Archive for category Musings
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship, Musings on March 8, 2020
People often ask, how does promoting D&I within an organization help in exceeding revenue goals, expand market share, beat competition, and help gain happy customers? Some people may be surprised to hear that the business case for D&I not only exists but is now overwhelming. There is a growing body of research that shows that organizations that effectively weave in D&I into its strategy, policies and practice, tend to benefit in ways that go beyond the optics.
Let us just discuss two primary benefits today. A professional journey for an employee begins with getting hired. Research shows that leveraging D&I becomes a valuable asset in attracting the best talent and in retaining good talent. Companies that are diverse and value diversity, get an advantage of getting referrals from diverse sources.
Retention is a big challenge for many organizations, especially when unemployment rates are lower. Employee Benefit News (EBN) reports that the cost to an organization to hire a replacement and train and bring them up to speed, when an employee leaves, is about 33% of a worker’s annual salary. In dollar figures, for an employee earning a median salary of $100,000 a year, it is about $33,000. Hiring costs may be multiplied several fold for higher level employees, with unique skill sets. In organizations that value and leverage diversity, candidates feel more welcome and comfortable and are therefore less desirous of leaving. In addition to reduced costs, an organization that is competitive in its ability to retain talent also experiences reduced turnover hassle, reduced training time and therefore more productive time, increased overall productivity, better customer experience, knowledgeable company experts, and better morale.
As a Diversity and Inclusion trainer, I feel grateful that organizations are increasingly acknowledging this reality and make space for insightful conversations to take place on this issue. However, D&I training should never be about checking off the box and is also less effective when done in reaction to bad publicity or a law suit. D&I conversations are most impactful when engaged pro actively, and when diversity is leveraged as an asset rather than a liability to deal with. This year, the conference at @TiEsv @TiEcon #TiEcon2020 has a track dedicated to discussing diversity and inclusion in organizations. Registration is open at http://www.tie.org . Also here is a link http://bit.ly/38EWWAU to my diary and more of my thoughts on D&I and some advice to entrepreneurs.
Sharing the link to my interview with Executives Diary
Below are the questions that were asked and my answers are at the link above.
Please click on the link above so we get some views and do share your feedback on the interview and my responses.
PART 1 : LIFE AND EXPERIENCES
- Darshana, Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself? Some fun facts and anecdotes from your life.
- Where are you from originally? What are some of your favorite memories as a child?
- How do you maintain the balance between your professional and personal life?
- What do you do to relax? Any therapy you would like to share?
- They say that first impressions last and are made in the first few seconds of meeting someone. What personal attributes convey a positive first impression to you?
- Which people helped you to get where you are today and what did they do for you?
- Who or what inspires you?
- Often people find inspiration from great thinkers, writers and prolific people in history. What is your favorite quote and why is that quote noteworthy?
PART 2 : PROFESSIONAL CAREER
- Can you briefly share your professional journey?
- What is your current role in the industry, and what are you aiming for in the future?
- Did your career turn out just the way you wanted it to?
- What impact has your educational background had on your professional activities?
- Can you share some of the interesting projects you are working on these days?
- You have had a varied career to date. Explain some of your proudest achievements?
PART 3 : LEADERSHIP ADVICE
- What advice would you give to anyone seeking a career in your industry?
- What advice would you give newbie entrepreneurs about being successful?
- In your opinion, what is the essential personality trait to consider when hiring an executive-level employee?
- We are at the door of the 4th industrial revolution(4IR). Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Block chain Technology are thought to be the foremost pillars. How you foresee the future of your industry?
- What is your favorite book and can you explain what you like about it?
- What do you think about Executives Diary?
Response to Tom Friedman (NY Times) – We need outrage, No that is not going to get Trump re-elected.
This is in response to Thomas Friedman’s column “Trump’s Going to Get Re-elected, Isn’t He? Voters have reason to worry”, published on July 16, 2019 in New York Times. .With all due respect “Sir, you are wrong”. With your prescribed cerebral approach to keeping the eye on the prize to winning elections, asking for money when Trump tweets, IS NOT GOING TO HELP DEMOCRATS WIN, not to mention it further corrodes the moral soul of the country.
