Parents, speak up!

I have had a really hard time these past few days trying to gather my thoughts and sentiments of what I've heard on the news. It's so difficult to watch something being said so blatantly with hate and rage toward a group of people. It's even more difficult for me to stay silent about it. I'm not a politician, nor do I pretend to know all of the intricacies of running a nation.
However, I am a mother in charge of rearing two sweet boys. Two boys that are as wide-eyed, innocent and unknowing of the world around them as any other child their age. Truthfully, I wish I could guard them both with a magical cloak and shield them from all of the negative around them. But I simply cannot. Now more than ever before as a mother, I feel incredibly responsible to speak up for those who cannot.

I'm sure that by now you've all heard and seen the videos of Donald Trump pontificating about illegal immigrants, specifically Latinos. In fact, he has only shared his hateful and negative thoughts toward Latinos in this country. Moreover, he has now laid out an immigration policy based on hate, fear and lies about a group of people that has every human right that he does. However, what scares me more is that his viewpoint seems to be accepted by many. His blanket statements have grouped Latinos into a very narrow group of people that have all come to this country illegally to do more harm than good. I fear that his message is misrepresenting an entire group of people with various cultures and backgrounds and also that his words are now being taken as an excuse to spread the hateful message that being Latino is wrong--that Latinos do not deserve basic human rights. Bear in mind that these are the same human rights that were given to his own immigrant ancestors years ago.

I cannot say enough how much it pains me to see his supporters spew hateful comments like "Get out of my country!" It is as if being another shade, perhaps having an accent or speaking another language automatically makes someone illegal and, as a result, un-American. I may not be of Mexican descent, but I am Latina. And as a Latina I have chosen to teach our boys the language that is so deeply intertwined in our heritage and culture. I share this with the Mexican people. It is a culture that I am increasingly proud and deeply thankful to share with my sons. Does this make them un-American too?!

Even writing it out sounds ridiculous. When I think about someone who is going to run our country, I envision someone who supports every right in the Constitution. Remember that the Constitution also grants rights to its citizens by their very birth. Mr. Trump has stated that he wants to remove all of those born in the U.S. to illegal parents. He wants to remove U.S. citizens from the United States of America. By extension, he wants to tear apart families. I cannot imagine being torn away from my boys. And what's even more atrocious is that it's such an irrational idea that he has no idea how he will do it. Does he propose concentration camps a la Japanese American removals in World War 2? I fail to see any good coming from such an inhumane act. What is to stop him from waging war on another group of people he feels are un-American at some point in the future? It's terrifying and, frankly, a very real outcome if we as parents do not wake up and do not speak up.

Mr. Trump is a multi-billionaire who runs reality television shows and beauty pageants. He is a man who rambles on and speaks offensive statements every time he opens his mouth. I ask you, "How can this man relate to you?"

Parents, now is the time to talk to your children about inequality, stereotypes and intolerance. Now is the time to speak up and tell your children that this is NOT okay to perpetrate such injustices. I ask you, "Which America do you want your children to inherit? An America mired in division, inequality and intolerance? Or, an America united in voice, and equal in human rights for all?"

I leave you with part of a poem that I memorized when I was in 9th grade. I still recite it today and share it with my boys. The words will forever ring true and represent the principles on which our nation was founded. These words will remain unshaken and as a promise at the feet of Lady Liberty:
"From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command, the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. 'Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!' cries she with silent lips. 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free!'"
This is the America I want for my boys! This is the America for which I speak up!