If only we could all take a turn
spending a week or two or ten in a cage under those harsh fluorescent lights
300 million of us willing prisoners to give a toddler a chance to grow up with her mother
This seems like something Jesus would have done
Jesus, the only person of color in my christian education
Jesus, the refugee, migrant, dissident
But I am not a holy person
I am the woman who felt a small rush of power as I roughly dragged my screaming child out of the car and into the house this afternoon
I am the woman who gives the sad face emoji to news stories
I don’t read
because I cannot absorb any more suffering
I am the woman who daydreams about getting on a bus headed south
joining the protests and workers, offering real tangible help
Even though I cannot summon the energy
to fully care for my own family, let alone our neighbors
I am ashamed to claim titles like “compassion fatigue”
because I’m not sure if it’s true – if I really am worn through
or just pitifully out of practice, selfish to my core
Just after Trump was elected I heard Dan Rather say
that we are not supposed to be able to bear the weight of all of this
That democracy – constitutional protections, a free press, honorable elected officials – was created to carry the load
so that we could live our lives, so our communities could flourish
But we have chipped away at those systems
and the corporations became legal “persons”
and now they profit off putting people in cages, a bottom line that doesn’t include soap or toothpaste
Because an algorithm cannot distinguish between a person and a bot
as it conducts experiments of capitalism where suffering = profit
Maybe our first, most important act of rebellion is to do what IT cannot
to feel it
all of it
and weep