No, we are not seeking revolution AND yes, we want to beat Trump at the polls. But expressing immense OUTRAGE isn’t exactly revolution. IF we don’t express outrage and let it be our new normal, IF we don’t stand steadfast with our black and brown people and with LGBTQ and with women, then what sir are we going to be able to do for the country? IF a 3 year old Sophie is going to be given a choice between her two parents and we simply collect money to beat these people at the polls, than what about our moral soul, how is our party different from the other party?
But since you want to focus on practicalities and not sentimentalities, then let us do that for a moment. 1) Just as Donald Trump is energizing his base with his relentless racist and sexist tweets, there is a whole Democrat base looking to have their opposition to blatant racism and sexim channled though a leader who can take Trump on. Money is a natural outcome of an energized base. 2) How large is Trump’s base? For the most part, his approval has hovered around 44% and disapproval has hovered around 51%. Do you want to sacrifice or water down the 51% of those looking to beat Trump in order to win a few swing voters? Well sir, those swing voters are right now few or non-existent. People have made up their minds and his base may get more obstinate but will never grow. The country is divided into people who feel morally outraged and those who are enchanted by moral liquidation coming from the highest office in our country.
Right now, those of us who are outraged that such an individual who got there with outside help is allowed to use his office to incite racism and sexism, are banging our heads in frustration. No, perhaps #impeachment is not an answer because we need to go there only when we have certainty to win. But expressing our outrage in every other way, we ought to do; standing together with our citizens under attack, we ought to do. And even if we don’t take steps to impeach Trump, we need to get every one of his minions who have violated rules and regulations and hatch acts and plaster them all with criminal indictments. We need to blend our forward looking agenda about infrastructure, job creation, minimum pay raise, treating refugees with dignity, with hard issues of border protection, opioid flooding by big pharma and interference into our elections by foreign actors. These are not simple issues, but to win, we will need to balance complex issues with both firmness and humanity. No sir, don’t tell us that all we can do is send in money. All our frustrations cannot be culminated into sterile act of writing a check. We need outrage and a leader who will not stoop low to Trump’s level and yet will not balk at standing steadfast against everything wrong that is going on. Right now, we have 20+ awesome individuals who have taken on the challenge to beat Trump and as long as they are not afraid of taking on Trump and of being heard, we will win the election.
You are wrong, because sir, the way to beat Trump at polls is to not let him steal our voice.
World lost two leaders this month, in world’s two greatest democracies, India and the USA, and were fondly remembered in many tributes. RIP #JohnMcCain & RIP #AtalBihariVajpaiee . Regardless of the party and ideology, these conservative career politicians remind us that democracy rests on the shoulders of men and women who dedicate their lives for making a case for their principles and then accepting the verdict that comes from people and serving with grace, regardless of the outcome. These men sought to unite the people under their leadership, served with integrity, and chose to be guided by their conscience and tried to build bridges, when they could. Some highlights from the lives of these two men – specifically their centrist moves — something that is inevitable in a democracy and something we need an ardent reminder of, in these polarizing times.
Atal Bihari Vajpaiee: Under ABV, BJP moderated its extreme conservative Hindu nationalism. India conducted 5 nuclear tests during his time in office but Vajpaiee simultaneously softened hard stance towards Pakistan, inaugurated Delhi-Lahore bus service and in fact traveled to Lahore by bus and made a push for full scale diplomatic peace process. Unfortunately Pakistan’s incursion into India’s borders, into LOC (line of control), led to bloody Kargil war during his time. Pakistan was forced to withdraw, after suffering heavy losses. ABV took oath for the office of Prime Minister of India 3 times and served thrice in that capacity for varying lengths. Indian airlines flight was hijacked when he was PM. But the biggest political disaster hit his government in 2001 when there was destruction of Babri Mosque & VHP wanted to lay foundation for a temple at the site. Thousands gathered but it ended peacefully. In 2002 however, when Hindu pilgrims were killed in a train returning from protests in Ayodhya, the resulting anti-Muslim sentiments led to intense violence and deaths of thousands of Muslims and destruction of their homes and property, in the state of Gujarat. In his last years in the parliament, ABV made last efforts to achieve peace with Pakistan, he also visited China and China-India relations improved greatly. ABV’s government introduced many domestic and economic and infrastructural reforms to encourage foreign investments, reduce governmental waste and encourage R&D and privatization of government owned corporations and introduced efforts to improve quality of education. ABV was recipient of Bharat Ratna, India’s highest award for exceptional service.
