My parents fled Uzbekistan because of the rampant anti-Semitism, and took me and my brother to the United States of America. We came here as refugees and were taken in and provided for by the local Jewish Community Center.
I remember feeling sad leaving all of my friends and some family. I was scared of the unknown, nervous for my parents, and worried I wouldn’t be able to speak to anyone. I was 11. My brother was 7. My parents left everything and everyone they knew to get away from hate and give themselves and their kids the possibility of a better life. They were in their mid 30s, like I am now.
I cannot even fathom what it would take for me to move my family away from our home, our families, our lives, our familiar across the globe, to an entirely foreign land. I cannot imagine starting entirely from scratch, not knowing the language, the customs, nor how to ask for help. I want to scream at the idea of it. And yet my parents did it, like so many others did and continue to do.
But now? Now, the United States government is spraying asylum seekers, many of whom are children, with tear gas. The government mouthpieces vilified every person seeking asylum. Dehumanized. The mouthpieces abandoned their own consciences and purged every shred of humanity. They’ve used propaganda so effectively that people, seemingly intelligent people, now believe separating children and poisoning human beings is justified under the guise of “implementing law and order.” They’ve actually convinced the citizens of our country that seeking alyssum is somehow illegal. Our government is using inhumane measures towards human beings, parents with children and toddlers and babies, and too many believe this is just. To me, this is incomprehensible.
If I ever find myself in a situation where I no longer feel safe in my country (and, let’s be honest, it’s only a matter of time), I will have to find a new home for my family, for my children. I would do absolutely anything necessary to save my children. Parents will do anything for their children, even if it means walking barefoot across the world. Anything, even if it means being sprayed with tear gas and/or imprisoned. Because the chance at safety and a brighter future for our children knows no fear. Knows no end. My parents left and risked it all. I would, too. So would you.
Imagine yourself. Imagine what you would do for your kids. Think. Think of their children. What are we doing?