History has it well documented that the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) played a significant role in drawing national attention to the plight of Black southerners subjected to the inhumane indignities of ‘Jim Crow.’ When mainstream media began showing America and the world images of students being hosed down, attacked by dogs and jailed, people began to see for the first time the sheer viciousness of southern bigotry and hatred at its worse.
From the peaceful sit-ins at lunch counters to the freedom rides, a new generation had arisen with a determination to redeem the ‘bad check’ America had passed on to them. They wanted an equal opportunity to become a part of the American dream, and their blood, sweat and tears paid off. The nation and the world asked how could this happen to young people in America? Their fathers fought in wars defending the nation! Hearts cried out to stop the injustice.
Now, could Central America and Mexico be borrowing a page from the civil rights play book – to win the sympathy of Americans through their children by sending them en masse to the American borders? On the question of should these children be turned away, or should America take them in, many Christians are divided. Some say they have broken the law and the law should be enforced, while others default to ‘What would Jesus do (WWJD)?’
Let’s consider motivation first of all. During the civil rights era the descendants of slaves – brought to American shores against their will – wanted nothing more than an equal chance to assimilate and be treated with dignity and respect in a place that was the only home they ever knew. They were willing to become all they could be as Americans. What is the true motivation fueling the current border crises?
It’s no secret that there is this thing called the Reconquista (reconquest) movement where Mexicans and other Hispanics want to reclaim American southwest territories that were ‘stolen’ by the United States in the 1800’s. It is reported that former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was, while in office (and presumably still is), a strong advocate of the movement as are other Hispanic political figures. Reports indicate that undocumented (illegal) immigrants are encouraged to have babies born in America (anchor babies), and told to remain loyal to their country as demonstrated with signs and flags they carry during their annual nationwide Cinco de Mayo march – a tradition that has been growing since 2006. They are also being told they don’t have to learn English – if they go to a public place like a supermarket, they can demand Spanish speaking services. So, why should America receive with open arms children who are being taught anti-Americanism? Are they coming in the spirit of peace which was the hallmark of the civil rights movement, or is this a ‘Trojan horse invasion’? If migrants are not willing to honor the banner of the American way of life, they should dwell in the land where their loyalties lie. In other words – and this might be a stretch – if they’d rather identify with ‘Caesar’ then let them render unto Caesar [Matt. 22:21, KJV]
There are also advocates who say America is a nation of immigrants and that we should welcome this unprecedented wave of ‘refugees’ escaping from the gang-related drug and human trafficking in their own country. That sounds benevolent, but why is the government willing to pay billions of dollars in emergency funds for border crimes, and it won’t effectively do something about the crime in cities like Detroit and Chicago? Why not send the National Guard to those cities to augment law enforcement? Why not appoint additional prosecutorial staffing support so that criminals like the one who shot and killed that Michigan two year old point blank, don’t fall through the cracks?
Yes it is the Christian way to help, but there is an idiom that says ‘Charity begins at home.’ The Bible says: ‘But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’ [1 Tim 5:8, KJV]
It’s not a bad thing, but my question to all the Americans who choose to rush to the border to offer help to children whose parents chose not to accompany them, have you offered help to Detroit, Chicago or any other crime-ridden city where parents remain with their children amidst the dangers they too face on a daily basis? Think about it! As a sovereign nation, we have our own internal issues to deal with. Let the self-governing nations of Mexico, and Central America deal with theirs. Following are some comments received from different denominations within the Christian community:
‘If all of us Christians would just stop and think…what would Jesus do (WWJD)? Didn’t he tell us to love one another? Well how are we showing love if we are protesting and trying to stop these people from entering our country who are just seeking a better way of life?’ R. Tandy
‘Who is breaking the law? Is it illegal to stop a bus of illegals? If so, not good. Are these kids coming to our country illegally? Not good. This is not the time for open borders…’ J. Hunter
‘It is complicated as they are children. However, we do have to follow laws, and then make decisions.’ C. Robinson
‘I understand that part of the reason for the influx of immigrant children can be traced to their interpretation of the law (Pub.L. 110-457) [former president] Bush passed. Republicans ignore any reference to the Bush law, preferring instead to try to shift blame for the arrival of these children to President Obama.’ J. Ware
‘Could the NRA be behind this? If this is seen as a threat to homeland security, it helps justify the right to bear arms and supports their agenda.’ Anonymous
Yet another suggests that we’re seeing the proverbial ‘chickens coming home to roost’ due to America’s insatiable demand for illicit drugs smuggled from south of the border.
What are your thoughts?
Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” (Steuben Pub) www.amazon.com. E-mail: [email protected] Visit the author at www.larrybuford.com. (213) 220-8101