Necessarily indelible.

    June 27, 2019

    “The power in this image speaks to the current reality in the U.S. and around the world of the plight of immigrants,” said the Rev. Kenny Irby, an independent visual consultant with more than 40 years of experience in journalism and education. “It’s an authentic truth that needs to be part of the narrative.” -NPR/Emily Bogle

    ‘Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, frustrated because the family from El Salvador was unable to present themselves to U.S. authorities and request asylum, swam across the river on Sunday with his daughter, Valeria.

    He set her on the U.S. bank of the river in Brownsville, Texas, and started back for his wife in Matamoros, Mexico. But seeing him move away, the girl threw herself into the waters. Martínez returned and was able to grab Valeria, but the current swept them both away.’

    Tragically, necessarily, indelible.

    In memoriam. Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and Valeria.

    ‘Your sweet memory comes on the evening wind
    I sleep and dream of holding you in my arms again
    The lights of Brownsville, across the river shine
    A shout rings out and into the silty red river I dive
    Meet me on the Matamoros
    Meet me on the Matamoros
    Meet me on the Matamoros banks’

    by Kelly McBride/Ethics & Trust

    The shocking image joins a small portfolio of iconic photographs that magnify the suffering of children caught in geopolitical chaos, including Kevin Carter’s 1993 picture of a starving Sudanese child collapsed outside a feeding center during a widespread famine, Nick Ut’s 1972 picture of a naked girl burned by napalm in Vietnam, and Nilufer Demir’s 2015 picture of 4-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi washed ashore in Turkey. 

    These photographs have the power to galvanize the public, much the way that David Jackson’s picture of Emmett Till’s open casket did in 1955.

    No matter what your political views on immigration are, the fact that so many children are suffering because of decisions made by the U.S. government is something every American should take note of. 


    The Story Behind That Photo Of A Father And Daughter On The Banks Of The Rio Grande

    ‘NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks with Associated Press reporter Christopher Sherman about the Salvadoran family who lost their lives trying to cross the Rio Grande.’

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