Monday, June 18, 2018

Save the Children, Save Ourselves.

The other day, the little Israeli glass spoon-rest that has been a constant presence in my kitchen for almost 40 years, took a flying header off the counter, sailed gracefully through the air and hit the cold, stone floor. I was not exactly Melissa Hayden as I leapt to catch it. As you can see, I missed.

The little spoon-rest, that last thing I put away at Pesach and that first thing to emerge, was given to me by a friend who had stood by my side at my wedding. We had, years ago, drifted apart, but I was compelled to reach out to her (via Facebook Messenger, of course) to tell her what happened. She responded kindly and that was that. Not that I expected anything more, but I just wanted her to know how precious the little glass dish was, and how I missed it already.

At just about the same time, We, the People of the World began to learn the saga of the children. Not in Germany. Not in Yemen. Not in Afghanistan. In this country. With mounting horror I read reports, saw video, and listened to sound clips. This is Germany in the 1930s unfurling before our eyes. 

And as I watched, I came to understand my little glass dish so dear to me was just stuff, and as much as I loved it, it's not alive and it felt no pain when it hit the floor. Not like kids being torn away from their parents' arms to be left in a sterile facility where the staff has been instructed not to comfort small children all alone. 
But the first child who caught the prominent pediatrician’s attention during a recent visit was anything but happy. Inside a room dedicated to toddlers was a little girl no older than 2, screaming and pounding her fists on a mat. One woman tried to give her toys and books to calm her down, but even that shelter worker seemed frustrated, Kraft told The Washington Post, because as much as she wanted to console the little girl, she couldn’t touch, hold or pick her up to let her know everything would be all right. That was the rule, Kraft said she was told: They’re not allowed to touch the children.                                                                                                   The Washington Post
I would love to say this is not who we are, but that wouldn't be true. America has a long, ugly history of dividing families. Slave-owners sold slave-children like animals, taking them away from their parents and families to toil under someone else's lash. The American government forced thousands of Indigenous children to attend "boarding schools" where their language and culture were beaten out of them. The American government rounded up Japanese American citizens for detention camps in the middle of the desert because they were of Japanese descent. The American government turned away thousands of Jews, many of whom had family and waiting sponsors in the United States leaving them to certain death in Europe because they were Jews. And let's not forget the Vietnamese, the Iraqis, the Syrians, and the Afghans left behind because the US did not keep its promise to protect those who aided our troops in wartime.

The difference at this moment is that a large swath of We, the People are rising up in anger over the inhuman treatment of human beings at the border. And for once, the president of the United States is being called out as a liar by politicians, journalists, and his own party. His blaming of the Democrats for his policies has started a furor we can only hope continues. For those of you who think anyone other than the president instigated this policy, here's a link that explains the laws as they were passed by Congress in great detail: SNOPES: Was the ‘Law to Separate Families’ Passed in 1997 or ‘by Democrats’?

In other words, it was not and the lie is getting bigger and bigger. 

Y'know, if I were a writer like Dan Brown, owner of the oft-believed Priory of Scion nonsense, I would be watching this stuff like a hawk. The bullshit is flying so fast and so furiously that it's getting more and more difficult to laser in on a single crazy notion. This is spectacularly speculative and the stuff of political thrillers...only this stuff is really happening.

Let's see: in less than a month of Sundays, our president has managed to 
  1. piss off the G-7, 
  2. embrace a ruthless dictator with lavish praise and generous friendship gestures while signing a deal with nothing in it, 
  3. turn that stalwart fantasy of good ol' Republican family values into a rational for child abuse,
  4. announce he wants We, the People to sit up and pay attention like the North Koreans do for Lil' Kim,
  5. establish a new military construct called Space Force that probably has a Space Academy full of Space Cadets. 

What if one of these things was not like the others? Which one? Which one? Which is the real deal, and which are the red herrings? Maybe #4 is the big clue? Maybe the baseline truth is that this guys really does expect to be president for life? What if this guy, together with his cabinet of thieving miscreants, is really setting the stage to wrest power from Congress? It's not that far-fetched any more. He discredits the press, the judiciary, the House and the Senate...even though the GOP controls both...and our long time allies. The bigger the lie, the more it's repeated....Great set-up. 

This isn't fiction, folks, and We, the People, don't have time to wait for the film version's big reveal. 

Texas detention center - 17JUN2018
At this moment, we have one, single fulcrum we can use to dislodge this stone-brain from our civic sandal: the children. 

The Children of Detention are poised to be the rallying cry that makes or breaks this government. If we are not holding the feet of Trump, the enablers Sessions and Nielsen, and the propaganda flacks Huckabee-Sanders and Conway to the fires of responsibility for this heinous crime against humanity, we are aiding and abetting war criminals. If we do not stand united against these so-called family values, we are no better than any other totalitarian/authoritarian regime that engages in wholesale detention.

It may be about illegal immigration right now, but ask any Hispanic-American citizen what he/she thinks. There are blueprints for detention camps in the archives. How long until Manzanar and Gila River are rebuilt?

Maybe a better question is: how long, GOP friends, are you going to be okay with these policies?


The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

Quickly divest yourself of the notion that we're better than that or not like that. 
We are exactly like that.

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