I wake up and there are more terrible news headlines — children being torn from their mother’s arms, our government doesn’t even have a plan in place to reunite them… I look at my 2 year old son and the tears spill over.
I cannot keep crying like this.
I cannot keep holding this churning, rageful, empathy inside and continue to be myself.
Who have we become?
Who are the monsters saying this treatment is not only ok, but of God’s will? Are you f***ing kidding me?
What the hell is happening right now?
We were in Los Angeles on election day. We boarded a plane at LAX with Hillary Clinton in the lead. We got off the plane in Little Rock to find her lead all but annihilated. Did we go through some sort of distortion in the space-time continuum whilst rocketing through the sky?
Sometimes I look at the current hate-filled landscape and feel certain that we have fallen into a sideways version of what was… A version of the world where ignorance and anger take precedent and where “sticking it” to liberals is all that matters. A world where conspiracy and partisanship are king. A world where this total waste of skin can get on TV and claim that the children being taken at the borders are ACTORS, because heaven forbid the GOP’s delicate house of lies be taken down by even a mere hint of honesty, integrity, or (gasp) accountability.
I look at my son, and I imagine the terror these immigrants are fleeing, only to then arrive at our borders and see their children ripped apart. I feel my anger bubble up, the terror stab…
I look at my child and wonder what I wouldn’t do to save him… I close my eyes and don the shoes of a young mother trying to escape gang violence, extreme poverty, and a government that can’t protect her. I watch those feet tread miles, going without food in order to make sure my son eats. Going without water, in order to make sure my son drinks. I try to keep hidden the one small toy he’s brought along — a miniature plastic skateboard that fits in the palm of his two-year old hand — because I know it gives him comfort to hold, but I also know it could be taken at any moment. I walk, in these tired shoes. I cry, in these tired shoes. I move forward, in these tired shoes, because it is the only hope I have left to hold.
I hold onto hope. I hold only my son. My son holds onto me, and to his toy skateboard.
And when these tired feet reach the border, and I breathe a sigh of relief for having actually survived this treacherous journey with my body and mind and son intact, I learn that if I cross legally and beg for asylum, my child will be taken from me. I learn that if I try to cross illegally, I will be arrested and my son taken from me. I cry and I rage and I ask God why I am here if I cannot keep my son safe at any juncture. I take my chances and cross, and we are separated, and I try to temper my rage with prayer, in the hopes that this journey will turn out to have a good ending, even though everyone in the detention center with me has told me there is no good ending. I will be sent back, possibly without my son. My son, who needs me, and who has certainly lost his skateboard… My son, who has no one to hold onto, in this strange land.
There are no safe harbors anywhere.
I look down at these shoes.
I look down at my hands.
I am not an immigrant seeking asylum…
I am a US citizen.
I am a mother.
I donate. I call. I write things to try and still the chaos of my overwhelmed and heartsick mind. I am spinning. I am devastated. I am betrayed by the representatives who do nothing to stop this inhumanity. I am betrayed by my fellow citizens who shrug their shoulders and say “Too bad, so sad, but we don’t want them here.”
I am rage.
I am sorrow.
I am Mother.
I am Voter.
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