Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Children at the borders

How is this even an issue?

I wrote a big post about all the ways immigration, walls, and borders have shown up in my writing--and how it's affected me personally and many people I know or am related to/descended from. About, as well, my work with children in many different settings and from many different backgrounds and how ICE's actions will affect them as they grow up.

In the end, though, the post was too much about me. I don't want to be the focus of this post. This is about a humanitarian disaster.

Children at the border, children torn away from their families. How can we ever skip lightly past those words?

This is political. I had an editor once, giving sage advice, who would tell writers not to wade into politics for fear of alienating potential readers. Well...sure, but all art is political. I'm not going to turn my stories into policy prescriptions, but there's a moral core to any story, an underlying assumption about how the world works, and politics is a part of that. And when it comes to something like children being forcefully separated from their parents, it would undermine my moral core to stay silent.

And yet...this is an issue that shouldn't break along the usual political fault lines. I may tend leftward, but I've known people of all political backgrounds who are appalled at the actions of this administration. Too few of the president's core supporters, but a trickle of voices that could surge into something more. Stepping back from the moment, I've known people all over the political spectrum who have felt called to welcome the immigrant and the refugee, my own late, conservative grandparents high among those, who worked for immigrants first from their own homeland of the Netherlands and in later years with refugees from southeast Asia.

Somehow, self-professed evangelical Christians have fallen under Trump's cons in ways that boggle my mind, even though I grew up in similar circles. These actions against families, against children, should drive them into revolt (but then many things should have done so over the past few years). That it (most likely) won't saddens me.

But for those who see this and are appalled like I am, you are welcome, no matter your political leanings on other matters. No matter if you'd been willing to stick with Trump before. Leave the immigrant-hatred to the alt-right goon squads in their internet holes. People of faith and people of conscience from either party or none, listen to the voices of the children and don't be silent. Let's unite and insist on humane treatment. Don't be distracted by the voices trying to deflect the blame or point elsewhere. If there are policies that predate this administration, change those too!

Children at the border, crying and pleading.

I want to say that it's not who we are as Americans, but the truth is...this is who we are right now. We need to admit that, repent of it, change it. It may be who we are now, but it's not the America many of us want us to be. So let's insist on change.

1 comment:

GaneshYAI said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.