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  • Writer's pictureBrianne Rose

My Response to the Zero-Tolerance Policy

A couple of days ago, my partner, best friend, and I were eating at a diner and one of us mentioned how families at the United States-Mexico border were being tragically separated. My partner had no idea about this because he becomes very upset with basically anything that involves politics nowadays and tries to avoid Trump-related news at all costs. (Not the best coping skill, but I digress...) Needless to say, we promptly began educating him on this zero-tolerance policy. After showing him countless Instagram posts, specifically one from CNN illustrating the condition that the children are left in after being taken from their families, we all sat in silence pondering how this is possible and imagining that one individual that oversaw doing the actual separating. Just horrible. Out of that silence, my partner said, “I’m disgusted.” Disgusted— a perfect

description. Thankfully, today, Trump finally mustered up the decency to discontinue this familial separating and zero tolerance policy.

Before I go on, I want to specify that this is not a political rant and if it feels like it’s too far into that realm, I apologize. Rather, I’m looking at this strictly as a humanity-based matter. More specifically, lack of humanity in all of this.

No matter where you’re at, whether it be on a New York City train (like yours truly), your bedroom, or office, look at or imagine the person closest to you. Yes, do so even if it’s a stranger. Think about them and their experiences and how each facet of you and them may be different. Take all those differences and cast over them by telling yourself, “We all need love.” The separation of these unfortunate families forgot that love part or ignored it.

We are all unique, vulnerable, and uniquely vulnerable. However, a commonality amongst all of us is that we need our family and loved ones. This is especially true with children.

So, try one more exercise with me: close your eyes and picture someone that makes you feel warm, supported, and cared for. That one person that is unconditionally yours. Now, imagine losing that person unexpected and not knowing when or if you’ll ever see them again. Couple that unexpected loss with the feelings that go along with being a child in a new and sometimes scary world. Being taken from these supports, your person, is a haunting trauma that I can’t even begin to fathom and wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Which brings me back to my original thought in the diner—how is this possible? It’s because we as a species, as a society have allowed our world to get to this point. Myself included. Even now, while Trump and his administration received immense pushback from activists, law makers, and casual Twitter users, this experience will be forgotten and moved past in media soon. This swift sweeping of issues and separation from topics that we feel don’t personally affect us is harmful to causes and individual suffering. This and every other terrible happening in the world should be in our awareness and scopes long enough to make us want to make change and stop this horror from happening again. Stop the cycle of suffering that we put one another through. In addition to that, instead of talking about how sad it is, teach others about it, walk in your local march, find likeminded folk to bounce off. Above all, do better by showing a little more care in your everyday habits, and just be better. This can start off small with simple smiles to those around (I’ll even take a light smirk), giving that homeless guy you see near the train everyday a quarter, or holding a door.

We’ve got to do better. We must give a shit about the whole and everyone within it.

Referenced CNN Instagram post:

Thanks, Ricardo Gomez Angel, for the UnSplash photo!

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