John McCain: Although generally a conservative, McCain disagreed with his party, when guided by his conscience to do so. Most recent example was when he voted against the repeal of #Obamacare. He was a member of bipartisan “Gang of 14”. McCain made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns that eventually led to passing of the McCain–Feingold Act. McCain also chaired the Senate Commerce Committee and opposed pork barrel spending. McCain lost his party’s nomination for president once to George W. Bush and once he lost his bid for the highest office to Barack Obama. McCain invited both his previous opponents Bush and Obama to give eulogies at his funeral. That is a mark of a man who does not hold grudges and seeks to build bridges. When McCain served in the Vietnam war, he endured fractures and almost drowned and was then captured by the enemy in 1967. He was held by the enemy forces for over 5 years. When his father became commander of US forces, the enemy offered to release him but McCain refused saying “I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy”. As a prisoner, he endured severe solitary confinement, had dysentery, was repeatedly tortured, severely beaten (once on a schedule of every 2 hours), and planned to commit suicide when he reached his breaking point. McCain survived, became a vocal opponent of extreme torture, and later joined politics. McCain married his first wife Carol, adopted her two children and had a daughter. But after his return from Vietnam, both had changed, he had extra marital affairs for which he took full responsibility and later he and his wife amicably divorced and he married his second wife Cindy in 1981. Cindy and John had three children and later adopted a girl from Bangladesh and named her Bridget. McCain was recipient of several awards. McCain’s many contributions and his often choosing to be guided by his conscience rather than by party and politics were mentioned and remembered today by his many friends, as he was laid to rest.
Supreme Court of USA: #SCOTUS has final and ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and state courts. It is the final interpreter of federal law, including the US Constitution. While ruling may be only within the context of a case on which it is deliberating, court’s opinion may be broader. The justices’ ideological beliefs are of importance — But not more than their incredible smartness. Conservative justices like Kennedy have been known to rule liberally sometimes and vice versa. If you ever read the opinions of the court, they are fabulously interesting, incredibly detailed, and highly intelligent.
Until the strange era of Trump, I would not have worried so incredibly much (as if my life depended on it) about Kennedy’s retirement. But everything in life recently has come to be defined by BT (before Trump) and AT (after Trump) and we are living in a new era AT. Trump has uniquely marked his time in office with making zero attempt to unite the country, to expand his base or popularity, he has uniquely focused on dismantling or undermining almost every office of Government, he has engaged in openly inhumane actions, openly flaunted laws of the nation, has fought with every ally and has openly courted dictators and human rights violators, and he has an investigation going on regarding most significant national crime that he keeps threatening to close down. Good economy or not (remember sometimes economy impact of certain rulings and actions may be slow in coming), WE NEED OVERSIGHT. Also don’t forget the fact he laughed at the idea of getting more judges at the border to process cases faster – that is FLAUNTING OF DUE PROCESS. AND that thus far the candidates his administration has put forward for lower courts have been least vetted, least qualified and almost laughable in their ignorance.
This is a time for Americans to stand up and CONTACT THEIR REPRESENTATIVES to make sure that all nominations are pushed after November. If for no other reason than for the fact that THERE SHOULD BE TIME FOR THEM TO BE THOROUGHLY VETTED AND LATER FOR MORE BALANCED CONGRESS TO THOROUGHLY GRILL & QUESTION THEM. It is one thing to get someone in a hurry when other party’s hands are tied and get someone simply on ideological basis. But don’t forget this will get us stuck for generation or longer. Don’t forget that we have changed and grown in our perspectives and we may continue to grow and change in perspectives. A person who may be selected based on incredible smartness will have an ability to grow and change as circumstances and context changes. But someone lacking in smartness or not thoroughly vetted and having a flawed character or background may not have the smartness that sets a SCOTUS apart in every way from politicians who nominate them. Just imagine how will you feel if we are saddled with less than the best for years and years just because you did nothing when you could do something. Just imagine how you will feel when you will have grown in your perspectives and this Justice won’t have that capability for growth and capability to incorporate new perspectives? So please get fired up!
