I spent a week trying to decide what to write about that wasn’t political. After the week we’ve had, I failed. So I may very well lose the three of you with this post, but I have to write what speaks to me.
On Friday, the US Department of Health and Human Services admitted that 10,773 unaccompanied immigrant children are being held in detention centers. This does not mean that these children crossed the border on their own. It means that ICE agents removed them from their parents and sent them off to be detained on their own. There is a lot of misinformation circulating on the internet, and the US government is actively trying to discredit the media – I will agree that many media sources are biased, but to discount every story that criticizes or questions the government as “fake news” removes one of the very necessary checks and balances on the activities of that government. The United Nation has since denounced the separation of these children from their parents and has demanded that the US cease these activities which contravene the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the US has refused to sign.
Also on Friday, the Canadian PM, German Chancellor, Italian PM, Japanese PM, British PM, US President, and EU Council and Commission Presidents met in Canada for the G7 Summit. The US President petitioned for Russia to be reintegrated into the multinational group, with agreement from the Italian PM. (Russia had been excluded in March, 2014, based on their illegal annexing of Crimea. That sounds so clinical… people were tortured and killed.) The US President left the Summit early, and now refuses to endorse the G7 Communique on Equitable Growth, based on what he called dishonest negotiation by the Canadian PM. Recently, he has imposed a number of tariffs on Canadian goods being imported into the US, and stated that Canada poses a national security risk to the United States. This is particularly disturbing given the long and fruitful relationship between our two countries. The fact that the US President engages in Twitter insult-laden tirades instead of engaging in diplomacy and open, honest conversation has led to a deterioration in the relationship between our two countries, and indeed, between the US and many of its allies of late.
I won’t even go into how disturbing the bigotry, misogyny, and discrimination evidenced in much of the US President’s communication is. What I will say is that in these uncertain times, we need to put aside this “I’m right, and you’re evil” rhetoric that the current US administration seems to encourage so wholeheartedly. I say this as a white, cis-female who speaks from a place of privilege – nothing about me is threatening to this administration, therefore they largely ignore me (with the exception of my uterus…).
Allow the LGBTQIAA+ folks and people of color in your circles to express their anger. And use your white voice to amplify their message, and to spread kindness where it will do the most good. A good rule of thumb is to use Ring theory. Those who are marginalized by the current administration are the aggrieved or afflicted at the centre of the circle. Offer them your help and support, your kindness and compassion, and your love. If nothing that’s been happening affects you, that means you’re one of the outer circles. (If nothing has affected you thus far, it does NOT MEAN that other people aren’t being hurt.)
Be kind to your LGBT+ neighbors. Be kind to your Muslim neighbors. Be kind to your Black, Latinx, Asian, or other neighbors of color. Be kind to the neighbor you don’t understand. Get to know them. They are deserving of the same respect and compassion you would give to your white Christian neighbor. We know better. So do better. Discrimination helps no one. It does not make you richer. It does not make you safer. It does not make you better than your neighbors. Kindness toward one another is how we beat this. It’s how we will survive and thrive beyond this dark hour.
I will step off my soapbox now, and promise some knitting updates later in the week. I have to work harder on this sweater!!! Its new owner has already arrived!