A child, a little girl of seven died of dehydration and shock, after walking several thousand miles to reach our border. Every single footstep north she made, along dusty trails, jungle paths, and broken concrete, was distance from extreme violence, hunger and poverty. There are those who are crying out, that this child died in American detention, and while that’s true, I will not pretend to tell you I know the specifics, I do not.
What I do know is far more disturbing. That instead of compassion, aid and support for a child walking on her own two feet, facing incredible odds of survival, our government chose instead to denigrate that child, to discourage that child, and yet she continued, one small dirty, dusty foot after another, defining a courage that a lot of my fellow citizens have lost. There was time when our courage was not overwhelmed with fear of others, of those different. We were brave enough to accept them, even in the face of danger. We understood the possibility that not only evil people would walk into our home, but also people would bring change into our home. Organized crime found it’s way here, as did Catholicism, we managed.
My heart cries when we look in the face of a child, and do not see potential, and instead see our own fear, our prejudice. We no longer see ourselves in the face of that small girl, we see a stranger, and we become strangers to the soil we live and breath in, every day of our life.