that what he was holding had a big UN logo at the top, and in French and English the header said that it was an official application for asylum.
My heart absolutely aches when I think about what that poor guy must have endured up to that point in his life, how anxious he looked, my realization that he or someone had bought those clothes specifically for that day and he was literally as dressed up as it was possible for him to be.
I wish every single xenophobe in the United States could experience a moment like that. I just know that it would change so many minds if they could have just one single interaction with someone who is so desperate to escape their situation.

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