The whole world is rejoicing at the almost miraculous rescues of a boys soccer team stranded in a flooded cave in Thailand. The world has watched with bated breath and prayed for them and for their rescuers.
I am sure that includes many Americans who have no empathy for Hispanic children separated from their parents or guardians and caged or warehoused without adequate adult supervision in the U.S.
That can only be for one reason—hatred of Hispanic refugees in the U.S. legally or illegally (the case is unclear in many instances) combined with exclusive focus on the adults and what they should or should not have done.
From the perspective of the Hispanic children they are in no less desperate situation than the Thai boys in the cave. They are cut off from anyone they love and who they can at least hope to take care of them.
U.S. citizens who cannot bring themselves to empathize with the Hispanic children must be mentally captivated by their political persuasion—just as good Germans in the 1930s were so captivated by their fear of communism and blind loyalty to Hitler that they could not empathize with the Jews and others being persecuted and even shipped off to concentration camps.
We are seeing in Thailand how the government with popular support is throwing enormous energy and money into rescuing the trapped boys. Nobody is pointing accusing fingers at their parents or guardians or even their coach and trying to shift attention to them—as possibly irresponsible. The ONLY question is: How to get the boys out of the cave because EVERYONE cares about their safety. Questions can and probably will be asked later.
In the meantime, I am appalled at the continuing focus of some Americans on the parents of the Hispanic refugee children. “If they had not crossed our border illegally….” That is a cold, heartless response to a desperate situation involving thousands of children who feel just as trapped as the Thai boys in the cave.
The time has come to stop pointing accusing fingers and focus solely on making sure the Hispanic children are treated as well as American children who are lost just because they are human children. Their nationality and who brought them here and under what circumstances should be irrelevant to how they are treated.
Years ago I lived in Germany when it was being flooded with Turkish refugees. Anti-Turkish sentiment was palpable among many German people. I was in a large department store when a Turkish woman began to cry out loudly. Finally she fell on the floor—obviously in anguish. Nobody could understand her and nobody cared to try. Except me and one other non-German person. We two got down on the floor with the woman and tried to understand her. We finally discerned that she had lost her granddaughter—a little girl of about four—somewhere in the large store.
I knew enough German to try to get some of the numerous German shoppers and store employees to help find the child. None would. They all turned their backs and walked away. Finally I found the child in the basement discount section of the store. She had gone down an escalator and was wandering around crying with nobody helping her. It was a surreal situation and one I could only explain as hatred.
The question of whether or not the Turks should have been in Germany was at that moment absolutely irrelevant. And most of those German shoppers who would not help find the little lost girl were good people. But their contempt for and fear of immigrants made their hearts hard toward even a little lost child.
This is the case with many Americans who refuse to cry out to their own government, perhaps one they support in every other way, to treat the Hispanic children just as they want the world to treat the Thai boys lost in that cave—do all to rescue them from their lost and (to their minds hopeless) situation. Provide them with adequate adult protection and help including social workers, health care workers, good food, good beds, entertainment, and above all, reunification with their parents or guardians.
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