“No hate! No fear! Refugees are welcome here!” by Kelsie Jayde Bayless

I have lived in Springfield, Missouri for almost four years now. I moved here for school and I graduated last spring. To say that Springfield is close minded is an understatement. I dated a poc for years and was scorned upon, and once even asked in the mall why I would stoop low and date beneath me. I have had to live through the transphobia of bathroom laws, vote against them, and see the system fail people I knew personally. I see the Confederate flag daily. I see Trump signs and those stupid hats daily where I work (liquor store and gas station).

I was yelled at one evening at work for being a “dirty Muslim lover” because I informed a customer that I didn’t agree with trump. One roommate I had said once that we needed to find a safe place to stay since our neighbors were black and might attack us after the verdict of Trayvon Martin’s case.

Never mind that our neighbors were two brothers raising five children together…

She also said saying the n word was okay, as long as it was in another language. “It isn’t racist, that’s just how my parents are”. This kind of institutional racism is the norm here and it really isn’t even subtle,yet it just keeps going strong through each generation.

My 21 year old sister and I live together and have guardianship of our four younger siblings, and I have had parents in Walmart literally cover their children’s eyes and lead them away from us. As if they might catch whatever it is you think we are.

Though we are not that far south, old ways still persist here.

There are wonderful people though!

After taking my sister to class today I drove by a crowd, and I was afraid that there was an accident, since it was on the corner of our large hospital. But then I saw a sign. It simply read, “no human being is illegal”. Then I start seeing more and more people and I realize that this is a #nomuslimban #nowall March. Now, don’t get me wrong there was a women’s March as well. But I didn’t get to witness it due to my sixteen hour shift.

 

Seeing is believing…

 

I am not ashamed to say that I started crying as I was driving and trying to honk my horn and give the thumbs up to as many people as possible. I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures but the Springfield newsleader was on the site before hand and already tweeting and photographing thankfully. I am glad that there are still wonderful, caring, and strong people around me even if I don’t always see them!

“No hate no fear, refugees are welcome here”

Story written by Kelsie Jayde Bayless and shared  Sweet Lemon Pies with permission of author. 

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