“So the story of man runs in a dreary circle, because he is not yet master of the earth that holds him.”
— Will Durant
History Repeats Itself by Conscious Contributor Evy Bjorn
They say history repeats itself; that we live in a state of constant cycles. This is the human condition. Human beings are patterned into existence by their societal roles burning through the cataclysm of seeking the future but repeating the past.
This is all too evident in the recent exposure of the US immigration policy. There is nothing humane about the separation of families; letting small children suffer in dirty diapers; the molestation of a 4 year old girl by border patrol; but the behavior is all too human.
This is supposed to be the land of the free. It is the place where any dream is possible. If you work hard enough, are smart enough, are ambitious enough, you can create any life you want and live free. Both of my parents came here for this very reason. My mother came here from Norway seeking adventure and free love in the late 60’s, burdened by the structure of her family. In the words of the late Groucho Marx, she wanted “Life, Gayety and Hachacha.”
My father, on the other hand, came here after World War II, as a refugee, with his family. They had fled Ukraine and been living in West Germany until their papers were ready for a new home. My father was 5 years old and still remembers when the boat landed at 42nd Street; everything seemed so grand, so open, so full of opportunity, so free.
My Grandparents lived through the Soviet atrocities that plagued Ukraine through the 1930’s and 1940’s. The Holodomor Genocide starved 3 to 7 million people between 1932 and 1933; the numbers vary due to the mass graves that were never uncovered. My Grandparents fought in the resistant against Stalin and then later Hitler; my great uncle was tortured and murdered by what would commonly be known as the KGB and my great aunt was sent off to the Gulag in Siberia to build a forgotten railroad. My grandmother was imprisoned 6 times and finally escaped, pregnant with my father, her husband and small daughter. When they landed at 42nd street they could breathe a sigh of relief. They could begin again, build a new home and create a future for their children and children’s children. They fought hard to be free and they were rewarded.
Today, these families flee their homes due to gang violence, extreme poverty, genocide and our borders greet them with camps and cages. The system is broken and history is looking to repeat itself. It is vital that we intervene and protect our human right to be free, work hard and hopefully thrive. We cannot turn a blind eye and look away from a President who fervently admires dictators and holds gracious space for the Alt-Right Elite. We may raise an eyebrow but is that enough? We must stand up for those who cannot speak and those who cannot protect themselves. We are all equal on this earth because we are not greater than the sum of her parts.
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson
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