Hello dear one. I am writing from a place of anger and despair today. I am writing about the situation at the border where children have been taken away from their mothers and fathers. This email doesn't (nor could it possibly) contain all my thoughts, ideas, or knowledge on this subject. I need to say that because you may feel I left something important out, or maybe don't go into enough depth. I'm sure both these things are true. Still, this is the best I can do today.
This is not a political crisis. This is a HUMANITARIAN crisis.
Every single morning my son climbs into bed and snuggles with me after he wakes up and we get to giggle and talk about the day ahead. I get to hold him and hug him. I get to read to him at night and tuck him into bed.
My son has the incredible luxury it seems, to feel SAFE. He gets to know where his parents are. He gets to be HUGGED by his parents. He has enough food to eat. He has a cozy bed to sleep in. He can walk out into the world and not feel unsafe or afraid.
My son has what parents want for their children. Love, safely, belonging...and freedom to dream of his future.
The thought of my son being taken away from me and placed into some huge, austere detention center rips my heart to shreds. The image of him all alone, terrified, confused, and wanting his mama kills me. The idea that he wouldn't be safe there--safe from verbal, mental, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse (all of which have been reported in these centers) shatters my soul.
All I have to do is think of one little seven year old, torn away from their parents, alone and afraid, and I crumple. It doesn't matter that it isn't MY CHILD. Children--ALL CHILDREN--need and deserve our protection.
Children are vulnerable by nature and incredibly susceptible to abuse. They look to adults to guide and protect them and it is that trust that enables people to hurt them.
By separating them from their family WE ARE CAUSING IRREPARABLE TRAUMA TO THESE CHILDREN.
And on the note of ALL CHILDREN needing and deserving our protection-I need to acknowledge the inherent racism and bigotry that is occurring at our borders. Make no mistake-it is easier for a lot of people to stomach this because these humans are "not like us."
The idea that there is a limit to compassion is dangerous.
I've read a lot of people online saying, "Well, Obama did this, too!" then others replying, "No, George Bush Sr. started this!" AS IF POINTING A FINGER IN BLAME WILL CHANGE ANYTHING. I have learned that this policy has been going on for decades in our country. It is in the news now because of the incredible escalation and high numbers at which is it occurring under our current administration. But I personally don't think it is helpful to point fingers on this. Whoever started it, whichever administration allowed it--they are all wrong and I hold them all accountable. I'm sick of the partisanship around this. Humans need to get in touch with their own moral compass outside of what party they vote for!
There's a lot I don't know about all of this. I am learning. Maybe you know more than me. Maybe you're learning, too. Awesome. The question becomes, WHAT CAN WE DO?
HERE'S A LIST OF SOME OF THE THINGS YOU CAN DO:
1) Call and write your US Representative and Senators and let them know how you feel. Do this even if you already know they are against this--they need to hear from their constituency so that they know it is something they should devote time and political will towards. Read this to find out how to call your members of Congress.
2) Speak up and stand up for what is right and good. Engage in dialogue. That said--if it is clear that someone isn't actually willing to have an actual dialogue it is okay not to engage. That's a boundary you should keep because otherwise you're going to become too despondent and cynical to have the energy to create the change you wish to create. But there are a lot of really good, caring people out there that just don't know but would be happy to know...they are dealing with their own crazy lives and maybe haven't had the emotional bandwidth to stop and think about this stuff. (I understand. God knows I often feel like hiding from these issues as they are so intense.)
3) Donate money. Here are some reputable organizations doing good work:
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Together Rising (donating to several entities-read about it here)
- Kino Border Initiative
4) Collect in kind donations to send to groups. Call the organization and ask what they need before sending anything. Often a bag of toiletries in incredibly helpful (shampoo, conditioner, razor, soap). I am going to be organizing in kind donations in my community and sending them to the Kino Border Initiative (at least to start).
Our song for today is a repeat because I think of it as an anthem for doing good in the world. It's called Legacy and it asks the important question of what we want our legacy to be.
What do you stand for?
What brings you to your knees?
What do you live for?
What are you dying to see?
What did you come here for?
And what will you leave?
When you're gone what lives on as your legacy?
Sending you all so much love.