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What Do We Tell Our Children

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What Do We Tell Our Children

 

My heart is heavy and I am needing help from you my village. While I didn’t vote for the president I have never said he wasn’t mine because I am an American and I have the utmost respect for the position of leader in this country. In my country.  Yet today, as in much of his short presidency he has reminded me that he is not here for me.  He is not here to protect, serve or lead me.  In my country.

He has continued to make excuses for the racists.  He has continued to react and respond like a pre-school bully and has put our country on the verge of nuclear war in less than a year of his presidency.  He has pushed to put millions of Americans in danger by trying to destroy the Affordable Healthcare Act because he doesn’t like his predecessor.  He is pushing to strip our rights and further infringe on our privacy.

He wants to make America great again?  How about we give back land to the Native Americans instead of trying to force a pipeline through their sacred grounds?  Want to make America great again?  Let us take time to remember that most of our ancestors came from somewhere else looking for a better life for themselves and their families.  Want to make America great?  Then let’s be honest and realize that for People of Color this country has always fell short.

Yo soy Boriqua.  I am Puerto Rican.  I am American.  My ancestors are the original inhabitants of the majestic island of Borinquen…you might know it as Puerto Rico (Rich Port) because when the Spaniards came to “discover” that is all that they saw.  They saw the greatness that was already on the island and claimed it as their own while slowly (and not so slowly) killing off the existing inhabitants.  Much like what happened when the settlers came to “discover” America.  I am only here today because those same conquerors before killing off an entire people raped the women and enslaved the men.  They brought over other slaves from the continent of Africa and somewhere along the line my ancestors became a mix of the three different people.

If only the original citizens had immigration laws in place this country might truly have been great!  We do have a chance to make America great today and I need you, my village to help me do that.  We need to call out WRONG.  How your family got to this magnificent country (because despite the nastiness occurring there is no other country in the world I would ever want to call home) doesn’t matter.  We all come from somewhere and whether it is Brooklyn, Belgium or Beirut if you are in this country born or naturalized you are an American.

Our country needs us.  Our country needs us to LOVE on each other.  Our country requires us to stand up for each other because our President has not and it seems will not do so unless you are a White man, his daughter or his ego.  I truly considered not blogging on this because it is not popular for a parenting blogger to discuss politics but this isn’t about politics.  I might lose followers.  Some brands might choose not to work with me.  None of that matters.  This is about survival.

I tell my daughter that love is the most powerful thing in this world.  I tell her that magic is real because we see it in love.  I tell her that God will always protect us.  Yet, I am scared to turn the news on in front of her because I do not know how to explain to my four year old why people hate her because she is Black or because she is a girl or because her great grandmother’s native tongue sounds foreign.  We are not your enemy.  We pray for you and your family regardless of your heritage, economic status or religion.

I don’t have the answers on how to make the world better but I refuse to make it worse.  We cannot be silent because silence suggests that there is nothing wrong.  Silence suggests compliance.  I’m not asking anyone to protest.  I’m not asking anyone to wear a symbol of support.  I’m simply asking you to use your voice.  In the words of NYC’s MTA, if you see something, say something!  And I need help.  I need to know how you are handling the current times with your little because I am truly at a loss at how to discuss these things with mine.

There are many versions of this poem but as far as I know this is the original from Martin Niemoller.  Sadly, it echoes true today.  Don’t wait for them to come for you to speak out about hate.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

 

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