An Open Letter to Chicago

Dear Chicago,

We all have a few facebook friends that believe everything that they read on the internet. Yesterday, one of mine posted about ICE visually vetting people exiting red line stations. I thought it was insane, that there’s no way that this could be happening, and kept scrolling.

But then my friend said her boyfriend witnessed it off of Addison, where I lived last year. Where everyone gathered to celebrate winning the series. Where I must have passed a thousand times. This is Chicago in 2017 and this is what is happening. I feel as though I’m in an Orwell novel. This is what he warned us about.

So many people aren’t convinced this is legal. I’m one of them. I see reports of lawyers frantically trying to find legal precedent for impeachment. My question is, how can this be legal? How can these actions, along with the recent intelligence community exchanges, be legal for a president? I guess I’m just really confused and really lost. I grew up learning that the Puritans came to America to escape religious persecution. Then, the president rage-tweeted that he would take judges to court for not allowing him to persecute American citizens based off of their possible religion. How have his advisors not taken his accounts from his grips yet? Is Sean Spicer too busy hating Melissa McCarthy? Is Betsy DeVos too busy trying to understand the difference between proficiency and growth? Is Kellyanne Conway too busy becoming the next Lori Grenier for Ivanka’s fashion lines?

My father is a marine and I am very proud of him. I’m very proud of our country. I have always taken extreme pride in being an American citizen. I have always taken my civic duties seriously and for that I was proud of myself. I have always held the military leaders of our country in the highest esteem for this reason. But, the commander in chief is attempting to dismantle the constitutional system of checks and balances. He will be expected to continue the peaceful transition of power. For that, I am not confident.

I know it sounds naive, because it is, but I sort of always believed that if people of privilege stood together we could protect those without it. I thought that I would be able to do something before people were being stopped for not using ivory foundation. I thought that I had power over my situation. I thought that I could keep my loved ones safe. If something this scary and this invading can happen in a city as liberal as Chicago---what’s happening in Dallas? What’s happening in Nola that I have no idea about? Chicago, do better. You used to be my favorite thing in the entire world. When you have to make a choice between the common good and an individual, there shouldn’t be a choice. They should be the same thing.

I know I got a 3 on my AP Government test in high school, but I thought Probable Cause could protect me in this country. I thought it could protect you. I thought that the bill of rights would protect me from ever being afraid of being treated as less than human. But I was wrong. I was wrong.