And now finally, read this court’s most recent opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts. It is sure to expand your mind – notice how incredibly beautifully it is written with due consideration for detailed history, incredible prose, and beautifully expressed philosophical argument – in simple words, asking people from refraining to engage in simplistic comparisons (for instance between Trump’s actions and Hitler’s). Whether you agree with his opinion or not, don’t fail to marvel at its beauty. Here is the very last line — and the piece is good till the last line — “A society that obliterates all nuance is bound to cheapen its history, and everyone else’s too”.
And then Please add your name to the petition below…..
I don’t want to single out our dedicated Dem leader who stirred up a controversy this week by asking people to “harass” the team working with the current administration. We are all filling her rage and sadness and any one of us might have said the same thing when witnessing little #ChildrenInCages . However, compared to us, far higher standards are expected of our leaders. It is completely ok for a leader to call us for civil disobedience and to show up and resist and march and speak up and protest. But let us not ask people to show up to single out administration team members on their private outings with their family members. Here are top 10 reasons why the strategy suggested by her is not the best one to adopt.
10: When they go low, we go high (this one is still a good one to follow but please note, from number 1 it has gone down all the way to number 10.
9: Civility discourse aside, Dems need to differentiate themselves in every conceivable manner from Trump, in order to make a solid case of defective #leadership (when the right time arrives). We must maintain the distinction.
8: Instead of keeping all energy focused on their scandals, this unnecessary moves the focus on #Dems. There are enough Trump scandals that we need to stay relentlessly focused on HIS scandals. Despite that our attention is slipping as he slips things under the radar. We must not make more opportunity available to him.
7: Democrat base is vastly different from Trump base. While Trump base thrives on his lies and potty mouth discourse, democrats do not appreciate it, leave alone thriving on it. Democrats are more likely to do fact checking, more open to contrary information, more willing to engage in dialog and more likely to call their leaders on uncivilized talk, unlike Trump base. So a Dem leader is unlikely to score high points for divisive stirring of the pot, like Trump does with his base.
6: Closely related to number eight, Dems don’t need controversy that divides them while so many critical races are going on, especially over non-substantive issues. We must not enable Trump to go higher in polls because we are getting divided over our leaders’ uncivil dialog, especially when all attention should be on Trump’s inhumane actions.
5: It is extremely tempting to give him a dose of his own medicine. But however tempting, we must not, because we will lose. ONLY TRUMP CAN DO TRUMP. Most other politicians just don’t have the capability for incessantly lying, name calling of opponents and riling up and dividing people. So why attempt something that is a forgone loser act for dems? (from article by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large).
4: There are far superior and memorable ways to point out Trump’s inhumane actions, and draconian policy of dividing young children from their parents at the border. Except for the recent snafu by Samantha Bee, the comedians (SNL, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Sam Bee, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah) have all done an awesome job of calling out Trump and have done so with amazing class and wit.
3: Trump is doing the lying and engaging in divisive rhetoric strategically and effectively (as per the standards of his base) because he is being exactly who he is. Ironically, Trump’s words and actions are authentic and reflect who he is as a person. He enjoys power for power’s sake, he marvels at the power of the dictators, and he understands that he can stay in double digits in power and polls only by keeping the population divided. We are understandably stupendously angry at his clear and open unwillingness to follow due process. We are understandably and heart-soakingly saddened at his inhumane treatment of migrant families at the border. But what we say in anger is a one time thing. We are patently unable to stay angry always or to stay sad always, whereas Trump will never tire of being self focused ALWAYS. Again it circles around to Trump being Trump.
