If you live in the states, I’m sorry to bring this sort of downer post to you the days after a holiday. But, I honestly couldn’t think of a better time to do it. And, while I normally like to think that I write to a worldwide audience, this post is just for Americans. Because there’s something we need to talk about, guys. Something that should have stopped a long time ago.
Thanksgiving was a few days ago. Those of us who celebrated gathered with family and friends. We enjoyed food, wine and good spirits. Then some of us headed out to go shopping. I have feelings about that, but that’s another topic for another day. Let’s focus just on Thanksgiving. A time for gratitude, for family, for love and compassion. The first day of a season that is dedicated to seeing every man as our brother and reaching out a hand for those in need.
So let’s talk about some people in need. There are lots of them, but there’s one group that’s been heavy on my heart. The women, men and children currently held as prisoners at our southern border.
And make no mistake, they are being held as prisoners. They have committed no crime. All they have attempted to do is cross our border and seek asylum, legally.
I cannot stress this enough, seeking asylum is legal.
Let me say it again for the people in the cheap seats, seeking asylum is legal!
I would also like to point out that many of the people being held are children. Babies, toddlers. Ripped from their parent’s arms. Some have died. They’ve been denied basic hygiene, privacy and everything else a child that age needs. And, most horrifying of all, many children have gone missing. They’re just gone, missing. We have no idea where they went. The adults who took these children from their families have now been so negligent as to lose them.
And don’t think for a moment that this is unintentional. That this was some sort of well-intentioned governmental bungling. It was a fear tactic, and the government has said as much. Here’s a link if you don’t believe me. Our government is intentionally trying to scare people away from coming here and legally seeking asylum.
During WWII, America was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. This is something we all know. We all also know that we responded in a few different ways. The worst way was by locking up Japanese American citizens in camps. This is a scar on our country’s legacy. I like to think that if I had been alive then, I would have spoken up.
When we were founding this country, and making room for the ever spreading communities and cities, we forced native American’s off of their lands. Countless were sent on a march down what we now call the Trail of Tears. So many lives were lost, and this is a loss for all of America. We should have the ancestors of those people walking among us today. But we don’t. I like to think that if I had been alive then, I would have spoken up.
I’m here now, a proud American descended from Hungarian immigrants. And I will speak up for these families. I’m not doing it to assuage any sort of guilt, or because I wish to appear woke. I’m doing it because they deserve to have us all speaking for them. I’m doing it because the America I want to live in remembers what’s written on the Statue of Liberty. I’m going to speak up for these people because my great grandmother traveled here as a child with her parents so that I could stand here today. I’m going to keep right on speaking up because what’s happening is inhumane.
I’m hoping that you’ll want to stand up for them, too. Here are some ways you can help.
To start with, start talking about this. Don’t let people forget that this is happening. The news cycles move too fast, and it’s too easy to forget. Post stories of families at the border, share this blog post if it inspired you. If you’re a blogger, and I’m honored that so many of you are, share your feelings in a post to raise awareness.
You can also donate. Here’s a charity that I’m donating to, called Immigrant Families Together.
Finally, contact your local officials. Tell them that you don’t want to see these families treated this way anymore. Tell them that they need to do something to help them.
And if they won’t, remember that next November. Remember who stood by, and let this happen. And vote them out.
I hope that all of you enjoy the holiday season. I don’t want you to spend the next month dragged down by guilt. I won’t be. But while I enjoy the season with my family, my heart is with the people at our border separated from theirs. And I will not stop doing whatever I can do until every family is reunited and free.
And I’m grateful for every single other person saying something.