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Jun 22, 201809:31 AM
Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

Taking a Stand

Separating families is wrong, full stop.

Note: This situation is constantly changing and the content below may not reflect the most up-to-date information.

 

I accepted awhile ago that I am, to many of my friends and to many of my family members, the crazy token liberal feminist. I typically keep my mouth shut about my political opinions, although it’s not a secret in any way. I’m not sorry for it. I don’t go out of my way gunning for a fight – I am so confrontation-avoidant it’s almost funny – but I also don’t pretend to agree with something I don’t agree with, particularly if I feel like it’s a matter of conscience

I know I’m in the minority among my friends, but the things I’ll take a vocal stance about – and have, here on my blog – are being pro-gay marriage, pro-taking down the monuments, and pro-reasonable gun control. And now I’ll add one more that will probably end up costing me people to talk to at the next family reunion: I am anti-breaking up families at the border. 

I’ve heard all of the arguments as to why it’s an OK policy or why other presidents were just as bad or worse or why you just shouldn’t break the law if you don’t want to lose your kids or how they’re crisis actors or how they’re trafficking kids who aren’t even theirs. You can feel free to leave those arguments in the comments, but you’re not going to change my mind. 

And this is not my attempt to change yours. If you truly listen to the voices of crying kids and your first thought is that their parents shouldn’t have broken the law or that it actually is on Bill Clinton’s hands – and not “Oh, my God; how can I help to stop this?” we’re definitely of different mindsets and not likely to agree. There is no common ground to find. I can see both sides of many issues – but not of this one.

My church has condemned it.  My pediatrician has condemned it. And I didn’t need them to tell me it was cruel and wrong in the first place. 

It’s impossible to look at Georgia, all pink and clean and warm from a bath, snuggled up with her favorite pillow and wearing her fuzzy PJs, and not feel an ache in my very soul just thinking about us being separated. 

I also can’t stop thinking about the time Ruby flew unaccompanied from St. Louis and the paperwork was messed up and they almost wouldn’t let me take her home. She was shaking and in tears. I was trying to stay calm for her but was being yelled at by TSA people about how they were going to take her into foster care and was shaking all over myself. It was traumatic enough that she still talks about it, every single time she flies, and it lasted maybe 10 minutes two years ago. 

We were not in the middle of a grueling journey – I had traveled from Broadmoor, stopping off for an iced latte, and she had just stepped off an airplane where she was drinking ginger ale and charming the flight attendants. We both spoke the same language as the people who were yelling at us. We knew that even if the very worst happened, it would all be sorted out within a few hours once I contacted her dad in St. Louis and/or my lawyer across the lake to prove I had physical custody of her. 

The memory of how terrified we both were even in this fairly easily resolved situation haunts me, and I can all too easily imagine our visceral fear and anguish had even one variable changed to stack the odds more against us. 

I might be the crazy liberal feminist, but above all else, I am a parent. I am a mom. I am a Christian and a human with empathy. 

This is unimaginable, and it needs to stop. 

There are some things worth taking a stand on, and this is one of them. 

 

 

 

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Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

about

        Eve is further proof, if any is needed, that New Orleans girls can never escape the city. After living here since the age of 3 and graduating from Ben Franklin High School, Eve moved to Columbia, Mo., where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Missouri School of Journalism and became truly, unhealthily obsessed with grammar.She had originally intended to strike out to New York City and work in the cutthroat magazine industry there, but after Katrina, Eve felt a strong pull to return home, to her roots, her family, her waterlogged and struggling city – and a much more forgiving work atmosphere that would allow her to skip a routine of everyday makeup and size 0 designer label business suits and enjoy the occasional cocktail or three with an absurdly fattening lunch. She moved back home in January 2008 and lives in Mid-City with her two daughters, Ruby and Georgia; her stepson, Elliot; and her husband, Robert Peyton.Eve blogs about the joys and struggles of living in post-Katrina New Orleans, the unique problems and delights of raising a child in such a diverse and challenging city – including her experiences with the public education system – and her always entertaining and extremely colorful family.Eve has won numerous writing awards, including the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for column-writing and Press Club of New Orleans awards for her Editor’s Note in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and for this blog, most recently winning the award for "Best Feature Affiliated Blog."She welcomes comments, advice, empty flattery, recipes, drink invitations and – most especially – grammatical or linguistic debates.

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