Discrimination takes many forms. Perhaps its most dangerous form is when the person or group discriminating does it in the name of religion or national security. Populism and social identity have a tendency to be the loudest voices in the room, and few others can get a word in edgewise.
By now, you are completely aware of the border crisis taking place in Texas and Arizona. While I watch the news reports, see the people with their home made signs, and hear the vitriol spewing from the mouths of “Americans”, there are a few questions that come to my mind.
Did you notice this was not a crisis until the extreme right wing began protesting the policy they claim is Obama’s, when in fact Bush was the one that signed the bill that started all of this in the first place?
When did we abandon the motto that rests on Ellis Island in New York, at the universal symbol of freedom and democracy known the world over as the Statue of Liberty; ““Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”? When did we decide as a nation to no longer be a melting pot?
How many of our ancestors came here generations ago for the very same reasons that people seek to come here today; to escape starvation, persecution, social inequality, discrimination, freedom from and for religion, education opportunity and the chance to work hard enough to have a good life?
When did we decide to treat children as criminals and animals, where they are hunted, herded, transported and fed with less respect than a Texan rancher gives his cattle herd? And when did we decide that children running for their lives should not deserve protection?
When did we become concerned with ONLY our southern border, considering that significant numbers of illegal drugs and immigrants pour over the northern border on a daily basis? And the only terrorists arrested for entering the US illegally crossed the northern border. Oh – is that because those immigrants have white skin, the drugs are cocaine and opium instead of marijuana, and since it covers such a larger area, we just can’t deal with it?
And my last question is the one that I think is the most important of them all. Before I ask the question, let me share a little back story. Last June, leading Republicans insisted that America’s leaders must do more to defend Christian values at home and abroad. “Those of us inspired by Judeo-Christian values…have an obligation to our country and to our fellow man to use our positions of influence to highlight those values,” Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio said at a conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a group led by long-time Christian political activist Ralph Reed. And his pal, Ted Cruz, is no better. “U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz — whose father is Rafael Cruz, a rabid right-wing Christian preacher, is rooted in a radical Christian ideology known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism. This ideology calls on anointed “Christian” leaders to take over the state and make the goals and laws of the nation “biblical.”
When I was a little girl growing up in rural America, I went to church on Sundays, where we sang a children’s song that stayed with me all my life. “Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red or yellow, black or white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” One of my favorite biblical passages tells us how to live: “And whosoever shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-6)
After hearing the language that is contained in proposed bills and acts to resolve the border crisis, it is clear that these children are thought of as despised freeloaders, terror babies, criminals and filthy animals. How then, does this support the agenda stated last June calling for “defending Christian values at home and abroad?” Would Jesus be on the line stopping buses and demanding children be sent back where their return would mean certain death? Would He be asking for ankle bracelets and deportation within 72 hours? Or maybe if He came back today and walked across the southern US border, would you treat Jesus the same way these children are being treated?
Children’s Rights are Human Rights.