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No Walls Can Divide Us

SNA (Tokyo) — Americans march in Tokyo on February 12, 2017, to reaffirm the necessity for tolerance and diversity.


Greta Morgenstern: The United States has been called “the land of the free, the home of the brave.” In light of recent events, I and the diverse community that surrounds me have begun to question the validity of these titles—these proclamations of patriotism.

Ric Fouad, Lawyer: The problem is, when leaders weaponize bigotry and fear, it’s very easy to persuade half the country, or even more, to believe that. It’s like shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater. People aren’t going to inspect to see if there’s a fire, they’re going to bolt for the fire exits. Essentially that’s what we’re seeing here. It’s not unique to the United States, it’s happening all over the world. It’s very very depressing to observe people essentially exploit fear and bigotry in this way. Our issue isn’t with the 40% or 50% of Americans who have become afraid or who have come to be persuaded that somebody is responsible for their job loss. Our problem is with leaders who exploit this terrible dynamic.

People who truly care about America don’t engage in divisive conduct. They don’t scapegoat. They don’t target. They’re inclusive. They understand that we are safer when we stay together. We are safer when we’re rational. Our country is far greater when we’re open. Those people are not patriots. They are self-serving demagogues and their only goal is naked power. We have seen that type of character come and go in history, which is why our march today is essentially saying, “We’re not waiting for the next for the step; we’re not waiting for people to be rounded up; we’re not waiting for lists; we’re not waiting for people to be interned.”

The minute that people engage in these kinds of conducts, decent people have to stand up and say, “No, it ends right now. We’re not going to get to the next step.”

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