I should know better. The reality of who we’ve been and who we’ve become shouldn’t be a surprise. But it’s hard to comprehend how anyone could see the images of these children and hear their cries and not feel compassion. As a mother I would do anything to keep my children safe, including leaving my home land in hopes of finding a safe place where my children could have a brighter future.
My children will likely never know the poverty these countries know. They won’t know the violence or the despair. Their bellies are full. Their homes are safe. They are privileged. I am privileged.
The horror these families face is a reality I’ll never know. But that doesn’t mean I can pretend it doesn’t exist. Quite the opposite. My heart and conscience demand that I don’t ignore it.
If you’re capable of justifying the actions of this administration, look deep inside your heart and soul and imagine for a moment what they lived through.
Sex and human trafficking.
Thousand mile journeys with no real promises.
If your child faced this future, what would you do? Would you do everything in your power to ensure your life was not their future? Would you run towards the only light on? Would America be that beacon of hope you so desperately need?
Now, imagine that you finally made it. A future was possible. You pull your baby in tight, hug them, kiss their cheek and just as you go to whisper, “we’re safe, you’re safe,” a stranger rips your child from your arms and arrests you. Your hands cuffed. Your child is screaming and crying for you. Their tiny, helpless body trembles with uncontrollable sobs. You cannot hold them. You cannot comfort them. They are taken further and further away from you, their tears and cries for “Mommy, Mommy!” echo in your ears. But, they’re gone now. You close your eyes and see their tiny dirt covered face streaming with tears.
That may be the last image of your child. You may never see them again. You may never hold them again.
Put yourself in that mother’s place as you tuck your safe, fed and healthy child into bed tonight. Feel that mother’s anguish as you shut the door to their dark, but clean and decorated bedroom. Go sit in your comfortable bed and know that you have peace of mind that your child is safe. Close your eyes and picture your sweet child as you last saw them – laughing and playing.
You are privileged. You are more than privileged.
Can you still justify the forced separation of families? Can you still look at these mothers and fathers with disdain and disgust?
If you can and if you still don’t understand the inhumanity in all of this, I don’t know what else to say.