I may not be the mother to my daughter I desire to be, and I may not always feel like the aunty young people call me these days, but I love children. I think and feel childhood should be preserved and protected. Thus, my heart breaks like a toppled over antique porcelain vase when I hear, read and see stories about children incarcerated, imprisoned and/or confined to concentration camps before deportation...separated from their families.
Criminalized before recess is even over. Imprisoned before they stop believing in fairy tales. Deported before they even know what a green card, passport and/or legal documentation mean. My mind also ruminates on Amber Alerts for missing children. My heartbeats linger over the youth in long term mental healthcare facilities...it is the very notions of confinement and stripped away from all they know that form knots in my stomach.
Whether metal handcuffs, plastic wrist straps or even those little harnesses just to keep them from walking too far away during a crowded street festival. And then to see young people in cages, behind bars and trapped in padded wall rooms are some of the atrocities that have inspired this month’s Edutainment Nite Poetry Slam theme: Incarceration & Deportation of Children.
We can but let’s not focus on adults and our adult lives too much, yet I understand that some of us were incarcerated, imprisoned and torn away from our families so maybe speaking to our inner child is essential as well. I care little for statistical demographic breakdowns across ages, ethnicities, cultures, gender, sexuality, etcetera etcetera etcetera… children are children in my book. I not only want to shine light on the horrors of child incarceration and deportation but with your help, I aim to uplift the spirits of children and the inner children in us adults that are and have had these unfortunate experiences.