I write about a destiny that I can barely touch. I can’t realistically relate to it aside from the fact that I was once a child and the only shield I had against the world, was my family. As I search for the words to write this post hundreds of children are being separated from their parents.
I write as a Latina, and as a witness of the cruelty to my people, the braided ones, who even in my own country are disrespected for the color of their skin, or for the lack of means that restricted them from having a formal education. I grew up watching how people of my own nationality and origins disrespected them, exploited them, called them by snapping their fingers, or named them ‘nacos’ and what not. Those are the people that are fleeing from their countries in search of a better future, after experiencing cruelty that goes way beyond what we can ever imagine.
Their journey is not as simple and romantic as ‘searching for the American Dream’, as many people think; it’s, more often than not, a desperate escape from a life of cruelty and abuse.
This story is not new: Native Americans suffered a similar faith not that long ago, when their children were taken away and sent into ‘Boarding Schools” where they were separated from their siblings, and from everything that was familiar to them in an effort to ‘Americanize’ them. The government did it because it was cheaper to create boarding schools than to kill them. This part of history isn’t as widely known, perhaps because there are not that many Native Americans left.
But it seems we don’t always learn from our mistakes, and the lives of those less educated, and specially of indigenous descent, are still valued differently to the lives of the white educated population.
A life is a life. America is bigger than this. The actions of a few don’t represent us, but our silence speaks for us.
If you have a voice, use it. If you can, donate money to support those working hands-on at the border. Just keep the conversation going. We are in charge of engineering the reality we live in.
Pictures: Celia D Luna