This Valentine’s Day, take a moment to pray (yes, even if you are a UU) that we, all of us, every last human, recognize the importance of this principle. I had a different post prepared for this principle, until yesterday…I was going to talk about making just and equitable choices in our own relationships. This is more important today.
At our church, South Valley Unitarian Universalist, the social justice team hosted a service yesterday centered in the UU “Standing on the Side of Love” campaign. The service was about Mexican immigrants called “The Dreamers” — which is what they call those kids whose parents came here because they had absolutely no other choice to help their kids survive. Because they had no money, no work, no food, no social services to support them and NO options. Listening to Brizia Ceja (a dreamer, an undocumented woman who just graduated college) and Annie Brewer (a social worker who works with immigrants and dreamers) made me think much more deeply.
Think about it for a moment; no options for your kids. I mean, really, what would make you decide to take your kids away from the home they know, their relatives, into a dangerous desert, where there is little water, no food, surrounded by dangerous and unscrupulous men so you can go to an unfamiliar land where you don’t speak the language because somebody told you there was work and food there?
Just imagine if it was your spouse, your kids, your family, and how you would have to feel like to make such a choice…its horrible.
So these Dreamers, these kids, they have no documentation, and cannot become citizens…even though they are already here. Even though they’ve been here. Even though many of them graduated high school, and what they want is to go to college and work. What they want is to take what their parents gave them, their new chance, and use it, productively in our society.
Instead of allowing that, we create legislation to try and prevent them from getting driver’s licenses like this bill:
Here’s one provision summary from the Salt Lake Tribune:
“Would allow a warrantless arrest of a person when an officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that the person is subject to deportation.”
Really? Warrantless arrest? Seriously? Based on how someone looks? We want a law like that as we stand up as the world leader in democracy and freedom? Really?
This is stupid and inhumane. Its not based in love, caring or even just tolerance or patience, its based in fear. Fear of criminals, fear of allowing others new to us to join us, and the rhetoric around its promotion makes clear that its proponents are playing on fear. How completely cowardly and de-humanizing. Its not a call to our better selves, its a call to our most fearful selves. We have to take a stand. We owe it not just to the dreamers, and one-another, but we owe it to the fear-mongers to call them to their better selves too; to prevent them from spreading fear and malcontent, to save them from that karmic price. We owe it to everyone to stand up when we find something like this because the more we allow fear to draw lines in the sand…the deeper those lines and the more of them there are. Its not complicated. The more we stand against each-other, the more we stand apart. Its simple.
So this Valentine’s Day take a moment to try and make Valentine’s Day about more love than just in our personal lives.
Think on it deeply. Please. Our second principle calls us not only to be more full of equity and justice, as I was going to write, but it calls us to speak aloud a ringing cry to the whole world. We are all people, and if we all deserve respect and dignity, then our laws, our solutions, must be more full of justice, equity and compassion than this. They must.