A letter to kitchen and hospitality people.

I posted this on Facebook recently, expecting a minor backlash. Refreshingly, a lot of love and support percolated. 

Work in a hotel, in the back of the house – feeding hundreds and hundreds of folks – on every major holiday – for decades – and you’d be feeling me on this…

To my dear friends from around the world — who worked in kitchens and hotels serving others tirelessly — putting in 80 hr + weeks for little pay, I salute you. 

Many of you were undocumented, or benefitted from a stroke of luck in what seems to me to be a bizarre immigration lottery. You sought and/or still seek a safe path to a reasonable life as a resident or eventual citizen of our country, and we’ve left you marginalized, with little hope of normal integration. 

You live in fear. You risk exploitation by employers. You engage in humbling work, even though you come with degrees in engineering, education, and medicine. 

You sought to play a loving role in the American Dream — a dream that adds you, your language, your faiths, your cuisine, your music, and your customs to a tapestry that some of us call America. 

There are two distinct Americas right now, and I will be offering up the rest of my existence to making sure that not only are you welcomed, but that you are celebrated. We are one humanity.

To my Muslim friends, who fled violence to keep your families safe here, I am sorry and embarrassed. You are beautiful people, seeking nothing but peace and opportunity. Don’t give up on America. The emerging airport protests illustrate that you are welcome and loved.

I will stand against this President with all of my might. I will use this unfortunate, all-consuming social media platform to kindle my efforts, and will not limit my online existence to feel-good pictures of family and ice cream. Unfriending is welcome, and I will not go silent.

I will work with the progressive, pro-business, socially liberal/accepting, moderate, reasonable men and women in my community to ensure that our nation moves past divisiveness, and becomes dignified again. The world needs a healthier, more stable America, and it is my generation’s moral obligation to bring it on.

I encourage all people, right and left of center, to seek data and news from reputable sources, ones more concerned with truth than ratings. 

It seems that Facebook is a reasonable forum to overtake — to flood with civil dialogue and a path to justice for all.