Skip to main content

It’s all I can think about.  These children being taken from their parents at the border.  Not the border of some third world country.  Not the border back in Nazi Germany.  Not the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

OUR border.

The United States of America.

How can we stand for the national anthem?  Why don’t we kneel at the Statue of Liberty and remember her words: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Or shall we add our own words: “I will lock them up in a Walmart in Brownsville because this is America, the land of the free, where brave men hold weapons and take 6-year-old blind boys from the arms of weeping mothers.  It is for the protection of our borders.”

Am I proud to be an American?

No, not proud at this moment in time.

Who am I?

I am a grandmother who loves my grandchildren to the moon and back.  I have been privileged.  They have been privileged.  We have always had food on the table, shoes on our feet.  But if we were starving, if we were in danger, I would look for a way to survive.  I would support my family even if it meant walking miles, crossing borders.

These people are no different than me.  Perhaps the only difference is I am privileged, and they are desperate, hurting people, trying to find a better life for their children.  Just like I would.  Just, I think, like you would.

It is in all of us, this human nature to protect and nurture our young.  Feed them.  Shelter them.  Do all we can to help them grow.

But so is the other.  This fear of “the other.”  This tribalism.  Who amongst us hasn’t gone a bit nutty supporting a sports team, a school, a city, a state, a nation?


I am a grandmother whose sun rises and sets in two precious grandchildren.  And their parents.  And their uncles.  Aunts.  Cousins.  Family.

I am a grandmother willing to do whatever might be necessary to protect these two children if they were ever in need.

I am a grandmother whose heart is breaking for the children yanked and snatched and pulled from the arms of crying parents.  I can hardly believe it is happening.  This is my country!  My country tis of thee.  Not a heartless police state.

I can’t believe this.  I want to go and see for myself.  Stand in witness as my fellow Americans, my fellow citizens, my brothers and sisters take children from mothers and incarcerate them in a Walmart in Brownsville, Texas.

I am a grandmother.  No match for trained men and women with weapons who do what they’ve been told to do for this country, this United States of America.

I am a grandmother who can no longer stand for the national anthem with one hand over my heart and the other over my eyes.

I keep having to ask myself:  Who am I?  Who are we?