I’m proud to say this is my friend. She is incredibly active in the community, helps people of all kinds with all types of problems. She shows up, she gets things done. It was a tough call for her to take her baby to protest Trump’s recent visit to Springfield, MO. In her own words, here is how she arrived at her conclusion, and why she feels it is so important to raise her daughter in the activist community.
Given the attacks towards protesters, this was a real risk. Springfield saw great numbers and suffered no injuries, but she didn’t know that was how it would go.
This morning, I picked up a marker, and inked my emergency contact info on my arm. And when I was done, I picked up my child’s chubby little arm, and inked emergency contact info on her, too.
I am going to protest the policies of the President of the United States. Lately, people have been running cars into crowds of protesters. The threats against the protest here in Springfield have been numerous.
“Then why go?”
“Aren’t you a bad parent for putting your child at risk?”
I have sat and considered this for a long time. My heart aches at the options before me. But I’m going.
Here, in our America, there are African American mothers who send their children out into the world, hoping that they will not end up the victim of police brutality. They live with the fear that their child will be shot and the murderer will go free because they wear a badge. The President’s response to this reality is to encourage police brutality by telling a room full of officers to “rough up” people in custody.
Here, in our America, Latino parents kiss their children goodbye and hope that today isn’t the day that ICE shows up to take them away. They live their lives in the shadows and are vulnerable to criminal and economic exploitation because they cannot go to the police or government for relief. The President’s response to this has been to pardon a man with a history of letting child rape cases go uninvestigated because the victims were Latino children. Who described his jail as a “concentration camp” where many have died without explanation.
Overseas, mothers put their children in boats because the likelihood of drowning is slightly less than the certainty of death in the shell-shocked remnant of what once was their city. Mothers hold their child close while their bellies swell from hunger, or the light from their eyes slowly goes out, dead from a bomb dropped in a war they never wanted any part of. Our President’s response to this has been to attempt to cut off refugee placement and turn his back on these people.
I am a white woman living in America. The privilege that affords me comes with a responsibility to refuse to be silent, to refuse to be intimidated, and to show up.
Yes, I could stay home. Many would say I should. But what does that say? That I will show up when it’s easy. That I will wax eloquent about the trials of black and brown children while carefully insulating my own child in a life of privilege.
To the people who are considering not going due to fear, I would say, “We cannot let them make us afraid.”
And to Trump’s supporters, I would ask you to consider my daughter. She is one year old. She is just learning to walk. She loves to give high fives. Before you threaten or fantasize about how you would love to hit some of those “liberal SJWs” with your car, think about my tiny girl who will be with me in the crowd.
She’ll be the one with emergency contact info written on her arm.
Because of people like you.
Shared with written permission.