Their problem is our problem
- 12 Posts
Is this my country? The country that is supposed to be the champion of human rights? The country whose most recognized symbol reads “give my your tired, your hungry, and your poor”?
Yes, yes it is.
I stood leaning over my kitchen counter beside my father, my heart thumping in my chest as I listened to the audio of a six year old child hysterically crying for her mother. In her voice was such a pain that no child that age should ever have to feel, and a sense of panic no child should ever have to know. Her hopeless hysteria has become a global outcry to end the separation of families at US-Mexico border, and to find a way to unite the thousands that have been separated, detained, and transported around the nation. As I began to understand more about the issue, from the alleged use of gross doses of antipsychotics drugs on crying children to stories of abuse and violence, I realized I was watching a human rights crisis unfold. As I have grown up I have learned to never say never, and that it is our duty to make sure never does not become our reality.
What is happening is not about partisanship or politics- it is about honesty, humanity, and making sure history is our teacher instead of our leader. To ignore what is occurring is to be complacent in an atrocity, and to forget all that history has taught us. When we remain silent, when we think of family separation as a normality, when we do not question how these children are being treated, we are condoning these actions and giving them the go sign to continue. Over the past few days, I have seen many comparisons between what is currently happening to the growth of fascism in Europe prior to WWII in regards to limiting human rights. While many may say that these parallels are unprecedented, it is about seeing where the parallels begin, and changing where they end.
Human rights are not defined by borders nor backgrounds, but by the ability to see past such distinctions. The undocumented immigrants fleeing to the United States do not need a passport to be treated with dignity and humanity, two things that belong to everyone no matter where they come from or how they arrived here. They come to the United States in search of the dream of a golden land of opportunity that may only exist in our minds, and are instead being met with a nightmare. The bond between a parent and a child is the essence of human life itself, and breaking that bond creates a permanent break that can never be repaired by time, money, nor legislation. These children are not responsible for the cards they were dealt, for the decision to leave their home, nor for the need to do so. All children are the same- American or not. All children need to be comforted by the arms of a parent, to have the hand of a loved one to hold, and to know that they can always count on those two things.
I remember those split seconds of panic as a young child unable to find my mother in a crowded store, everyone around me blending together. I cannot imagine the unconsolable agony these children feel being thrown into a foreign country and forced into crowded detention centers- alone. A parent has the power to make even the worst of situations better, a power that we cannot be understood but only felt. It is because of this- this undefinable connection that exists between a parent and a child across every culture and country- that we must make their problem our problem.
Their problem is our problem because we are all human.
Their problem is our problem because our nation has failed to protect the rights it has always vowed to uphold.
Their problem is our problem because the world has seen what happens too many times when we fail to do so.