Monster Is As Monster Does by Mo Abdelbaki

It's an interesting fact that fairytale monsters often prey upon children. Whether it be ogres, wicked witches, trolls, or a Big Bad Wolf, the most horrible creatures plot to separate, devour, enslave, or otherwise victimize children. One explanation may be that these stories were intended to keep young listeners in line, but it seems more probable that humanity has, for millennia, defined civility by how seriously any culture takes the protection of their most valuable members, namely their children.

A new monster has crawled out of the stinking, stagnant ooze. Out of the swamp has come a creature that has acted with such depraved indifference to children, that it boggles the civilized mind. This creature has many heads, some of them with their eyes squeezed tightly shut, some pretending not to look but seeing it all, and some heads watching, grinning with glee. Most have cruelty and hatred in their hearts. These monsters have torn children out of the arms of their parents, with no viable plan to reunite the grieving families once again.

This is the latest state-sanctioned terror tactic being inflicted on illegal immigrants attempting to enter this country. Many of these refugees are fleeing from other monsters, imagining that they will end up in a better place, only to find themselves still in peril. 

These parents face the probability of losing their children into the gnashing jaws of a detention system that is currently swallowing upwards of 70 children a day, many of them getting moved around like a pea in the old shell game. Whether this is an extortion tactic to get a wall built, or a warning to future immigrants is irrelevant. What matters is that this is not the ideal of a civilized nation.

I was brought to tears as I listened to a recording of a young child crying for her Papa. Her heart was broken and so was mine. Her cries touched me, but they also hardened my heart and my resolve as to the need to voice my outrage and do whatever I can to bring attention to this barbarism.

Monsters generally shun the light, skulking in the shadows created by lies and intimidation. Our fear gives these creatures the power they need to prey upon us, just as the vampires of Gothic novels fed upon those who feared them and their reign of terror, that is, until the vermin were exposed to light.

We are that light, the blinding, cleansing rays of justice and decency. Our outrage and indignation blaze like the sun, exposing the truth to all who dare look. What are we to do? After all, we're only one person.

Alone, moved to find a way to make a difference, we begin moving forward and in doing so, we inevitably meet other reformers upon the path. We have no choice but to push onward, for the past evokes images of children behind barbed wire in Auschwitz, in the Killing Fields of Cambodia, or of youngsters torn from their parents to become soldiers for a warlord. We see them used as drug mules, kidnapped from their villages and sold into slavery and sexual servitude. Are we to be added to that list of criminals? If not, we have no other choice but to act, or expect to be held as complicit to a contemptible crime, an offense against humanity itself.

I will not play Renfield to Dracula, nor Igor to Frankenstein. I refuse to bow and simper to tyranny. I won't stay quiet as long as the voice of that sobbing child rips at my conscience. I refuse to remain silent, lest I find myself shunning the light and crawling into the muck and darkness, for that is where the other monsters live.

I choose the light.