In the days since Donald Trump’s infamous December 7 speech which proposed banning Muslims from the US, there has been a wave of anti-Muslim attacks. Just in the past 6 days there have been 23 hate crimes against Muslims in the United States.
This pervasive response is horrifying for several reasons. First and foremost, innocent people are being terrorized and hurt. Secondly, the stereotyping of an entire group of people as radicals causes the rift to grow even further between western civilizations and the Muslim populations (which is exactly what the radicals want.)
Can you imagine the prime minister or some group of people from your ancestry doing something horrible and then having a mob of people shows up at your door or place of worship demanding you to account for that? This is exactly what is happening now to a large group of Americans and it must be stopped. 2015 has been the deadliest year on record for American Muslims, with 63-recorded attacks on mosques.
Fear and misunderstanding of culture are the primary reasons for these responses and while fear is understandable it’s also perpetrates a cycle. Fighting terrorism with terror only causes more fear and hatred and makes the case for fighting against western civilizations more relatable.
The San Bernardino shootings struck very close to home (literally) for me because I grew up in the mountains right above it. I even knew one of the victims who was shot and killed in that violence. While watching the overwhelming responses of friends and family to what happened in our backyard I was struck with the thought that everyone needs to say something but then when it comes to action I see absolutely nothing. Do we write our Facebook posts stating what went wrong or what we should do in the future but then fail to go that next step and take action? Overwhelmingly yes.
So here is what I have to say to our Muslim brothers and sisters: I am sorry for the way your fellow Americans are treating you. I do not condone this response from fear and I want to say that I love you. Let’s get back to our founding principles of working together for freedom rather than tearing each other apart. If we work with each other rather than against I truly believe we are a force to be reckoned with.
I know many Muslim Americans and we are on the same side. No one wants to see another Paris, another San Bernardino, or another Bamako, Mali. When you have conversations with each other think about how we can work together and not subscribe to the us versus them rhetoric. Spread that love around and if you see someone being harassed stand up for them.
The most powerful response I believe is meeting anger with compassion and kindness. We are all people who want to feel loved, safe and have community. Don’t let fear overpower you and break that cycle of pain and hate that is so widespread in our world today.
After a relaxing weekend in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina I had the pleasure of enjoying four hours in Savannah before my evening flight. The spring leaves were in full bloom and I have rarely seen such an amazing display of greenery everywhere I looked. Depending on how much time you have, there’s plenty to do but here’s the 5 ways I spent my time in the beautiful southern city.
Vulnerability is hard. Admitting life isn’t perfect sometimes feels like you’re letting yourself or those around you down.
I came to New York City with big dreams. The way the city towered above me gave perspective on greatness and achievement. The overachieving and strong individuals who inhabited the city were just what I wanted emulate in myself. Having paid off all my debt I felt ready to jump into the concrete jungle and pursue what set my heart on fire. I knew what I didn’t like about past jobs, but what did I love? It was the thought of “if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life” that fueled me with perseverance as I pounded the pavement and took jobs way below my skill level just to make ends meet.
In an effort to make the delights of Long Island even closer to NYC, The Hampton Jitney has teamed up with I LOVE NY to bring both economical and fun day trips from our wonderful city. These trips include round trip transportation from New York City, lunch, and all the tastings at each winery/brewery/distillery for only $169 per person. If you’re looking to make a long weekend out if it, Hampton Jitney additionally has multiple departure/return options so I would recommend making several trips out there this season to explore all the bounty that the island has to offer.
Last Saturday, Dan’s HARVEST EAST END returned for its fifth successful year, drawing a crowd of 1,300 to celebrate the delicious bounty of Long Island’s agriculture by pairing local grapes with local cuisine. With nearly 40 wineries and 30 top East End chefs gathered, there were endless bites and sips to try while listening to industry tastemakers speak.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I had the pleasure of attending ID&T’s iconic Mysterland festival as it made its debut in the USA. This iconic festival has been held annually in the Netherlands since 1993, and this year they brought it to our country’s historic festival location in Bethel Woods, the site of the historic 69’ Woodstock festival.
Last weekend I transected the country for a quick trip to Los Angeles. I traveled 14 hours to be in the city for 36. In that time I danced, watched the sunrise, threw a party for charity, and then hopped the red-eye back home. Too short of a trip but productive and wonderful nonetheless.
When I heard about a four day adventure on the high seas with 96 hours of music provided by around 70 DJ/Producers to a sold out crowd of around 2700 participants, we were both intimidated and excited at the idea of partaking in this escapade.
I had the pleasure of chatting with the founder Jason Beukema before we set sail. It was exciting to hear some of the insights behind his vision and passion for this adventure. Groove Cruise began with 125 friends ten years ago, and now there are around 4,700 people taking part on both coasts. It’s now grown to a bi-coastal event with an incredibly high return rate of past party-goers.