However, in the event that we do manage to authentically and consistently give him a dose of his own medicine and in the event that we effectively manage to stoop to his level, then we still have a problem. Quoting from article by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, “Then there is the political argument: No one gets down in the mud with Trump and comes out clean. Or, in the words of George Bernard Shaw: “I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”
2: : Trump has lowered the civility discourse so dramatically and has polarized the country so much that merely to survive and protect their political careers, no GOP members are able to speak up against him. So now the #dems are not just the keepers of democracy, but also keepers of civility, truth, humanity, and integrity. Someone will have to hold that post with consistency, patience and persistence, no matter how tough the going gets.
1: Number ONE reason we may not want to stoop to Trump’s level is because we have to believe that though victory may be slow in coming, truth and integrity always wins. The last laugh will be enjoyed by integrity, unity and humanity. To be steadfast in that belief will require us to have tremendous courage to keep up resistance and even more patience to show up and yet resist the urge to get in the mud with him. As the cries of little sobbing children reverberate in our ears, we must know that we need to stand by them, not for a day, not for a week, but for a lifetime, for the harm that is being inflicted on their little impressionable minds. The same patience will be required of us to right the harm that Trump and his administration is doing to all the other groups among us, our kneeling athletes, LGBTQ, Muslims, Mexicans, Gold Star families, women who require full medical access and so on. This will have to be a long journey of patience and persistence and that is what we will also need from our #dems leaders.
In El Salvador, there are 60,000+ gang members and overall murder rate is among highest in the world. A gang set a bus on fire with people inside it. Latin America is home to just 8% of the world’s population but 33% of homicides. Just four countries in the region, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela account for a quarter of all the murders on earth. Of the 20 countries in the world with the highest murder rates, 17 are Latin American, as are 43 of the top 50 cities.
No Mr. Trump, Democrats did not ask for open borders. And no, the democrats did not ask for inhumane crackdown on people pouring in at our border. Any sensible people will avoid either extreme because effective solutions don’t always lie at either extremes. What democrats or any sensible person is saying or acknowledging is that border issue (like most governing issues) is a complex issue. It does not have one size fits all policy solution. It must include addressing broader issue of extreme violence and violence related economies in Latin America. Mr. pugnacious pusillanimous prevaricating potty-mouth putin-propped pointless placeholder #DonaldTrump, this issue like many issues cannot be solved by hiding into a box and building a wall around. Whether it is environment and climate change or refugee crisis, United States must have a seat at the table and take global #leadership in solving complex issues — exactly what #HillaryClinton would have done exactly what Obama administration had taken on.
Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are amongst the most dangerous countries in the world. If you live there and don’t even try to get out of there and make your way up North, then you are risking your life and your entire family’s life to be killed in gang violence. It is pure and simple human instinct to try to survive and to try to save one’s children. Additionally, the violence has impacted and permeated into all the surrounding countries in Latin America — all the way from Mexico to Argentina, including in Colombia, Guyana, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and so on.
No, it is not a solution to keep borders open. But democrats are suggesting that complexity of this problem be acknowledged with concrete actions for heart-centered, low and order compliant, compassionate, long term solutions. As Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security in Obama administration said on NPR, we will never be able to fully address illegal migration unless we address the underlying causes of illegal migration; the powerful, push factors that motivate a mother or a father to send their child on a most dangerous journey to United States in the first place. It is a desperate situation that is pushing people to resort to desperate measures. Only effective way to deal with the border crisis is by thinking long term with bipartisan support and begin to invest in the physical security and economic security of these countries.
United States is putting in staggering amounts of money into incarcerating asylum seeking immigrants and already spent stupendous amount in housing and caring for babies and infants. With a fraction of that cost and a heavy dose of compassion, we can begin to address this issue and engage in discussions with Latin American countries. US also has access to phenomenal high tech resources that can be put to use. US can take leadership and get all countries to engage and enhance inter-country cooperation to curb violence and curtail gangs.
If a presidential candidate does not address immigration situation with this kind of long term solution then we need to to be aware that everything else is rhetoric and they won’t work on this in a bipartisan manner which is the only way it can be solved.
It is about time to make sure that each and every single child is united with parents and all children are treated as children, not at criminals.
