Caged children — I don’t know what to do, either

Some days, it feels near impossible to write something called “Motherlode.” This is one of those days.

For 15 years now, I’ve shared my kids with you. I’ve written through laughter and I’ve written through tears. You do deserve to see how the sausage gets made, if only because we’re all doing a version of our own sausage production. To gloss over the tough stuff is disingenuous, and sharing the humour keeps us knitted together.

Children are not easy, and parenting is tough. I’ve yelled too often and stressed too much and often wondered if the grass really is greener on the other side. But then, this world is tough, and a reprieve from it is not only welcome but necessary. Just because I tell you something stupid my cats did doesn’t mean I’m not also freaking out over some decision one of my sons made. I’m selective in where I report from the roller coaster.

Today, all of it is background noise. It’s muted in the face of what is happening on the southern United States border, and what the Trump administration is doing to that nation. How the hell can I trundle along like it’s not happening? I’ve never felt so helpless in my life. Never.

A very intelligent friend of mine just asked on Facebook — Facebook, of all places, which uses your information against you — what we can do. And I have no idea. I can tell you that I won’t set foot in a Hudson’s Bay or a Winners until they stop carrying merchandise that allows this sinister man and his family to profit even more from his corrupt reign. But when I watch hate and intolerance continue to win big points in what was once one of the most amazing countries on Earth, I’m at a loss.

Children are being torn from their parents and put in cages. Those in charge are comparing it to summer camp. Those in charge are laughing at recordings of desperate children. Those doing their dirty work are just following orders. We are now living in a time when inhuman actions are happening at such breakneck speed, the only way to cope is to go numb.

We can’t afford to go numb.

We can’t afford to go numb.

We can’t afford to go numb.

I lie awake at night and count how many kids I could take in, where they could sleep. It’s entirely ridiculous, but how anyone who has ever loved any child could feel any different is beyond me. A year ago, I wouldn’t have considered that babies in the U.S. would be torn from their mothers’ breasts and stuffed into a cage.

Caged children are the bargaining chips in a country gone mad. Read that sentence again. Children will have been indelibly traumatized even if this ends tomorrow, which it won’t. Legitimate news organizations are now reporting that many of these kids will never be reunited with their parents in the chaos and fallout. Yes, they are legitimate news sources. You can cram your Fox News and Breitbart and Rebel Media up your butt.

Children destroyed so some rich people can get richer, angry people who voted for a liar can feel better about themselves, and a vainglorious, debased spiteball can pretend he’s king.

A man who cosies up to murderous dictators and throws allies under the bus on a whim; a House and Congress who sit on their hands — hands that are covered in blood and money — and let him; and a vocal electorate who believes the way to better their lot in life is to snuff out someone else’s.

We can’t afford to go numb.

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9 responses to Caged children — I don’t know what to do, either

  1. Lynda says:

    My heartfelt thanks for your column today. You articulated so well what my soul has been screaming, and continues to, but had no words for.

  2. Pat says:

    I will not travel to the US. I will not support US companies that enable the Trump family. I will continue to gently educate my US friends who think everything is OK, that it is not.
    Great column Lorraine!

    • Zena says:

      I have a circle of friends in the US who decidedly do not think this is okay, and are actively organising campaigns to end it. Interestingly, the people I’m in contact with who support it, are actually here, in Canada (albeit one or two are US citizens).

      One of the issues I’m seeing is the language that’s being used to describe the situation: when words like “illegal immigrants” are tossed around, it conjures up images of people surreptitiously sneaking over the border at random spots at night when no-one is looking, and then being caught red-handed in the flash-light beams of the diligent and upstanding border patrols. What’s really happening is that people are showing up at defined border crossings and seeking asylum without having first gone through the lengthy process of applying and submitting all the paperwork. Many don’t realise is that the US government has in fact criminalised the act of seeking asylum. These people aren’t “illegal” at all—they’re just desperate or even poorly informed as to the process they’ll be subjected to. They have not committed any crime other than showing up at the border crossing and asking for help.

      But the moment you tag the word “illegal” onto the discussion, the attitude changes and people become hardened. So a large part of overturning the situation rests in exposing and changing the rhetoric around it, without falling into the same trap ourselves.

  3. Lynne Brady says:

    Your column today speaks loudly for me too. Thank you.

    Can no one stop the despicable Trump machine? He & his “yes persons” are a tiny minority, yet he rules. Surely in over 300 million people (or whatever the number of the population of the USA is) there must be some kind of opposition to his heinous agenda – where is it?

    How can any adults (or so they call themselves) with children in their present families, or those of their friends & relatives, turn away from helpless infants & children damned to a future life of mental & physical problems? How do they justify these crimes?

    Shame, shame, shame. To echo a quote from a crony of Trump’s, “…there is a special place reserved in Hell” just for them. And this goes for those in Canada who support Trump.

  4. Lynn Zwart says:

    Thank you for this article today and thank you to Zena who has help broaden my understanding of the U.S stance on asylum seekers. I cannot fathom criminalizing someone asking for help, but apparently, that is so.
    I guess they can remove the Statue of Liberty because she cannot possibly stay standing while this is the direction the U.S has elected to go.

  5. Michael says:

    This is a sick and twisted regime, south of the border. Shame on you Trump!

  6. Dawn says:

    Thank you for boldly speaking the truth, Lorraine. It is an ongoing nightmare here in the U.S., with no clear course ahead other than to LOVE and RESIST.


  7. What about Canadian children “caged” in the corrupt and inadequate child protection agencies in our country! Why isn’t anybody outraged about what is happening in our own country to families and children? They aren’t outraged because the are not aware. The current governments have been successful at hiding this information from the public. Furthermore people have a hard time believing that these things are happening in a country like Canada. But it is fact. Canadian protection agencies are corrupt and failing families right here in Canada. We need to do something about that before we tackle another countries problem. Check out the organization “Protecting Canadian Children” it’s websites and Facebook pages , for further information. Our government is failing to protect children right here in Canada. We need to take care of our own children and issues right here in Canada!

  8. Alan says:

    I agree children shouldn’t be caged.
    I notice most of the commenters are women who oppose this practice but I’m thinking they are okay with abortion, which is waaaaaaay worse than caging.
    So, let’s protect the most vulnerable by not caging or aborting them.
    Thank you.

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