Desocupados, by Antonio Berni © 1934
We have been reading much about the border crisis, and though this is an adjunct faculty page, as I always say, everything is related. We are all in this together.
As we can see, we are all disenfranchised. So are the children, young teenagers, mostly, escaping from their homelands because they are escaping violence and who knows what else, that — most likely — our great world of greed has caused.
So now we turn them away. They, who need our compassion and our care, who need to be taught, not to be sent back to a certain death. They need to be taught by the likes of us, mostly adjunct faculty. Because in the end, that is where they would most likely go, once they entered into community colleges, if they ever make it that far…
I am including here a letter I wrote to the New York Times, which they accepted and used as a New York Times Pick.
I hope we do something to alleviate the pain not only these children are experiencing, but also their parents. It must not be easy to be a parent, and to send their children away — the love of their lives — because they think they may have a better chance in a better world. Better?
What sacrifices we make as parents! This is a little sacrifice we can reciprocate, helping them now…
“I am the daughter of a political refugee.
I came to this country young, and I learned my new language, placing my hand across my heart, proudly saying the Pledge of Allegiance. But now, I am ashamed to call myself an American, which I became when my parents said yes to this country, a country which had fostered their dreams and saved them from the nightmare which was Cuba.
I am ashamed of what I see now, how brother and sister and neighbor say “stay out, you don’t belong.” If they had told men like my father that, how many less teachers and doctors and lawyers would this nation have?
Where is our voice, those who came with our parents as children but have become the backbone of this society? What about the Italians, or the Irish, or the German, who were fleeing persecution a couple of generations ago? Who took us in? OH how short our memory is…
I can no longer call this a great nation. I am ashamed of what I see today.
Ana M. Fores Tamayo
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