The t-shirt I’m going to put on tomorrow morning when I get dressed, like many of the t-shirts in my drawer, was “assembled in Honduras of US components.” Whether we like it or not, are in a trading world in which the person who makes our shirts is what Jesus might call our “neighbor.” Whether we know it or not, our daily lives in the United States involve the exchange of goods, services, ideas, money, and more with Hondurans, Salvadorans, and those of other Latin American countries. This is true even down to something as intimate as the fabric we feel on our very skin.
As I choose the Honduran-sourced clothes I’m going to wear tomorrow, there is once again a caravan of thousands of migrants making their way North from Central America.
We have got to learn to see these people as human beings.
They are not just political footballs, monstrous invaders, or the “other.” They are not democratic talking points, republican straw men, or criminal gangs sprinkled with “unknown Middle Easterners“ and other “terrorists.” They are hungry, tired, desperate, and in need of compassion. Are there any individuals in this caravan who have at some point in their lives committed crimes? I don’t know. But what I do know is that there are needy children who are just trying to live. I don’t know what the policy solutions are to this, but if our questions and protestations involve slinging dehumanizing rhetoric about the caravan like they are a terrifying mob of alien invaders, then we are asking the wrong questions and we are not fit to call ourselves a “great” nation.