Books Not Buoys

In violation of federal law, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has installed a set of interlocking buoys on the Rio Grande to block migrants from swimming across the border. This follows the installation of razor wire along the shore (some of it hidden underneath the water) in the governor’s “hold the line” operation.

In this New York Times article, you can read what is happening to migrants’ bodies (and minds) when they confront these perilous barriers at the end of their journey.

A State Trooper medic who treated a pregnant woman entangled in razor wire said, “I believe we have stepped over the line into the inhumane.”

In every other context, buoys help ships (and the humans they carry) navigate the waters. Whether working or playing on the open water, the bobbing markers allow us to journey safely and navigate our way home.

Operating just a few blocks from a buoy-dotted harbor, I’m Your Neighbor Books works to create a sense of home for migrants and the generations that follow them.

From gifting books to immigrant families upon arrival to building Immigrant and New Generation book collections in schools and libraries, we are supporting Belonging. A true sense of belonging in America happens when the full community honors not only who you are, but where you came from.

Those book collections are also ultimately for the men laying razor wire and buoys as well. These are men that value the sanctity of a border over the sanctity of a fellow human being. If we can reach these men or the children that will become them with Story, maybe they will not step “over the line into the inhumane.”

Books against buoys.

Books against razor wire.

It somehow feels like a game of Rock Paper Scissors.

Paper seems so tenuous in that game of blunter objects.

But, perhaps, Paper imbued with Story can be a win for all of us.

Thank you for all you do to support our work.

—Kirsten Cappy, Executive Director



Photo by Jerry Lara for the San Antonio Express-News