I don't often use this blog for my feelings on political issues. I have enough personal issues, typically, to fill it up, and I've pretty much come to accept that most people's minds can not be changed about things that they believe in, however misinformed and misguided those things may be. But as I read through the news and my various social media accounts this morning, while my son watches a movie from the comfort of his own living room over a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, I have some things on my mind. Read on from here at the risk of being offended.
Local news has not been good here in this small town the last few days. A young local boy, just a few months older than my own son, died tragically when a large toolbox being used as a dresser tipped over on him. A graduate of my alma mater, a young mother of small children, was murdered by her husband. A local "kid" is headed back to prison after trying to run over a cop--he's engaged to a former student of mine and will leave a young daughter behind (maybe to her benefit) when he's convicted. My Facebook newsfeed is awash with people decrying the plight of all of the children involved in these incidents, and rightly so.
So how is it that some of these very same people, or even groups of people (at the risk of making generalizations) who are so terribly concerned for the tragedies in these children's lives can be so heartless and unsympathetic to the fate of other children, namely the thousands of immigrant children in the national news? In case you're unaware, thousands of children from Central American countries are fleeing their homelands and ending up here, in the good ol' U. S. of A. Many of these children travel alone and endure more than you and I could tolerate on their journeys here, which should tell you a LOT about what they're leaving behind. And they're KIDS. I won't let my own son cross a street without holding my hand, much to his macho chagrin, and these kids are hanging on to the tops of trains over thousands of miles to make it here--the land of the free and the home of the brave. Oh yeah, and apparently, the land of the concerned-only-about-our-own.
I'll be the first to agree that there are immigration issues that need to be faced, readdressed, fixed, what-have-you. I don't have those answers, and I confess to mixed emotions on that topic. As the grandchild of an immigrant, and as a human being...hell, maybe even as a woman, I fall prey to my sympathies. They're looking for something better, the American dream, a life for their children. Unfortunately, maybe some of them are looking for handouts and "entitlements," because God knows enough of our own people are trying to milk that system. But those are the adults, and how we handle that issue is different from this one. Or it should be, because these are KIDS. If they fled on their own, or were sent on their own, you can bet your ass they're leaving things that we would leave too, as we sit here fat, dumb, and happy and bitch and moan about how terrible the fireworks were this year. If they were brought here by a parent or guardian, they had no choice in the matter. It all amounts to the same thing, though. They. Are. Children. And we should take care of them. Period.
I'm not big on organized religion. I don't go to church, I don't read the Bible, and I don't post scripture on my Facebook. That doesn't mean that I don't believe in some of the tenets of the church and the teachings of Jesus, or for that matter, Muhammad, who said, "Do not turn away a poor man...even if all you can give is half a date..." (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376). However, I do love the current Pope, and I embrace many of the statements he has made during his brief tenure. He's exactly right on this count when he says, "This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected..." (The Huffington Post).
I don't have the solution. If I did, I wouldn't be sitting here in my living room with my laptop. But what I do have is a heart, and I'm sorry--if the words "Send them back!" have occurred to you, you do not, and you have no business posting scripture or bragging about your mission trips or pretending to be good church-going folks. To the towns refusing to give these babies shelter while a solution is found--shame on you. To those bitching about diseases these children might carry, let's treat and vaccinate them instead of panicking--because you know your kids have had the chickenpox vaccine and have access to medical care. To those afraid--ask yourselves what you're afraid of, really. And really, with apologies for the trite saying and the theft of the slogan, it comes down to "What would Jesus do?"