Persecuting the Others
Pick a period of history. The era of Moses, that of Jesus, the Roman empire, British colonial rule in India or the early days of our own country. What is not hard to find when looking back in time, is horror or regret due to persecution based on religion, race or ethnicity. Whether it has been an elite minority waging war against the majority, see the modern Syrian conflict, or the majority imposing its will on a minority, see our nation's war against American Indians, humans have a long history of being inhumane towards those that are different. Whether its tales of Indian savages, alcoholic Irish, unholy protestants, or Japanese Americans we simply couldn't trust, we have found a way to tell ourselves stories about people to justify terrible treatment.
Now think of a book, movie or TV show involving family in one way or another. A holiday tradition at my parent's is, "The Family Stone". In it, we see the makings of a slightly dysfunctional family that without question, loves each other. You probably have one or many like this in your life too. These stories resonate because we believe in the power of family. As we watch these stories we laugh, cry and cheer as they face their struggles, sometimes ending with joy and other times with loss. But we revere these moments because they are part of the culture we believe in.
Taking what we believe around family even deeper, not only do we celebrate the love of family but we know the love parents have for their children reaches new levels. One of the people I look to often for guidance is the author and journalist, Krista Tippett, who says of her own parenting journey, "I’ve known wild love and wedded bliss and the fiercest love of all, the one I carry for my children."
As I think about weaving these pieces together, injustices of the past, our celebration as a culture of family and the unshakable love of parents for their children, I come face-to-face with what I've seen take place in my society in this present day towards undocumented immigrants. People who are not in the majority, coming to this country seeking a better life, having their families broken apart.
Think of your own family or that of your friends. What grounds would you consider it reasonable to take a young child away from his or her parents? Trespassing? Breaking and entering? We can get into the state of immigration at another time but we have essentially ripped children from their parents because they were technically somewhere they were not authorized to be. Would you wish the same thing on your relatives?
At the end of the day, we are all humans and deserve the same dignity and rights we afford those we consider our closest friends and family.
Be brave in ways you wish our ancestors had been. "People are hard to hate close-up. Move in." Brené Brown
Go Forth Boldly