September 16, 2013
Sharing a testimony we received recently.
I am grateful for this space to share, encourage and to shout in rage at the atrocities that surround us and the system in which we are all a part.
Earlier today, I was attending a four-year old’s birthday party. As is the custom mothers sit around and chat while the children play. Making small talk with one another, one mother asked another if she had heard anything further about her ‘run away’ domestic worker. No, she answered and that she didn’t care to. Her friend then asked her if she had taken care of all the legal procedures to relinquish her responsibility over the ‘girl.’ Yes, she replied she had. Did the authorities confirm that she would not be held financially responsible if the girl was found and was sick or hurt? Would she have to pay the hospital bills? She replied, that they did not confirm either way but anyway she actually hoped that they find her dead as it would be cheaper for her as she would not have to pay her return ticket home. The women around her nodded and encouraged her to stay strong in the face of the suffering she continues to endure as a result of this domestic run away.
They chatted away at the terrible things this domestic worker had done.. and in the end concluded knowledgeably that these migrant workers are actually from an inferior culture that does not allow them to form attachments to their children, families and friends back home. Moreover, their poverty forces them to search for work and so they should be grateful for the opportunity we give them in our homes.
If the situation we have with migrant domestic workers in the middle east is not slavery, I really don’t know what is. Running away from an employer deserves death.
I share what I heard today with, yes, some element of judgment on these women and what they said and believe. But also with a genuine feeling of shock at the extent to which the core of our society is rotting ..so much so that statements like these would be considered appropriate small talk at a toddler’s birthday party.