Did you know that Dominican citizens of Haitian descent are being deported?
Or there are others fleeing before they’re deported without the ability to gather their things peacefully. They carry what they can on their back and hands.
This includes people born and raised, with legal papers, in the Dominican.
No one is reporting on it, except the Miami Herald, as far as I’ve seen.
All of a sudden I have a new understanding and appreciation – though not at all at the depth of the people actually suffering – of the frustrating and helpless feeling of being silenced.
In a world where news is instant and the ability to report and make it known, even viral, is at fingertips – silence.
As children are forced to walk miles because mom’s hands are full of the only belongings that the family owns now, because it’s what she can carry – silence.
As violence breaks out in the midst of it and humans, made with beauty and worth, spit and degrade other humans, made with beauty and worth, based on a difference in ancestry – silence.
But actually, there IS noise. That makes it even more frustrating, helpless, and tear-jerking. There are plenty of people talking, tweeting, and posing their iced coffee Starbucks cup for Instagram. Youtube has 60 hours of footage uploaded every minute – that’s an hour a second. We write our opinions on blogs (like this) and share it, retweet it, spend more screen time to read it and then read another article on Buzzfeed because the GIFs are just way too perfectly matched up with the witty “10 Reasons Why”.
I’m not saying that enterntainment is bad, or social media, or screens and all the things that we read on them.
But what are we using them for?
There are people waking up and facing ISIS, which some are calling the modern day holocaust. There are days I forget again that ISIS exists.
There are mothers who really can’t take care of their children, and I have no idea what the statistic is on how many will walk to an orphanage today and try to drop her youngest off in hopes of a better life for them.
Natural disasters, Terrorism, Slavery, Homelessness, A huge section of the world lacking clean water and electrity, and our own problems like addictions to pornography or straight apathy for the gospel are uncomfortable topics because we don’t know what to do, how to do it, or maybe we don’t even want to. They’re also far and not affecting us.
What if it was me? What if I scrounged up some of the few coins I had left after a night sleeping outside on the rolled up mat I carried from my home and across the border to a place that has never been my home – it was just where my mom came from. What if I used those coins to call my sister on the phone, and then through tears I asked her to post this. I talked about justice and hope and someone out there listening. I insisted that the world would say something once they heard what was going on.
Instead, there is silence.
Instead, there is plenty of other noise – which turns the silence into a mockery. Supreme Court rulings that will never be changed by talking about it on Facebook and the personal choices of famous people and a post claiming that the only way to love Jesus is by sharing an image that 16, 335 others have on social media. Trending hashtags today on Twitter are Paula Deen and #TheBachelorette. This is what we are choosing to pay attention to.
This is what oppression, stolen dignity, and losing a sense of worth probably feel like. It’s one of the places it can start to happen. No one is paying attention and would they even care if I told them? I am screaming at the top of my exhausted lungs, parched from yelling but also the hot sun and no relief because I have no home anymore and there is no drinkable water to be found.
I am not saying to stop using social media, enjoying entertainment, or sharing 15 DIY tips on Facebook.
But I AM humbled on how in an age where we are most equipped to be aware of what’s going on around us, we are more self-consumed than ever. I am guilty too.
Let’s be the change. Let’s pay attention.
Because the world isn’t doing it, we will have to be INTENTIONAL.
Look at world news for 15 minutes a day, or Google what ISIS is if you aren’t sure how it works. Find a cause you care about and sign up for a Google Alert that will show you the latest news on it.
Is world news depressing at times? Yes. And I know that’s why many don’t read it.
But we have been sent INTO the world.
And He is greater than all that is in it.
But we cannot be greater with Him if we are not deliberately seeking the silence and finding out what is going on in this world.
Let’s be the keys that unlock chains of injustice – sometimes, those keys are small ones that simply let one voice finally be heard.
We do not have to be the ones who continue to pay attention to noise and miss that there is a gaping hole of silence. We were meant for bigger things, and so is the mother waiting to be heard.