“When you have a voice, you also have a moral obligation to use that voice for good.”
Between May 5 and June 8, more than 2,300 children were taken from their parents at the discretion of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.
Our individual and collective conscience as Americans, as human beings, tells us the Trump Administration’s aggressive separation of asylum-seeking parents from their children is xenophobic, deplorable, ungodly, unjust and unforgiveable, and certainly—not surprising.
Nothing this administration does should surprise us anymore. This latest affront to the nation’s sense of common decency is just one more insult in a long list of insults rooted in racist ideology. Whether it’s the Muslim ban, sympathetic validation of white nationalist in Charlottesville, his attack on DACA, disregard for the suffering of fellow Americans in Puerto Rico or separating asylum seeking parents from their children and then locking those children in cages—the president appears willing to do or say anything to appease the racist fantasies of his supporters.
President Trump and his team lie unabashedly and repeatedly about the motivation for his actions even when most of the nation knows they are lying and even when the written, audio and/or visual records readily show the lies.
The nation has watched Trump’s relentless and fascist-like attacks on the media. We have tolerated his thinly-veiled insults that have moved far beyond dog whistles to outright racism. We have seen him bash western allies and heap praise on murderous and despotic dictators. Now, we are forced to bear witness as the president and his team put children in cages. It seems with this administration, nothing is out of bounds.
I want to raise my voice and shout, “This is not America!” But, I am a student of history and so sadly, I know he is only acting in alignment with the very worst of our historical past.
The current crisis of asylum seeking parents and their children being treated dispassionately by the American government is just one more indication of the kind of man this country elected in 2016 to lead it. It has been a year and a half since Trump took power and many like myself, may believe the November 2018 election cannot come soon enough. In November, voters will have an opportunity to put a check on this president’s power by electing to give control of congress to the opposing party.
In the meantime, each of us must choose whether we will remain as silent frogs in a pot of water that is slowly reaching a boiling point or decide we have had enough and between now and November, choose to do what can be done to limit the president’s impact on democracy and the rule of law. I encourage you to make a phone call, write a letter, attend a protest, donate to an organization that supports your interest, volunteer on a campaign and/or support someone in need.
We the people have the power to make a difference and I believe we have the will—it is true we cannot change the past, but we can help shape the future.
This is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.
Note: It is my hope that by the time this piece is published on Thursday, June 21. the policy of separating children from their asylum-seeking parents has ended.