Dissent is Patriotic

We protested in Charleston, SC today.

Yes, It was hot.

We protested the treatment of children immigrating to our country. Close the camps.

I wonder why I protest. Am I contributing? How miniscule is my drop in the bucket? We protested today outside of Senator Lindsey Graham’s office. I have no idea if he knew we were out there or if we had any effect on him. I listened to an interview with Graham on Face the Nation, and as I expected he lacked empathy and information regarding the crisis at the border. He is incorrect in his idea that if Mexico excepted asylum seekers then the man and child who drowned would not have attempted the crossing of the Rio Grande. It has been reported by NPR that the father and toddler Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and daughter Valeria, had been in Mexico waiting for two months using the exact process recommended by Graham. The father became impatient with the wait and the unproductive inept process, so he attempted the dangerous crossing. Graham is unlikely to care or to act against the wave of Republican approval of imprisoning children and endangering the lives of families by making their desperation criminal.

The photo of Oscar and Valeria drowning is not the reason I protested with Mim and BeBe. The entire situation is horrifying. I view myself with some sort of savior complex and I picture myself driving 10 miles over the speed limit straight to a detention center and begging those in charge to let me in. I would sit on the floor and comfort babies and rock children and change diapers and wipe their sweet little foreheads. And yet— I sit on my mom’s settee in her waterfront condo and type on my Macbook while Mim sleeps in a king size bed under a handmade quilt and George and BeBe sit on the sofa watching Jeopardy.

The Charleston protest waters down my guilt. I am fortunate that my place in life allows me time and money to protest. I am fortunate that two of my kids went with me. I am lucky to stand with others who value humanity over politics. I am lucky to feel the peace of contributing to the political process, however small.

I found this article Why Protests Are not a Waste of Time. Read it if you need some encouragement to protest.

P. S. Protesting in Charleston is easier than protesting in Atlanta. Smaller crowds. Less traffic. It felt like friends getting together to change the world in what felt like 107 degree heat. And I would do it again tomorrow. Quite a few of the protesters were elderly and that is inspiring. I hope I’m protesting when I am 80- well, actually I’m hoping that as the years go by— many injustices are addressed and righted and I can sit around and rock my great grandbabies without the inner panic I feel now, inflicted on me by Trump and his supporters. I pray that change comes soon. #reunitefamilies #closethecamps @Raicestexas @fams2gether

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