I have to speak up. I must. We must.
Wednesday June 20th 2018, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Politics

Today was a Holly day, and it was so good to get to see her again. We live so close and so far: it can take several hours, depending on the traffic.

She had just enough time for a visit while her husband was at a meeting in town.

We found ourselves as mothers drawn again and again to the subject of the cruelty going on at our borders to children–babies, even–and their families, the damage the trauma is doing to their developing brains.

Our laws spell out how one can apply for asylum when one is in fear for one’s life. The approved crossing points for doing so have been closed, people have been directed to cross elsewhere and when they have complied with that order have been arrested as criminals.

Our President lies when he says others did this before him; they did not. They held families together, and even his own administration did too until this May. He lies when he says only Congress can change the law because there is no law saying they must do this, and in fact the administration is violating our laws as well as all human decency and compassion. They actually forbid the workers from hugging and comforting a crying child.

But the sad-funny part about it was Trump’s trying to blame Obama for it. What he’s saying then is that even out of office Obama has more power than Trump does right now and that Trump is too weak to do anything about it.

Actually, there’s a great deal of truth to that but not of a type Trump could ever fathom.

Yes he did sign an executive order this afternoon: but watch what he does, not what he says. The unmentioned fine print was that after 20 days families can still be torn apart. They will process children and adults at different rates. Deport the parents. Keep the kids. Already we have one woman who was released from custody–and they say they cannot tell her where her seven-year-old son is.  Who DOES this to people?!

We are better than this, we must be better than this, we must demand better than this. Every Republican Senator has the option to caucus with the Democrats on the issue, and all we need is one, just one, one with a conscience, and we could get a law passed right now forbidding these human rights violations and dare Trump to veto it. The man is a bully and bullies cave when you stand up to them.

And if you don’t–they only bully harder.

Tomorrow I may show off some knitting or some such. But for now I will leave you with this:

From the Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire:

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here


11 Comments so far
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The saddest part is all the people who believe him.

His idea of decreasing aid to the countries these people are coming from is the exact opposite of what needs to be done. Give them a stable homeland, where they don’t fear for their lives, and they won’t need to leave.

(The same is true of the tariffs he’s imposed. They aren’t going to help keep US jobs.)

Comment by Anne 06.20.18 @ 11:41 pm

I feel so helpless. All I have are letters and emails and protests and signs. And smiles and hands out to the new Americans in my city. And words of welcome to new faces at church. I pray that is enough, that my drop in the ocean will add to the other drops and become a wave of human compassion and love.

Comment by Pegi 06.21.18 @ 12:45 am

Our home is fast becoming toxic enough to warrant flight.

Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 06.21.18 @ 5:09 am

I manage to listen to the news, but I cannot watch: it breaks my heart.

I can relate to the helplesssness… I pray for compassion to take over, for common sense to become common.

Thank you for that poem!

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 06.21.18 @ 6:37 am

Thank you for posting this. You are saying what needs to be said–over and over.

No one would risk -40 temps and lose fingers and limbs to frostbite in the middle of winter to cross the border to Canada if he was safe in the US. That is what is happening across our borders these days.

Comment by joanne 06.21.18 @ 9:23 am

Thank you. The lies and blaming are just so very wrong. And so many believe them. The executive order is a tiny step, but the families need to be reunited now.

Comment by DebbieR 06.21.18 @ 10:52 am

We have to find a solution. 2020 is not soon enough for these people.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 06.21.18 @ 11:08 am


Thanks for posting that poem.

Comment by Wildknits 06.21.18 @ 7:33 pm

I just want to cry, even though I know that won’t help. And the fact I’m Canadian won’t help you a lot either.

My sister is coming to visit from Texas this summer. I am ashamed to say who she voted for. I love her greatly, but this could be a difficult visit. Don’t know if I can keep the muzzle on.

Blessings and courage to all of you who are trying to make things better.
Chris S in Canada

Comment by Chris S 06.25.18 @ 9:33 pm

Arguing with a cousin several years ago about immigrants and this was basically my response to him. People don’t leave THEIR country if they can make a living and be safe. If they are leaving and putting themselves and their children through such suffering it is only because it is less horrific than what they left. However now we seem to be pretty horrific in how we are treating these children of god.

Comment by Helen 06.27.18 @ 2:41 pm

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