See links to
Nelda’s journey 1 – http://bit.ly/2ymlWQt
Nelda’s journey 2 – http://bit.ly/2M1Czmi
Nelda’s journey 3 – http://bit.ly/2KarjH1
Nelda’s journey 4 – http://bit.ly/2ywjfMb
Nelda’s mama is deported
Back to Venezuela
Nelda is with foster family
They’re caring and kind
At school Nelda learns
Days are full and fun
But nights bring terror
“Mama”, she sobs
Nights pour into days
Sleepless and scared
Nelda doesn’t care
I’m ok, she says
Nelda isn’t crying
Her tears have dried up
She’s ward in a system
And she’s quietly slipping
How to pick up pieces
When piece of your heart
Is across impenetrable border
Mi Vida, my life, in air, she says
And then HHS declares
Nelda is to be united
But tragedy has struck
Just before Nelda flies
Uncle gets hold of mama
Remember Nelda’s uncle? (see part 1 of her journey)
Mama is gang raped and killed
What is to become of Nelda?
If you have any difficulty imagining how incredibly dangerous the situation is in Latin America and how perilous the journey it is that people undertake so that they may live or what may happen to kids separated from their parents, then this Nelda’s story though fiction is what I have compiled from reading many actual stories and other reports.
Here are links to
Nelda’s journey 1: Live, I may – http://bit.ly/2ymlWQt
Nelda’s journey 2: I want to die – http://bit.ly/2M1Czmi
Nelda’s journey 3: Conversation with Nelda & her mama – http://bit.ly/2KarjH1
Q: But Nelda, your mama brought you to abuse our system
A: But my mama was trying to save my life
Q: We need zero tolerance to deter you from coming
A: When faced with a choice of running on the path or staying to die, people will always choose to walk on the path wherever it leads. To try to survive is a human instinct and has little to do with policies.
Q: You are coming in illegally.
A: No we are not. We came at the border and turned ourselves in and requested asylum.
Q: Why didn’t you go to port of entry.
A: My mama went 6 times to port of entry and they asked us to come another time. Time was running out on us.
Q: As a mother, I wouldn’t send my kids with coyotes thousands of miles away. Obviously your people don’t care right?
A: As a mother, if your only choice was to send your kid away, you would, any mother would; because a parent will want a child to survive above all else. And these are not my people. People are coming to US border from so many countries in Latin America with similar problems.
Q: But you people come here and take our jobs!
A: I can’t lie to you and say I am not going to work hard so my children have a better life. Anyway I heard that often there is worker shortage here and there are backbreaking jobs that few people want to do.
Q: We can’t keep taking you in. We have to build a wall and keep you out.
A: That is up to you and your conscience. But when experiencing violence and certainty of death, rape, kidnappings, people will walk on the path that is ahead; to where-ever it leads. When your house is on fire, you jump to the net below and you don’t ask will those people rob me, kidnap my child.
Now, can I ask you some questions.
Q: So you want to keep us out but didn’t you come to the US as an immigrant in 1984?
A: Yes, I did — legally.
Q: So why did you leave your country? Did you dream of a better life?
A: Yes, I went to school, got education and then I wanted more opportunities. My family wasn’t rich, I’ve worked hard to be where I am.
Q: And now you’re taking away jobs from others?
A: Yes, but I came here legally, so it’s a fair fight. I came on merit.
Q: So you already had a leg up with good education but you came to the land of opportunity because you wanted a better life? Our biggest fault was to be born in a wrong place.
A: ummm perhaps….
Q: Well….. Those of us coming from violence torn areas of Latin America don’t have a leg up with better education and we are not coming just for a better life. WE WANT A LIFE, before it is snatched away from us, we want to live. You don’t believe that if given a chance, we too may shine on our own merit?
A: We can’t give you a chance on that chance.
Q: I understand. But you are a keeper of world’s righteousness, human rights and all I am asking is please give us a chance to stay alive today and be together.
A: I am sorry mam, we have to enforce the laws.
Q: Please can you at least think about it?
A: We are just going to enforce the law. We’re going to detain 9 year old Nelda and mom is being deported right away.
