During Meryl Streep's acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, she condemned President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign-trail comments about a reporter with a disability.
As a proud Marylander who lives abroad and has had the honor and privilege to visit many countries, I recently wrote to Gov. Larry Hogan to express my great dismay at the Trump administration's executive order which bars people from seven predominantly Muslim Middle Eastern and African countries from entering the United States ("Don't let Trump re-write America's values," Jan. 30).
Through the course of my life, I have traveled to many countries — always identifying as an American and Marylander — and I have been welcomed everywhere that I have traveled. That welcome has been graciously extended to me in Sudan, a country that I am sad to see is on the list, and Afghanistan, a predominantly Muslim country which is thankfully not on the list but I fear could be targeted as well. During my visits, I have seen the everyday struggles of people in those countries and also benefited from their kindness and good will.
It troubles me greatly that our country now has an executive order which is the antithesis of the values that I used to proudly associate with being American. This ban is unjust, discriminatory, unethical and cowardly. Now, I am ashamed by my country and its treatment of those people who are most in need — refugees from the ravishes of war, dictatorships, human rights abuses and poverty.
If Governor Hogan's priority and the priority of the Trump administration is to help keep America safe, then the Trump administration should be listening to the U.S. intelligence agencies and cultivating relationships across religious boundaries. In addition, I hope that Mr. Hogan will consider that this ban will cause more harm than good, not only for the people barred from the U.S. but also by putting Americans, especially those abroad such as myself, at risk of reprisal and poor treatment.
I ask that Mr. Hogan, as the governor of Maryland, stand against this ban. Stand up for the downtrodden and give me more reasons to declare my love of the state of Maryland loud and proud.