It is touching for one to cry for children killed from gun violence. But somehow, there is a disproportionate level of attention given to refugee children. The conversation about these children is radically different since U.S. citizen children are seen as innocent whereas refugee children are seen as criminals.
This is more than politics.
This speaks to a greater problem that has conditioned people in the U.S. to see others from the global south as expendable. Within the U.S., there exists different levels of prioritization of children, people and families, which leads one to question how deep are solidarities outside the American exceptionalist mentality and experienced privileges.
The world can no longer afford these attitudes from the U.S. government, U.S. businesses, and U.S. citizens toward the innocent lives stolen and hijacked by their meddling and imperialism.
When we say black lives matter, do we also mean black people abroad, black immigrants, or even black ethnic minorities outside a dominant black American culture? There is no doubt that immigration is a civil rights matter with over 400,000 undocumented black immigrants living in the U.S.
Are people aware that natives and indigenous people also exist outside U.S. borders? Indigenous rights are immigrant rights and vice versa, the current refugee crisis in Central America’s Northern Triangle has displaced and affected indigenous people at higher rates than any other groups.
How come LGBTQ mainstream organizations have not put substantial resources behind the clear connection that LGBTQ rights are immigrant rights, knowing that there are over 267,000 undocumented LGBTQ people living in the U.S.?
Honestly, there is a lot of self-serving liberation initiatives that reinforce a trickle down approach to equity.
A very old yet effective tactic of the oppressor is to pin communities against communities so we take our focus away from the real root-causes of oppression. If we are looking to win the fight against structural oppression, we must have a conversation about the relative privilege that comes from living and operating within the U.S. Also within this framework, the role citizenship plays in sidelining those who are most disproportionately affected by state sanctioned violence and the social constructs exacerbating inequities across demographics is key in addressing an issue like gun violence.
We cannot speak about gun control when we are deporting immigrant children to places where the U.S. has and continues to fund terror. There is a refugee humanitarian crisis taking place and divesting of people with legitimate claims to asylum, both under U.S. law and international law, only highlights the mixed messages, competing priorities, and hypocrisy from the U.S. government and civil society.
While conservatives stigmatize our existence as immigrants, it is the so-called liberals who deport us, using deceptive tactics that falsely position them as allies. But where are the voices of citizens and civil society groups outside immigrant rights organizations?
The current presidential administration mourns the lives of children who died due to gun violence, but there is little to no attention placed on the fact that the U.S. is the largest exporter of weapons.
Deep in this fight to regulate gun violence is an entrenched for-profit business that benefits from both the selling of guns in the U.S. and abroad. Therefore, with no doubt, the U.S. government, U.S. businesses, and U.S. citizens are complicit in the injustices and exacerbated gun violence abroad, which has directly contributed to larger waves of migration and the current humanitarian refugee crisis.
If we want to have a conversation about the adverse effects of an unregulated and irresponsible access to guns, then there is a need to talk about all stakeholders involved.
From the police who are inadequately and fatally using guns to kill as opposed to restrain the manufacturers of guns themselves to the unregulated sell of guns to countries abroad, the U.S. government must recognized that violence in other places is a push factor of migration and the lives of all children and people are important as they are all affected by the same guns made in the U.S.
How can this conversation take place while the same people who are pushing this initiative are behind the mass deportation of refugee children and families?
There are over 11.2 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and we are also being affected and killed by U.S. manufactured guns used both by state representatives and civilians. With a growing record of over 2.5 million deportations, the Obama Administration accounts for the largest number of deported people in the history of the U.S. all presidents combined.
The difference between immigrants and everyone else is that we are starting 2016 under extreme and inhumane persecution and raids from Immigration Costumes Enforcement with little to no public outcry from non-immigration advocacy groups.
Lets all come together as a community across social justice movements to pressure the government, liberals and conservatives, to immediately stop the detention and deportation of refugees in this country.
A conversation about gun control has to involve all groups and fill in the gaps of an inconsistent logic to eradicate gun violence.
Real change is contingent upon a unified front and the commitment from all people showing up for one another.
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[ Feature Image: A toddler with short dark brown hair and tan skin complexion is looking up as their attention is towards someone above. The child is wearing a light blur blouse with white lace around the neckline and hair is accessorized with a green barrette and dark pink flower.]
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