Left-Behind Parents Must Speak Now

Revise your definition of civilization later. First, get the children out of the U.S. Border-Control Concentration Camps and restore them to their parents’ custody.

The news of thousands-and-counting ICE and DHS arrests of migrants, and their detentions in American Concentration Camps along the southern border of the United States under the orders of Donald Trump makes a demand on us. The demand is immediate and cannot be ignored for even a moment. Every child-parent separation taking place these last days along the southern border of the United States means permanent trauma for the children who are its victims, and severe distress for the parents of those children. This is our moment as left behind parents and victims of United States-Japan partnership-induced child abductions to stand up and make our collective fury heard and the sting of our blows felt. It is well-past time for us to join with our fellow parents. If we are entitled to compassion and to have our children’s rights respected, then we must stand and speak in solidarity with the children and parents who are victimized in this moral, physical, political, human fiasco. They are us and we are them; and they are all victims whose lives are vital and must be spared, now.

The trauma of children being psychologically, emotionally abused and  soul-and-spiritually murdered has shaken me and millions of others around the world. The recordings of their crying voices have circulated widely and have been shared thousands and thousands of times. We know what our children’s cries sound like; and to ignore them is a deep, fatal, moral error.

As parents of children abducted to Japan, all of whom are prevented from being reunited with us –  parents who love them – we must testify and denounce this sickening spectacle. The echos of decades of our cries and agonies can be seen in the eyes and faces of these Guatemalan, Honduran, Salvadoran, Mexican, etc. children and parents is a spinal column-agitating reminder of what we ourselves have experienced from aggression against our families, through tsunamis, open displays of governmental indifference, through hideous sins of omission and convenience from officials who are responsible. But knowing this, it is hardly adequate to convey how it feels to know intimately  what those parents are suffering, and to fear in our depths the consequences for these young children. They demand our protection. If we do NOT exercise the access to and connections some of us have with officials in the U.S. government who can and must act, then we must find some other more explosive means to expose them or suffer the shame of our failure.

If we expect or hope for the care of our brothers and sisters on behalf of our children, then we cannot stand by while the same power that stole our children from us pivots to the next successive row of vulnerable parents and children in the line waiting to be served their punishments.

We can either shunt this entire episode into the familiar stream of history (Zygmunt Bauman’s phrase) by citing assorted historic facts and precedents, or we can declare ourselves helpless to alter the orthodox understanding of the steel tendency of modernity and reduce this enormously consequential event to an example of the exception to the rule, to the pathology of society, and write a lament to etch into our tombstones.

We reject these options, and choose solidarity, against the U.S. government’s pathetic lackeys.

The choice is ours. If not now, when?


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