Do I worry, when I clock in for work, whether I will be arrested mid shift? No.
If I were a parent, would I need to fear being forcibly separated from my children while I worked? Would I fear not being able to find them, not being able to pick them up from day care, not knowing where they were or how they were being treated? No.
When I'm working and I get thirsty, I get up and get a glass of water from the pretty filtering pitcher in the refrigerator. I don't beg for a drink from a stranger, only to be told I must share one little water bottle among a dozen equally thirsty coworkers.
Usually I put fresh ice in my water, too. "Ice" for me means "frozen water." It is not a word of power or fear for me. It is not an acronym in my life. I attach no negative connotations to it.
I have an apartment full of cheap crap, yes. But I never worry, when there is a knock on the door, that someone has come to separate me from any of it, to separate me from those I love, to separate me from the home I have made here.
I am permitted to stay here and surround myself with cheap crap. I am allowed to clock in and out, to work, to earn money in relative peace and air-conditioned comfort. I am permitted to do all these things through no special skill or ability (beyond that needed to do my job, of course) of my own. I am able to do these things because of an accident of birth, because of where I was born and because of where the woman to whom I was born was born.
Best of all, I am able to go my whole life never seeing any of it. If I don't want to look, I don't have to. If I don't want to listen, no one will make me. If I don't want to do anything about it, I will not be punished for failure to act. No penance is imposed because, with all due respect, sir, I'm a white lady. I can do anything.
Did I say that was the best part of all? I lied. The best part of all is that if I do open my eyes, clean out my ears, and get off my ass, I'm totally entitled to a cookie for being one of the good white ladies. Or I think I'm entitled to one; anyway, it's all the same to me, and I'm going to whine for that cookie all the louder the more you suggest I don't deserve it.
Because you're wrong. I'm what matters. Meeeeeeeee. And my food processor, of course. When are we going to focus on the important shit, like getting me a food processor?
I mean, these people were in the country illegally, right? So what if they wear themselves out making our military vests and our Rockports and our Coach bags. Besides, they all took those jobs from the real Americans. The real Americans are those Americans who cleverly arranged for their ancestors to come to the United States the right way, from the good countries across the Atlantic, instead of the wrong way, from the bad countries south of us.
No, they've got to go. Back where they came from. Or Texas, close enough.
Do you disagree?
Then do something. Write your Congressional representatives (here's a sample letter). Spread the word. If you are in Boston, get involved locally.
If the New Bedford raids had been something the Iraqi government whipped on hundreds of Kurdish workers, we'd care. If it were the English against the Irish, we'd care. If it were the Thai versus the Hmong, we'd care.
Instead, this happened in our country. We have no excuse not to care.