Here is link to part 1 of nine year old Nelda’s journey – http://bit.ly/2ymlWQt
Here is link to part 2 of Neld’s journey – http://bit.ly/2M1Czmi
PS: It is understandable that no country can have completely open borders. Every country has first responsibility towards its own population. It is also common sense that increasingly we live in a global world and it is increasingly challenging to have impenetrable borders with walls. We need to enhance border security with effective, low cost but high tech 21st century tools. Appropriate strategy to enhance border security must also include 21st century tools with sensors, embedded technology and more so that in addition to enhancing border security, we’re prepared to manage the exodus in a humane way. Appropriate strategy must also include extremely sophisticated negotiations with use of carrots and sticks with neighboring countries to curb violence and drug cartels with enhanced use of high tech for inter country co-operation. To remove all compassion, resort to outdated and costly means of building walls, snatching kids away, adopting ruthlessness devoid of any humanity and not truly address the root causes of the problems are truly abominable and absolutely ineffective practices. These traumatized children can have lasting impact and society will be left to pick up the pieces from intense trauma created by ineffective practices.
Latin America has huge pockets of crime where gangs rule and they target women, children, security personnel, LGBTQ and other members more susceptible and weak. Police are often susceptible or suspect and people have little trust in law enforcement. Organized crime and related economies drive the surge and abatement in violence and form the root causes and concurrent abatement and surge of refugees at our borders and must be addressed. People do not put children in the hands of smugglers just for fun or because our policies admit them. The path to US border is extremely perilous. The ONLY REASON people send their children and/ or bring them here is because they are literally trying to save themselves and their children from turning up dead or worse. IT WOULD ALSO BE IN OUR BEST INTEREST TO ADHERE TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND TO LECTURE THESE COUNTRIES (AND USE REWARDS & PENALTIES) TO DO THE SAME. Granted, these are far more long term solutions, but we are not even considering them while we are brutally separating families.
Please please please listen to the voices of the children in this recording
I walked and walked and walked
Mama and I just kept walking
In daze. hungry, thirsty, sweaty
An exodus of people we joined
Neither welcoming nor it beckoned
The path just lay, uncompromising
Across mountains in Guatemala
I held on to mama, I was scared
Stopped at shelters, rode a bus
Rode atop freight train, the beast
Ferry ride in Mexico
I held onto mama’s hand just b’coz…
Some died, disappeared, killed
Blackmailed and some girls raped
Mama and I were going to survive
I was going to live, I was determined
Yes for ferry, mama paid!!!!
She left me with aunt Reda
Mama let them abuse only her
Made a deal and I was spared
Then it wasn’t alright, it happened
I was holding mama’s hand tight
But they pried it and took me away
For my mama, I shouted, I cried
And I just want to die
STAY TUNED FOR PART 3 OF NELDA’S JOURNEY in my next blog post. And here is link to part 1 where her journey began – http://bit.ly/2ymlWQt
PS: It is understandable that no country can have completely open borders. Every country has first responsibility towards its own population. It is also common sense that increasingly we live in a global world and it is increasingly challenging to have impenetrable borders with walls. Appropriate strategy to enhance border security must include 21st century tools with sensors, embedded technology and more. Appropriate strategy must also include extremely sophisticated negotiations with use of carrots and sticks with neighboring countries to curb violence and drug cartels with enhanced use of high tech for inter country co-operation. To remove all compassion, resort to outdated and costly means of building walls, snatching kids away, adopting ruthlessness devoid of any humanity and not truly address the root causes of the problems are truly abominable and absolutely ineffective practices. These traumatized children can have lasting impact and society will be left to pick up the pieces from intense trauma created by ineffective practices.
Latin America has huge pockets of crime where gangs rule and they target women, children, security personnel, LGBTQ and other members more susceptible and weak. Police are often susceptible or suspect and people have little trust in law enforcement. Organized crime and related economies drive the surge and abatement in violence and form the root causes and concurrent abatement and surge of refugees at our borders and must be addressed. People do not put children in the hands of smugglers just for fun or because our policies admit them. The path to US border is extremely perilous. The ONLY REASON people send their children and/ or bring them here is because they are literally trying to save themselves and their children from turning up dead or worse.
Please please please listen to the voices of the children in this recording