Here we are. It’s 2019. We live in a world of finite resources. We live in a country with the highest GDP in the world. We live in a country that projects itself as a Christian nation.
And, despite all of this, our country is tearing breast-feeding children from their mothers, exposing them to illnesses and overcrowding, refusing to allow them to shower or access legal protections, and holding them indefinitely. What is being done to immigrants, asylum seekers, the most-vulnerable amongst us IN OUR NAMES as American Citizens is a national tragedy. It’s a gaping crack in our moral compass. And, it’s a rock that we’re going to have to carry and answer to for generations.
If for whatever reason you’re lacking the empathy to understand why anyone would leave their home and seek a better life, seek protections, seek asylum, perhaps Warsan Shire’s poem, “Home”, could help you. The poem begins:
At the end of March, Tsuru for Solidarity, the ACLU of Texas, Crystal City Pilgrimage Committee, and Grassroots Leadership held a protest event in Dilley, Texas, at one of the concentration camps. The disgusting irony is that it was 20 minutes away from the site of the Crystal City Japenese-American internment camp which were open during and after World War II between 1943 and 1948.
I was lucky to be able to photograph the day’s proceedings for Grassroots Leadership. With my two kids, we were witnessed the remembrance ceremony at the site of the Crystal City camps and then made our way to the hanging of paper cranes outside the Dilley camps. The Remembrance Committee is made up of children that were held in the internment camps. People that were born in the internment camps, or ripped-from their homes to be taken to the camps with just suitcases in tow.
Cranes were sent in from around the country to be hung on the wire fences of the Dilley camp representing the well-wishes of people that couldn’t attend and symbolizing that these people are not forgotten.
Below is a sampling of photos from the day’s events.
It’s mid-August and our national shame continues. I pray nightly that those with the power to stop this nightmare begin to empathize with the plight of someone leaving their homeland… closing the camps… changing policies… and providing a seat at our country’s bountiful table. I pray.