America, We Are Not a Nation That Allows Little Girls, of Any Color, to Drown Silently in Our Streams

With a gentle touch from my aging hand, like fathers have done for millennia before me, I removed the hair from my daughter's eyes so that she could see the pictures of the book I was reading to her. Nighttime in the Villalba household is neither special nor unique. We have dinner, the children fulfill their chores for a weekly allowance by clearing the table or emptying the trash, my 5-year old son feigns to assist (but really, he prolongs the process), and our family kitty cat scampers underfoot to complicate what should otherwise be an ordinary evening. As the hubbub subsides, and we settle in for the evening, we read. Usually something educational, uplifting, or at least interesting: Aesop's fables, Dragons Love Tacos, Goodnight Moon. I brush the hair from the foreheads of my little ones, and together, we are a family. We often fall asleep with at least one of the children's auburn arms wrapped around my ample neck. Which is why this week's news photo was particularly troubling to me. In it, we see a 23-month-old little Latina girl, Valeria, holding desperately onto her father's lifeless neck in her final repose, drowned in the Rio Grande trying to cross to Texas.  Continue reading...

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