You can’t all be bad. Or at a minimum you cant be only bad. We walk in the same streets with you. You are in our families. You have been our friends. You have families you love, jobs you care about, communities and churches you invest time and energy in. You have fears that keep you up at night, causes that you care about, a moral compass you live by, and people you will sacrifice in order to help.
What Is Stopping You?
So what is wrong with you right now? What is stopping you from joining us? Do you really not care about these helpless, blameless children. They might well be a different color than you. They might speak a different language. Their faces may not look like the scared vulnerable kids you have known and loved. But they are humans. Really. Regular kids who are scared in the dark, who cry when they miss their mommies. Regular kids who must be bewildered and terrified in cramped, dirty spaces full of sobbing children who do not understand why everyone cares so little about their hunger, their sadness, their fear. Why don’t you care about them?
Sure. There are lots of scared, lonely, traumatized children in the world everyday, and we cant help all of them. But these ones are being made terrified by the policies and procedures of our very own government. We could actually fix this. Today.
Yes, you think their parents did something bad. Of that we can disagree. But is this what your kids, or my kids deserve to have happen if we do something bad. To be taken away from anyone they know, left in their dirty clothes, cold, to sleep on concrete, without a pillow, without adults to help them sort out what is happening. Night after night after night, without word from their parents, not knowing if their parents have left them or care about them or have died.
Are you too embarrassed to say you might have gotten it, or him, wrong? Are you too prideful to stand up and say this has gone too far? Are you hoping this will all go away and you can get back to supporting the things about him that work for you? It won’t. It won’t stop without you. See, you guys won. You are in power. We can’t do anything without you.
We Need You In Particular
We need a handful of people, of republicans, of conservatives, of the social and religious right, to stand up and insist this stops. You obviously needn’t reject everything. But you do have to reject the inhuman. The immoral. The horrific. Loudly. You need to tell your friends, and get on social media, and write letters to the editor, and call your representatives, and tell us who you are, and that this is not what you signed up for. We need you to start a movement of people who can admit they were in part wrong, and that despite their support of some of what this president and his government is doing, will not stand for the immoral traumatization of thousands of innocent children. Immediately.
You must do this right now. Right now before more of these children die in our lack of care, before more of them get molested and abused on our watch, and before more get lost in the system, with no ability to reunite them with their families because they are too young to even tell us their names and we took no notes when literally pulling them out of their pleading parents arms. You must act today, before every single one of them has to spend another night not sure where their parents, are, not sure what is going to happen to them, trying to escape the horror through sleep, which they can not do because the lights are always on, the concrete floor is cold, the room is over-crowded and noisy, with their bodies itching with filth.
There is a momentum happening on the left. We are riled into frantic, panicked horror. But we didn’t win the election. You did. Your person, or people, are in power and they dont care what we want or think because they believe it is only your wishes they are required to hear. Tell them you do not wish to have the world look on at us in horror as we perpetrate a crime against humanity. Tell them that what ever is true and problematic about illegal immigration and families seeking asylum, that we mustn’t do this to children, that we mustn’t do this to families. Tell them that even if you believe some of what is happening at our borders is about gangs and violent criminals and child traffickers trying to get in by posing as families and innocent asylum seekers, that we are sophisticated enough to route out these problems without putting thousands of children in cages to punish their parents for seeking a better live for them. Cruelty simply can not be the answer.
So what are you going to do? I have not seen a single post of complaint from elected republicans or constituents on the right. If you are a person of conscious, it is essential that you speak your mind, or our government will continue to traumatize children in your name.
Karen L. Smith MSS LCSWKaren is the founder and director of Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice, which provides thoughtful matches for clients seeking therapists in the Philadelphia Area. She provides analytically oriented psychotherapy, and offers education for other therapists seeking to deepen and enriching their work with object relation concepts.
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Sometimes we experience our upset as disproportionately large compared to how much we think we should be suffering. This may be in part because we are living with a memory of a time when we were much younger and much smaller with a very big load to carry.