Donald Trump shocked many of us when he shared a critical part of his plan to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks on American soil: Don’t allow Muslims to immigrate to the U.S. It leaves me flabbergasted that he thinks that this sort of plan, or even rhetoric, is acceptable – and a platform on which he thinks he can continue to rally support.
As a mother in the workforce, I’m only here because time and time again, people have looked past the perceived misconceptions of hiring a parent to lead a team or do a job. If they thought that my working hours would be reduced, or that I wouldn’t be as committed to my job as my childless counterparts, or that I’d not be able to travel or take late night calls – they sucked it up and gave me an opportunity to flourish in the workforce. If they gave into their instinctual bias to avoid bringing parents or caregivers into the workplace, I (along with so many other excellent women leaders) would not be here today.
I know that we may be afraid since radicalized fanatics may possibly slip into the U.S. and cause trouble if we cannot catch and identify them before they do, but this is not a reason to tarnish an entire religious group. As a child of parents that grew up in India, I’ve heard many stories of religious and caste based discrimination and how difficult it is to let go of those cultural norms once they are ingrained in the society – but one thing the educated have to their advantage is that we know better. We’ve been educated and can discern when bias is based on instinctual tendencies versus verifiable information. If we weren’t able to look away from instinctual bias, we’d have stopped a great many leaders from making their mark in the world.
I generally don’t like to leave political commentaries on my blog, but Trump’s rhetoric on the issue of stopping people from entering our country on the basis of religious affiliation rings too familiar to mistakes of the past. It’s not a halt on all immigration, but a stop on individuals based on an unverifiable quality – for many, religion is only identifiable from within and not necessarily attributable to our names, place of origin, or ethnicity.
Shame on you, Trump. If everyone thought like you, no company would ever hire a parent, an individual over 40 years old, or non-native English language speaker.
Have Kids, Will Work