Not In Our Lifetime
We’re reading The Handmaid’s Tale for my book club. I’ll let you look up the synopsis if you haven’t seen the trailer for the show, but what has really stuck with me is how Offred, the main character says that it happened because each small step made, every freedom stripped away, made sense in the moment. Until finally it’s all taken away and you don’t recognize the world anymore.
Unless you’re living under a rock, I’m going to assume you’ve heard about the children being torn apart from their families at the border. Have y’all seen the pictures? Of toddler screaming and mother’s crying? Because it’s horrifying. It’s truly the definition of heart wrenching. It’s repulsive to me that anyone can defend it, can justify it. Yet they are.
Just picture it. You’re leaving your country and everything you’ve ever known. You’re trying to find a better life for your children, a safer life. You’re scared of country, and it’s forcing you to flee. When you get to the supposed “promised land,” your greeting is to have your child ripped out of your arms. You don’t know the language, so you have no idea what the officials are saying to you. Your child is screaming, reaching for you, calling your name. “Mama, mama, mama.” You’re asking for help, for someone to tell you what’s going on, when will you get your child back. You don’t know where your baby is going, you don’t know who has her and when you can see her. You don’t know if she’s safe, if they’re feeding her, changing her diaper, giving her water. Your title of mother is tossed to the side like it’s a removable name tag. It’s irrelevant. To these people, you are nothing more than an example to use to show other people how much we don’t want them here. Of how little we care for their families. Of how we preach the Bible every Sunday but are too scared to actually live out the Gospel.
What would you do? What can you do? What would you do if your sweet baby was physically pulled from your arms with no knowledge of what was happening? Do you think there’s any real chance of these families being reunited?
Just the thought of Oliver and Zoey being so traumatically taken from me makes me crazy. Can you even imagine what these mothers are feeling? What these babies are feeling? What had a two year old ever done to deserve such trauma?
And reading about these stories, seeing these photos, I can’t help but be terrified when I read The Handmaid’s Tale. Because it’s a freedom that’s being stripped, the freedom of being with your children, and it’s being justified. It’s setting a precedent that there could ever be any small reason to take children from their parents.
In the introduction to this book, Margaret Atwood talks about how the idea for this book came from growing up during WWII where people said, “never in my lifetime.” And yet it did. Would you ever think you would see this in your lifetime? Families being torn apart and children being kept from their mommy and daddy?
I have such a feeling of helplessness. How do you stop this? How do you make evil realize it’s evil, especially when it doesn’t seem to care? My blog is not that popular. This post will not effect change in and of itself. But staying silent feels dangerous. Not using any platform I have, no matter how small, feels wrong. If my whisper can join with the bigger voices in saying this is heinous, I have to say it. Whatever your thoughts on politics and immigration and the president and all of that, this is wrong. This is beyond Republican and Democrat. It is vile and repulsive, and there is no justification that can be made for seeing toddlers screaming and reaching their fingertips to touch their mother one last time.
Don’t let this happen in our lifetime, y’all. Speak up. Speak out. The beauty of social media is that we all have a voice. It may seem small, it may seem insignificant, but you have one. Use it. Don’t condone this. Don’t watch this silently. Don’t let this happen in our lifetime.
“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain.
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.”