Last month, I spent two weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico traveling with a good friend. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to visit such an amazing place. Oaxaca is one of the most linguistically diverse and biodiverse states in Mexico. Sharing music along the way inevitably made friends and created special moments. I also had a visceral reminder of the history of conquest and the tremendous power the United States holds.
It is angering to me that as a white U.S. citizen, I can easily cross borders, while at this very moment migrants are dying in the desert and in U.S. government custody, just trying to reach safety in the U.S. I have so many friends who are undocumented and cannot travel to their own homelands without risking their lives. It really got me reflecting on the meaning of the border, when this place I think of as home, as belonging to, is stolen land in the first place. Many of the people being turned away and subjected to such unimaginable cruelty at the border and within this country are in fact descendents of the first peoples of the Americas. How is it justifiable that someone’s right to survive, to thrive, and to live be given or taken based on where they are born? These power dynamics hide in plain sight when we have privileged identities and don’t question the ways that the society in which we live gives so much power to some while withholding so much from others based on belonging to certain groups, like where we are born, what our gender is, how much money we have, what language we speak, who we love…
We can all participate in the change we want to see. If you haven’t yet done so, please endorse the People’s Resolution. It was created by four women in sanctuary in Colorado to build a path to more humane and compassionate immigration law, and it’s about to be introduced into the Colorado legislature!