Momma, I ain’t happy here: Family separations lead to many tears

 

Photo Credit: Cale Carter

Prison B.R.E.A.K. is an acronym for Building Relationships Empowerment and Knowledge

In recent weeks, the news has been heartbreaking. Stories of lives lost, reminders of a nation being torn apart and family separations fill the air waves and the TV screens. I’m usually a very positive person, but I have lately been feeling my emotions shifting and I’ve been reminded of some very low moments in my own life. Through this type of reflecting, I wanted to share my thoughts with my loyal readers on rights, wrongs and family separation.

It’s no secret that what’s going on at the border in the U.S. is wrong. It’s disgusting and inhumane. Children are being separated from their families, caged like animals and parents are left to wonder where their children are and how they are being treated. As a lot of us in this country mourn the unbelievable treatment, there are still opinions stating that this type of behavior from our government is acceptable — statements placing blame on the parents for putting their children in this predicament and basically saying it’s okay.

This eerily reminds me of being in prison. Inmates often worry about their family members and especially their children. Sometimes those tears and worried statements are batted down by someone reminding them they are the reason their children are in the world alone and their family is broken. Often being called selfish and irresponsible, I was that person once before and believe me that is the furthest from the truth. The mere thought of being separated from the ones you love makes you second guess certain choices in life. For me, being separated from my children is what made me do a complete 180 and change my life forever.

Photo Credit: Megan Stevens

Granted, doing anything that could ultimately separate you from your family is never the right thing to do, but for some it feels like it’s the only thing to do. When I first started hustling in the streets, it was out of curiosity. After I realized I was good at it, I continued for material things. But after years and starting a family, the hustle was to survive and provide. Every move I made, good and bad, was for the advancement and betterment of my situation — never to leave my family in a bad spot. I’m sure that is how the people at the border feel — wanting to do right by their family, but doing wrong in the process. They are not bad people; they are human and we all make mistakes.

The reality is that our luck runs out at a point, but our families should not have to suffer. For an inmates family, judgement is often casted upon those close to them. Inmates are placed far from their loved ones and sometimes a simple phone call feels impossible. In the case of the separation at the border, judgement and mistreatment have pushed into effect as if they are right. Families should not be separated and innocent children should not be judged and caged because of their parents mistakes.

Families belong together. Even if not in the physical, communication is a must. No one should ever have to worry about if their family is okay with no way of finding out. There is absolutely no reason why babies who cannot fend for themselves should be taken away from their parents. Children who were traveling with an adult should have been placed with that adult while arrangements were sorted out. In brighter news, I was relieved to see that there is now a strategy put into place to help reunite the families that have been separated.

Family, if you find yourself doing something that could have you separated from your loved ones,rethink please. It’s clear that no matter how genuine your reasons, the outside world does not care. There are rules that must be followed and take it from me, dismissing those rules is not worth it.

I will continue to spread positivity, experiences and advice to help lead to better choices among those around me. In the meantime, let us pray for love in our country, families reunited all over the world and better days to come.

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Dave Bishop
Dave Bishop

President/KITE INC.

Dave Bishop is the founder of the nonprofit organization, K.I.T.E. Inc., Konnecting the Incarcerated Through Excellence. The mission of the organization is to provide mentoring and support to children, younger than 18 years of age, who live in urban, under represented areas, and have at least one incarcerated parent. K.I.T.E. facilitates programs dedicated to providing financial assistance, emotional and crisis counseling, and educational and life skills training.