This is What We Do. {Poem}

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The public response to the photographs of this scared little girl from Honduras has been overwhelming. So I thought I would share the images that led to the key moment that touched many of you, as it did me. A Honduran asylum seeker, age 2, cries as she and her mother are taken into custody by federal agents near the US-Mexico border. The mother said they had been traveling for a month to reach the United States. They had just crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico and were then transported to a US Customs and Border Protection processing center. The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for undocumented immigrants calls for the frequent separation of parents and children while their cases for political asylum are adjudicated, a process that can take months – or years. This is a series of photographs I took while on a ride-along with the Border Patrol in Texas’ Río Grande Valley last week. #gettyimages #undocumented #gettyimagesnews

A post shared by John Moore (@jbmoorephoto) on

This is what we do

Ripping babies away from parents
Renaming them
Numbers on their chest
Putting them in cages
Punishing them
For their brown existence
This is what we do
To remind them that our
Freedoms
Our laws Our asylum Our protection
Is not meant for them
It’s meant for
The Melanias of the world
They can be the anchor
They can cross without death
Because when they close their mouths
They are just white
Let’s stop saying
Separating
Let’s call a spade a spade
We are ripping children away
From the only thing they have held on to
After surviving the journey
You think crossing into the U.S.
Is a stroll in candy land
You think the middle passage
Was the love boat
Most of us wouldn’t survive
But they did
And since that didn’t break them
The psychological warfare of
Shredding a family
Will
We Americans know how to do this
So well
It’s American
Like apple pie
Like baseball
Like slavery
How do you keep a people
Broken
So they don’t rebel
Broken
So they can’t fight back
Broken
So they can build your country
Take their babies
let the mothers scream in agony
And then they will nurse your young
Let the fathers feel they have failed
And they will plow your fields
They will be 3/5
They will be less human
And your cognitive dissonance
Can run free
For what is a child with no family
No longer a threat
No longer someone’s baby
They are a thing
Disposable
Ready to be lost
This is what we do
Because this country
Doesn’t see the humanity of
Brown skin
It never has
We are animals to slaughter
For our land
Animals to work
Our land
And when we try to escape
Our land
And seek refuge
In Our land
We are killed without blood
Just take our children
How can we navigate
Seek them
Find them
In a place where we don’t speak the language
In a place that elects a bigot
Who calls a despot talented
Rocket man was never his enemy
He was his idol
Make America great again
Make it hate again
Let’s get back to our roots
Where we rip children from the arms of parents
On an auction block
And then make them
Clean our homes
Watch our babies
Cook our meals
Plow our fields
And they should thank us for our generosity.

 

How you can help: 

 

These photos by @jbmoorephoto are of Honduran asylum-seekers crossing into the US at the Texas border— after a month of travel— and being taken into custody and eventually separated. Can you imagine the terror and the grief? I feel physically ill at the thought of this atrocity. This is a violation of reproductive and human rights. Separating children from parents is a ruthless policy that ONLY serves to harm and traumatize innocent children and their parents. Here are a few organizations you can support with your time, money, and activism: __ @borderangelsofficial @aclu_nationwide @together.rising @vamos_juntos_ @raicestexas @circleofhealth @baby2baby __ If you have more to add, please share in the comments below. This is a matter requiring our collective action. There is no such thing as “other people’s children.” There is no such thing as safety when this is happening in our backyard. And if it can happen to them, it can happen to you, too. Please take action, any action. More posts to follow. __ #keepfamiliestogether #empoweredbirthproject #reproductiverights #reproductivejustice

A post shared by By @katievigos RN, Doula (@empoweredbirthproject) on

You know how we teach our kids never to be “bystanders?” To stand up for other hurting kids being bullied? Now is the time to do what what we tell our kids to do. Do not be a Bystander- not in this moment in which the very humanity of our country is crumbling. Do not be a bystander- not while bullies take crying babies from their terrified mothers arms. It’s the bystanders that allow the bullies to rule. If we don’t speak up and stand up for these children- it’s time to stop pretending we ever will. Together Rising has raised over 2 million dollars now for legal aide to organizations doing reputable, Long standing, fierce work for these children on the ground. I’ve been on calls for days with activists and politicians and lawyers planning our next national steps. We will not give up. We will get these children back to their parents or die trying. Giving is still open. Link in bio. Every tax deductible penny we receive will go to reunification of families. We’re deploying this money every day: you are literally providing care to these children in real time- and the overworked and exhausted and mighty orgs were working with like @theyoungcenter and @raicestexas and KIND and The Florence Project are so grateful. Take sides. Join Team Love. @together.rising

A post shared by Glennon Doyle (@glennondoyle) on

Repost from @mbeam56: – Read the poem HOME by Warsan Shire. I’ve only posted part of it. Here you go: HOME no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well your neighbors running faster than you breath bloody in their throats the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory is holding a gun bigger than his body you only leave home when home won’t let you stay. no one leaves home unless home chases you fire under feet hot blood in your belly it’s not something you ever thought of doing until the blade burnt threats into your neck and even then you carried the anthem under your breath only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets sobbing as each mouthful of paper made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back. you have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land no one burns their palms under trains beneath carriages no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled means something more than journey. ************************ When will this nightmare end? We are talking about a very important thing here called HUMAN RIGHTS. Think about it for a minute or two. Or…..We are literally ripping families apart! What in the actual bloody hell is happening here? #endfamilyseparation #keepfamiliestogether #warsanshire #home #humanrights @sophie.jaffe @womensmarch ?????? Share your story: elephantjournal.com/sharenow or /submit ??

A post shared by Waylon Lewis (@waylonlewis) on

author: Leslé Honoré

Image: John Moore

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

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The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

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Hearts 5.7
Comments 5.5
Editor's Pick 10
Total Ecosystem Rating 7.1
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Leslé Honoré

Leslé Honoré is a Chicago-based poet. Poetry has always been how Leslé has expressed herself. Focusing mainly on social injustice, she hopes that through her work she can help give voices to people who are often silenced, unheard and feel invisible. Her work has been widely shared by thousands of followers on social media. She has just released  her first collection of poems and essays, Fist & Fire. Connect with her on Instagram or her website.

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Khara-Jade Warren Jun 25, 2018 7:36am

Wow, Loreena. These are children, babies we are talking about. Not politics. Human beings. Unfollow away. We will continue to speak out and share because if caring about this isn't the mindful life, then what is?

Loreena Hackett Jun 23, 2018 2:06am

I do not want to see this from elephantjournal I see it all day on tv radio social media. If I se this political stuff I will unfollow