Love persists in times of trouble

DANIELA MIRANDA | Guest columnist

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Like many people who either willingly or unwillingly leave their native country to come to the U.S., I never thought that I would become an immigrant. It just happened. I made a friend, then many more. Suddenly, I had colleagues, students, a partner, a house, a community, a life. But not just any life, a life that I really loved and that I wanted to hold on to. I had, without noticing it, fallen in love with my adopted country.

However, countries, like people, are not perfect. Over the last few years in particular, I’ve gotten to see and experience a darker side of the U.S.; a side that I always knew was there, but we seemed to be leaving behind. A side fueled by hatred toward difference and the belief in white supremacy. Hatred of this magnitude often calls love into question. It makes us wonder how to continue to love a country that seems to hate those of us who are considered “outsiders.”

I don’t have an answer to this question other than to say that, in this time, I have also witnessed incredible acts of bravery and kindness. Students in extremely precarious positions have taught me to be fearless and act when I wanted to hide. Neighbors have put up signs expressing their support for Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, immigrants and refugees. Love, it seems, is still around. It resides in the courage to speak out against oppression, in our willingness to act in support of others and in our refusal to dehumanize those who are different from us.