A Letter To My Congressional Representatives on the DHS Abuses of Power in Portland, Oregon

Dear Speaker Pelosi / Senator Harris / Senator Feinstein,

There are a lot of crises happening right now, and I could write a letter three pages long simply detailing my fears and frustrations and what I would hope from Congress. “There are a lot of crises” is already a terrifying sentence I never would have hoped to see in my lifetime. But the one that is most concerning at this moment is the abuse of power by the Department of Homeland Security in Portland, Oregon.

"Dekiru Kagiri"

Two weeks ago we were doing a roleplaying exercise in my Japanese class, practicing making complaints politely. Before we started, our teacher asked us to work in some of the grammar patterns we had learned that day. We must have looked apprehensive, because he smiled and added「できるかぎり」– “to the extent you are able”, or perhaps “as much as you can”.

This phrase stuck in my mind well beyond the end of class. Partly I think there’s something about the rhythm – “de-KI-ru KA-gi-ri”1 – but that wasn’t all of it. できる限り。できる限り…

"Will I hide you?"

Fair warning, friends. I have a new standard for letting non-Jewish people in my life, and it’s called “Would you hide me?”

It goes like this: Would you hide me? If your answer isn’t obviously and immediately yes, you’re not allowed in my life.

(from Max Goldberg’s “I’m Jewish. Would you hide me?”)