Remember when we did those immigration projects as kids, interviewing relatives on how our families came to this continent? Remember how united we felt when we shared our stories because we all had this thing in common, that we’re a nation of immigrants? Remember how proud we were? Remember that school trip to Ellis Island, where we made crayon rubbings of our ancestors’ names? Remember how good it felt, riding the ferry on a sunny day instead of sitting in a classroom learning about war all the time? Remember all those wars? How America freed itself from the mean British and saved the world from those savage Nazis? Remember when we were the children of superheroes? Remember how lucky we were?
I don’t remember waking from the dream, but I know it coincided with mourning. An ever-increasing mourning. As with any deep sleep the waking process has been slow. I rub my eyes. I do not believe them. I do not want to believe them. I am so tired of mourning my country. A country that never was and yet will not admit this and so refuses to become.
Children in cages. Should we be shocked? We did it to the Japanese. We did it to the Africans. We did it to an entire continent of people who were here first. Why is it so hard to remember that, America? Why are we so full of hate? Are we afraid that maybe one day we’ll have to pay for all of this?