Mad and Confused

“ I come from a beautiful place where they hate the shade of my skin….”

Something I took away from my Alternative Spring Break Training this week is empath. What an important word when immersing ourselves in another perspective for a week. After this week’s reading, I have found that it is important to have a level of understanding but not pity. When we work with these people we are really going to have to listen to them talk and remember that our hardships are completely different from theirs. If we relate our hardships to theirs it will take away from the experiences.

When I was reading the articles this week I was reminded how hard this Spring Break Trip is going to be. My next thought was that I cannot look at this week in Phoenix as a trip. I need to look at this as a journey and this journey will not be over until there is a social change.

“And my brother has been tortured, by my brother in my land….”

In the poem Blues for Woomera, the writer states, “ Let me dig my own grave, if it helps you ease the burden upon you…. Thro this land free of water and compassion.” This line really hit me because the people who are suffering from these genocides feel like life would be easier if they did not live. The land they call home and they identity with is abandoning them and does not want anything to do with them. In the United States we use our freedom of speech excessively, heck I am righting a blog right this second about genocide. Meanwhile, in the countries where genocide is occurring free poetry is banned. I think that really puts what I have in perspective. I have this freedom to voice my every thought.

“I come from a beautiful place where girls cannot go to school…”

These articles talked about the living conditions in the refugee camps. One passage described women lining up out side of the refugee cam with their ration cards hanging around their neck. The card is a symbol of how many rations they will receive or have had. Reading this enraged me! I would hate to have a symbol around my neck that stated how hungry I was. It also bothered me that it was just the women that have this hanging this around their neck.

These readings really angered me because I know that there are so many ways to stop genocides from occurring, to help refugees who are resettling and to make sure no one feels like the people in these passages. But people deny that genocides are occurring, are uneducated on what a refugee is, or just do not care if they are making others feel this way. When I put myself in the perspective of the people writing these passages I am admirable of their strength and perseverance.

“ I am told that I have no country, I am told that I am a lie…. But we come from somewhere.”

– Sam

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