One of Indigo’s favorite phrases is “How dare you?” She delivers it with great feeling at moments of high drama, such as when someone occupies her city in a game of Carcassonne. (See the photo on the previous entry for the accompanying facial expression.)
I’m going to borrow it right now, because I’m hearing the “We must protect your child” line, used, as it so often is, to vilify people my child loves and respects. And that is the very definition of chutzpah.
How dare you suggest that you are protecting her from trans* people? She doesn’t need to be protected from the fabulous camp counselor who led her in making snow forts and going cross-country skiing. The kid in her scouting group, whether they’re using the bathroom or learning how to make a fire in the wilderness: not a threat. The family friend who visited her in the hospital less than 24 hours after her birth, bringing love and a ritual of welcome from our faith: not scary. If you think these beloved people are her enemies, if you would harm them in her name, you reveal yourself to be the threat.
How dare you make people from certain countries out to be dangerous? Of all the people she missed at church and was thrilled to see after six months away, the longest hugs were for the two Iranian women who have taken care of her for countless Sunday hours ever since she graduated from the toddler room. They play with her, encourage her art, teach her a few words of Farsi, and tell her over and over how much she is loved. How dare you threaten them and their families in her name?
How dare you “protect” her from immigrants, with or without papers? Our country’s stupid, cruel policies invite people in from other countries to work, then scapegoat them for growing our food and changing our children’s diapers. My daughter does not want to be “protected” from her schoolmates, or from their abuelas who make melt-in-your-mouth tamales for the school fundraiser. This is our community. It is not frightening, but the people who are attacking it are.
How dare you?