• author
    • Terri Connett

      Columnist
    • June 20, 2018 in Columnists

    The moral issue of our time

    Last month I was in one of my favorite places (a farmers market in Phoenix) with one of my favorite people (my sister, Jeannie). Just before exiting a large booth full of fresh local produce, we decided to put our bags down and take a quick inventory. While sampling the sweetest strawberries ever, I heard a child crying nearby. I didn’t think twice about it. It was 100 degrees and the market was crowded. Not a fun place for a cranky toddler.

    But the cries suddenly turned to a desperate call for help.

    “Where. Is. My. MOMMY?” screamed the child.

    In that moment, all of us in close proximity to the boy turned to him in strange unison, like we were in a very sad flash mob performance at a mall.

    There he was, all alone, about three years old, his little red face drenched in tears with a look of panic in his eyes I still can’t get out of my head.

    Just as my sister and I, along with the rest of the market-goers, moved forward to comfort him, someone from behind me pushed through towards the wailing lost boy.

    I’m guessing this was his sister. She was 10 or 12. She didn’t say a word. Nobody did. She swooped the little guy up into her arms. He put his head on her shoulder and switched over to quiet sobs. Sister Soldier rushed the boy out of the booth. And it was over.

    Jeannie and I were both shaken and stirred. We gathered our bags, without any thought of continued shopping, and discussed what happened and how we wished we would have noticed his situation before he went into his traumatic meltdown.

    I’ve always been a sensitive person, so that little guy’s screams and look of horror stayed with me a while. But with time, it thankfully disappeared.

    Until now.

    The horrific images of terrified children and the audio of their crying is unavoidable. Thanks to our shameless, soulless American President who implemented a “Zero Tolerance” policy at our southern border separating children from their parents.

    Central American families seeking asylum from horrific violence in countries like Guatemala and El Salvador have struggled and sacrificed everything to end up in another kind of hell. Over 2300 babies, toddlers, children and teens have been taken from their parents.

    Furthermore, the administration is housing these minors by gender, so brothers and sisters have been split up too. And as of this writing, we only know where the boys are. Not since those Boko Horam monsters back in 2014 have we had to ask “where are the girls?”

    And what about the babies? Oh right, they’re in Tender Age Shelters. A term we’ve never heard before but sounds so gentle it almost makes you forget they’re putting babies in jail.

    Almost.

    Why is the administration keeping the press and their cameras out of these child detention centers? Why are we hearing their desperate cries only from the smuggled cell phones of care workers? Why are U.S. Congress members refused access?

    This is/was America for crying out loud!

    Trump’s incessant suppression of the free press would make new BFF, Kim Jong Un, so very proud. As well as the bunch of lying sycophants Trump has surrounded himself with:

    Attorney General and full-time racist, Jeff Sessions quoted the bible to support the law and blamed the parents for putting their children in the situation. Sessions doesn’t understand his zero-tolerance policy is a policy, not law. And someone a bit closer to the Bible, Pope Francis, called the separations “immoral” and “contrary to Catholic values.”

    Counselor to the President and full-time liar, KellyAnne Conway said that many of the immigrants are human traffickers and not really families. She also threw in a shout-out to the right to life crowd by saying sure, nobody wants to see babies ripped from their mothers’ arms . . . or ripped from the womb for that matter. Studies show only one percent of those “parents” are bad guys and not the legal guardians. And stay on topic, stupid!

    Secretary of Homeland Security and unapologetic truth denier, Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.” Um, that’s what this whole thing is about, stupider!

    Senior Advisor and part-time vampire, Steven Miller, said the American people are going to side with the party that wants to secure the border by a ratio of 90 to 10. Trump caved and signed an executive order reversing the policy due to growing criticism from his own party.

    Yes, Trump crumbled under pressure, and after saying only Congress could fix this, he signed a half-baked executive order to temporarily halt the family separation that he, alone, initiated. But it’s not clear what happens to the 2300+ children and babies already torn from their parents.

    I have absolutely no faith they will all be reunited. None.

    And who’s going to help those children cope with the trauma the U.S. government unnecessarily inflicted on them? Remember that little boy at the Arizona farmers market? His dilemma lasted only a few minutes and I’ll bet he’s still dealing with separation anxiety when his mother leaves his sight.

    No, Trump does not get points for reversing his horrific policy. You can’t throw me overboard and then want a gold star for tossing me a life preserver.

    Democrats, Independents and woke old-school Republicans must never let this cruel, crushing, UN-American disaster die. It’s all up to us. Trump’s base is never going to see the truth and will burn in hell alongside their Führer. Changing their minds is a lost cause.

    Robert Mueller’s findings will be epic. But Trump has preemptively branded them “fake news.”

    So let’s move on.

    The Democratic platform must include: racial equality, universal health care, environmental protection and our return to the Paris Climate Accord, income equality and a living wage, women’s reproductive rights, LGBT rights, gun control, the end of voter suppression, fair taxes, fair trade, free college, support for the free press, and re-joining the Iran deal.

    And if none of that tickles your pickle, the aftermath of Trump’s vile and inhumane treatment of those 2300+ children, babies, and their parents will certainly not be resolved by the November elections.

    Remember, the Russians still have all the tools they had in 2016 to muck everything up. Not to mention their biggest tool, President Heartless J. Trump.

    We have to be smarter this time. We’ve got the numbers. And we must do everything we can to get out the vote.

    Blue wave?

    If we lose and Trump is fortified, that’ll just be us kissing our butts goodbye.

     

     

    (photograph by John Moore of Getty Images)


      • Carolyn Wyler

      • June 20, 2018 at 11:26 pm
      • Reply

      Great column Terri. Just a little over 4 months away. God, I hope we can stop this madman.


        • Terri Connett

        • June 21, 2018 at 6:39 am
        • Reply

        Thank you, Carolyn. And I hate to think what happens if we don’t! 🙁


      • Maya Spier Stiles North

      • June 21, 2018 at 4:34 am
      • Reply

      As a mother, Nana and human, this makes me completely deranged. Not only do we have to take back the government, we need to punt 95% of the Republican party. They’re monsters, corporatocrats, kleptocrats and idiocrats — all rolled into one putrid package. I left home with almost no assumptions. Observation has formed my convictions that these are the most selfish, sociopathic, uneducated and honestly STUPID people I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet. Even my one friend who is staggeringly brilliant willfully drinks this koolaid. How often have I asked her what she would do if she was in the same situation as the refugees and all I get is some defense of this horror based on Fox Noise and other conservative Russian troll sites. Humans really are the best and worst a species can be.


      • Terri Connett

      • June 21, 2018 at 6:42 am
      • Reply

      As always, I love your words! Yes, I say we leave all the koolaid drinkers alone. I have some in my immediate and distant family. We have to put our energy where we can make a difference.


      • Debra DeAngelo

      • June 26, 2018 at 2:31 pm
      • Reply

      If these were white children…. it wouldn’t be happening at ALL.
      It is child abuse, and it is racism, and it is DISGUSTING!!!!
      What on earth have we become?


        • Maya Spier Stiles North

        • June 27, 2018 at 11:05 pm
        • Reply

        We are becoming the America envisioned by 45 and his base — haters, racists misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes — you name it. That and isolationists and they’re doing their best to ensure that by alienating every ally we ever had.

        Wasn’t it Nostradamus who said that stupid people would elect a monstrous leader who promised to solve everything but in fact was the antichrist who destablized the middle east and brought the whole world crashing down? They claim the time for his prophecies is past, but I think he miscalculated and it’s happening now because that bloody orange shite matches on all fronts.



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