A few months ago, a little boy in my community was murdered through abuse and neglect. It ripped a hole through the fabric of my town; nearly every family reeled at the thought of what had been done to that little boy. The town, the whole county, adorned itself in blue ribbons, tied around fenceposts and trees. Blue for the little boy who didn't get a chance at life, who was killed by indifference and brutality.
Along with the blue ribbons are Trump signs. Trump bumper stickers. MAGA hats.
I don't understand how it's possible. I don't understand how anyone can be so heartbroken over the death of a single child, a child they didn't know but who they knew was "theirs" if only because he was physically here. And yet those same people can endorse, can support, camps where children are facing the same abuse, the same neglect, and the same indifference en masse.
I drive around my town and I see blue ribbon after blue ribbon, and I wonder if that little boy had been born with brown skin, would they have cared? If he had only recently moved into our community from another place, would they be grieving? If they discovered the people beating him, freezing him, refusing him food, were not his parents but were officers of the law, would they have accepted it?
It feels like a slap in the face to see so much regret over this child who deserved better, and so much derision for the children stripped from their parents and crammed into disease infested cages at the border.
I do not understand why compassion is limited to zip code. I do not understand how it can be limited by color.
I understood those blue ribbons to be a promise to any child living in fear and pain, a promise that we are a community who cares for them, who will protect them.
And then another Trump flag waves from the back of another pickup truck, and my stomach clenches.
It cannot be one or the other. Either we believe in protecting all the children, removing their suffering and replacing it with a full belly and a chance to hope for better, or we don't.
There is no such thing as other people's children. We are all culpable.
Read more about compassion for children here: "There Is No Such Thing As "Other People's Children"
Read my most recent post here: What It Means to be Sickened by the News
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