Why I Took My Kids to a Travel Ban Protest
This morning I dropped my first grader off in front of our neighborhood elementary school at 8:15 am. I came back to pick him up at noon, right after lunch and loaded him into the car with his 3-year-old and 8-month-old brothers, wedged into our SUV beside the toddler I babysit on Thursdays. I had emailed his teacher the night before to give her the heads up that his education would be taking him outside the classroom walls today; he would be seeing democracy in action.
The ride to the free speech space on Iowa State University campus was as loud and animated as one might imagine, and unfolding all of these tiny humans into strollers and baby carriers in the freezing parking lot was not the smoothest ten minutes of my life. But with individually portioned snack baggies all things art possible.
Behind his glasses, my seven-year old’s eyes shone with bewilderment, despite the careful explanation I had given him last night while we made our signs together. It’s not every day that folks in our sleepy little Midwestern town gather to exercise our democratic rights, and I knew he remained befuddled about the whole thing. Portland or Austin, this is not. Central Iowa is about 90% white, a pocket of the country that prides itself on safety and homespun virtue. It’s all too easy to feel removed from injustice here, and even easier to fail to act against it.
But today that wasn’t the story; today we were rising up. And I needed my children to witness it.
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