Why Do We Always Need Viral Images of Weeping Children As Proof Of Their Pain?
When the African migrant scaled the floors of a high-rise in Paris — the video went viral as the real-life “Spiderman” was captured risking it all to save an unattended toddler — in full view of gawkers down below who couldn’t wait to upload those superhero moves.
It didn’t take long for French president Emmanuel Macron to expand the spotlight with photo-ops and the grand declaration that Mammadou Gassama from Mali — would now be blessed with French citizenship — and then after that — he would most likely get a job fighting fires.
I guess being a a fireman is the appropriate gig for someone who proved his ability to perform acts that are considered savvy enough to get the attention of a world leader — who is currently embroiled in a global crisis that involves factions of the European Union. The struggle continues with the loads of African migrants that are coming in fast and furiously — as they attempt to escape unlivable conditions by seeking asylum in countries that present the best options.
It’s hard not to be struck by the messaging surrounding the African migrant who became famous for his superior tendencies — and was rewarded for it — especially when you consider that the very person who changed his life for the better — is also responsible for keeping thousands more in limbo.
The issue of immigration has become a global emergency — and thanks to the Trump administration — tensions are rising — as the dangers facing migrants at the border is causing agents to react violently. They are working overtime to punish families who are in the vulnerable position of desperately trying to find a way out of their nightmare.
There have been deaths recorded — and now children are being brutally yanked away from their parents as President Trump defiantly puts the blame on Democrats by claiming that their unwillingness “to start thinking about the people devastated by crime from illegal immigrants” — is duly responsible for the madness.
They need to “change the laws!”
“If the Democrats would sit down instead of obstructing, we could have something done very quickly. Good for the children, good for the country, good for the world.”
It goes back to criminalizing Black and Brown immigrants — and stroking the default rhetoric that White nationalists like former White House strategist and Trump’s once-trusted confidant — Steve Bannon is helping to boost — in an effort to protect the interests of their base — that truly believes that America can be Great Again without the influx of unwanted visitors.
The dilemma of immigration laws wasn’t instituted by the Trump administration and to assume that would be wrong. However — the reason why it was never resolved is attributed to the reluctance of past administrations to subject human beings to inhumane treatments — that could result in a full-scale war.
And now that we’re at the point of no return — the current climate is rife with anger on both sides — as the heartbreaking images of children bawling their eyes out at the sight of their parents being processed by agents — is heightening an already over-charged situation.
Even former first lady — Laura Bush couldn’t resist the need to use her platform to speak out against what is obviously an intolerable circumstance — that should never be mandated by a nation that swore to provide shelter to those who seek it.
There’s also the award-winning photo by photojournalist John Moore that was taken at the U.S. — Mexico border — depicting a two-year-old Honduran girl who is tearfully witnessing her mother being searched and interrogated by a border agent.
The picture went viral and it’s hard to escape it because of what it represents.
At first — my heartache was embedded in the tangible proof that innocent children are being emotionally abused by the laws of a cruel government — that is seeped in the disease of White supremacy.
The righteous cleansing of America from the Black and Brown lives that threaten the purity of Whiteness is a festival for deplorables.
And then I was hit with a wave of irritability at the exploitation of the poor girl in the photo — and how it speaks to the way in which we respond to unspeakable acts — that are never quite as serious until we see the viral image of the weeping child.
We can’t deny that we absolutely need to have the symbol of tragedies — that are aimed to tug at our heartstrings — because that’s the historical documentation of how shitty things really were — and why revolutions are necessary.
It just sucks that it takes the graphic imagery of children covered in blood and debris after a bomb blast in Syria or a toddler screaming from the fear of losing her mother — to convince monsters to revert back to their status as humans.
And even then — it doesn’t work.
The two-year-old girl in the photo that’s stunning the world — will hopefully grow up — and maybe she will appreciate what her tears meant to those who prayed for her safety — or maybe she will resent how she was used as currency for empathy — and the activation of newfound fame for the photographer who bagged the winning shot.
Either way — migrants shouldn’t have to work so hard to prove how and why they deserve to be viewed as decent human beings.
Why does it take daring rescue attempts that end well in order for an African migrant to get the royal treatment — and why does a little girl have to cry her eyes out in a photo for the benefit of those who could care less?
And why do we have to repeatedly hear the audio of a delirious child — incoherently begging for the presence of familiar faces — after being ripped away from everything that used to make sense?
It’s a haunting exercise that showcases the plight of child migrants — and while it needs to be seen and heard by many — the truth is that circulating the evidence with practiced fury — will potentially diminish the value — if it hasn’t already.
And all we’re left with is unanswered questions about the fate of the poster children — who are forever associated with the evils of Trump’s administration — that sickeningly turned America into a cesspool of crimes against humanity.