It is difficult, in these times, to know exactly how to react to the environment that surrounds us. We live continuously bombarded with information. Much of this information is irrelevant to our day to day, becoming for our brain “noise” that prevents us from detecting the signals to which we need to pay attention.
In addition, much of this information is tremendously charged with ideological and emotional content, which is what sells. The result, in the short term, is a state of almost paralysis, of “shock”, in which we are able to continue processing more and more terrible information about the dark state of our societies and the world without being able to avoid it. And there is no denying that we live in dark times.
Today many people are at home, pending the beginning of the warnings that ICE is in the city carrying out their indiscriminate actions with total impunity and normalcy. That is the state of affairs for those who are paying attention to the immediate needs: a state of alertness. For those who have people in their families who may be affected by these actions or simply can be seized for not having immigration documents, I can not even imagine the state they will be in, a state in which they have been for a while now. And, on the other hand, there are people who have been working and organizing to help the immigrant populations before, during and after the raids, probably plagued with feelings of anger and impotence.
However, many organizations and activists, with very good intentions, continue to cling to the idea that there is no need to alarm immigrant communities. And, the more I think about it, the more I wonder when it’s time to be alarmed. When they are deporting almost half a million people a year? When minors are separated from their families for months, sometimes indefinitely by giving them up for adoption? When humane treatment is denied to minors and adults in detention and there are cases of physical, psychological and sexual abuse committed by officers who did not undergo scrutiny when hired? When large numbers of immigrants are concentrated in unhealthy conditions? When a four, six or ten year old child die of negligence while in detention? When they build more and more private centers which main objective is to take advantage of the misfortune of the migrant community and profit from it?
All these things have already happened, so I ask myself again and again: when is the right time to be alarmed?
As a species, we have not come this far ignoring the signals and without raising the alarm. Not being alarmed can be evolutionarily fatal. Not raising the alarm when a danger lurks is condemning our communities to become easy prey. And, at the same time, being alarmed too much can also get us in trouble. Running is not a good idea at times, for example. It is in this that the complexity of this moment lies, and, faced with the impossibility of deciding, we can find ourselves as deer in front of the lights on the road, in a paralysis that prevents us from saving ourselves.
Be alarmed. Stay alert. Make a family plan. Prepare. Organize. Learn about your rights.
But, be alarmed.
There are immoral people in the government and in the immigration forces. There are people making a fortune of imprisoning minors and migrant families, in insecure and inhuman conditions, without anyone being held accountable. There is a president using lie after lie to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment, and who does not care about the suffering of our community.
- Asesinato de Nichols por policías de Memphis pone en alerta al país
- Padre hispano lucha por su vida mientras su familia busca respuestas
- Continúan negociaciones mientras Methodist ya esta fuera de la mayoría de las redes de BlueCross
- MSCS abre aplicaciones para Pre-K y Head Start
- El teatro educa
They will come for your daughters and sons, your babies, your siblings, your relatives and friends. They are going to put everyone they grab in detention centers and it will take you time to even locate where your people are. They will use your fear and tragedy to win votes and further encourage anti-immigrant sentiment. And, in that state, there is going to be racist scum that will leave the miserable corners in which they hide and they will start harassing you openly at work, at school, in the street.
Look for organizations that support the migrant community and inform yourself of what you need, learn your rights and teach your daughters and sons what to do if they have to meet with the immigration authorities. Organize with the people of your neighborhood so you can be aware if the raids begin. Prepare important phone numbers of family members, friends, legal services. Memorize a number to be able to call from detention if necessary. Inform yourself, prepare yourself, be alert.
But, be alarmed, for Christ’s sake. Be alarmed.