Man Repeller’s Role in Trump’s America

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 28: A demonstrator takes a photograph during a rally against muslim immigration ban at San Francisco International Airport on January 28, 2017 in San Francisco, California. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that suspends entry of all refugees for 120 days, indefinitely suspends the entries of all Syrian refugees, as well as barring entries from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering for 90 days. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

On Friday, Donald Trump signed a harsh executive order that would suspend America’s refugee program for at least the next four months, ban Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely and forbid anyone from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days. One of these countries is where my mother immigrated from. Devastating stories rose from inside national airports where the American dream was chipping away as unwitting travelers, some stepping onto this soil for the very first time, were being detained.

I was overwhelmed when I emerged from the technology detox that is the Sabbath on Saturday evening to read about the protest at JFK and the subsequent protests that followed on Sunday in D.C. and in New York’s Battery Park. I fell into at least three different social media vortexes. One was commanded by Uber and Lyft. Another articulated precisely how Trump is perpetuating a vision of America that facilitates escalating hatred and therefore the proliferation of ISIS.

My head started spinning when CNN started its comparison of Trump’s presidency to that of former presidents, and then I got to thinking: What is Man Repeller supposed to do? We are not a particularly political property. We’re not policy wonks or political reporters; we can only speak from our own experiences. But then again, the personal is political: our bodies belong to us, and when such a liberty is jeopardized, we can’t seem to shut the hell up.

Man Repeller’s intention will never be to compete with the media machines that deliver the news that provokes our anxiety. As a matter of fact, we want to do just the opposite.

Confront the anxiety by talking about it, sister to sister, if you want to engage.

Attack the anxiety by distracting each other, friend to friend, if in need of a respite.

Quell the anxiety by demonstrating that the greater sum of us are good.

The greater sum of us are good!

It doesn’t seem appropriate to resume regular programming this morning without some form of acknowledgement of what’s going on and how it’s shaken us. It’s unclear what will happen, but know that the mission of Man Repeller remains steadfast. We’re a team, a community; we’ve got each other’s backs. And we need each other to survive, that’s never been more clear, and thus it’s a damn good thing that we’re in this together.

Photo by Stephen Lam via Getty Images.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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