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…AND THEY LAUGHED AT HIM! – MY PRESIDENT

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

I watched as my president took the stage and looked so confident.  He looked as though he was ready, able and knew he would successfully take on and make an overwhelming speech for this crowd which was not his own, but he was the United States President.  He’d done this multiple times to thunderous applause and this would be no exception.  The smug look on his face; the arrogance of his stance; the assuredness of his expression said it all.

He started with how great he was as president of the United States.  He didn’t list his accomplishments he just said they were better than the accomplishments of any other administration in U. S. history.  …..And they laughed.

I didn’t laugh.  My mind went back to all I had witnessed of his accomplishments and how he has affected my life.

I went back to Charlottesville, VA and the neo-Nazi’s, the White Nationalists, the KKK and others coming down that mountain with tiki torches re-enacting Crystalnacht.  The people in that United Nations building knew all that.  Their countries had been negatively affected by the actual Crystalnacht and what happened after.  The United States came to the rescue of more than one of those countries when Hitler reduced them to violence, viciousness, and years of a horrible existence.

This U. S. President and my family are forever intertwined in my mind.  I remembered my grandmother while listening to the laughter. I never met her.  She was taken, before I was born, to one of Hitler’s Concentration Camps where she worked under extreme conditions and finally was killed in the most barbarous way with her body thrown into a ditch so we have no grave nor gravestone for her.  I can only keep her alive in my mind with imaginary conversations I wish we had been able to have over the years.  And today I am standing, listening to  this U. S. President, who called the people, really good people, who re-enacted Crystalnacht, all of those neo-Nazi’s, White Nationalists and others, who acted violently against those who protested against that for which they stood.   This president in front of all of these world wide diplomats talked and they laughed at him.

This U. S. President went on talking and expounded the Nazi doctrine adapted for the United States called “America First”.  A movement initiated by the neo-Nazi’s and fairly successful in America.  A movement started in small ‘cell’ groups to get this doctrine accepted across the United States as one stage in their plan to bring back Hitler’s Germany, reincarnated in the United States.  This president talked positively about that America First campaign and they laughed.

I thought of all the pain and suffering of the little children in these United States, who had experienced some awful things in their own countries which made them and their parents flee.  After months of experiencing everything new and negative as they traveled to reach the safety of the United States arrived to what they had never been able to conceive nor thought possible – being taken away from their parents – their safe harbor – and put into American Concentration Camps so their parents, legitimately or not, could be prosecuted and ejected from the country to which they came seeking refuge.

I heard again, in my mind, people talking about these Concentration Camps for children as though they were summer camp – as though they were private school equivalents – and I watched in my mind all of those children suffering the pain of separation from parents who promised them safety and couldn’t produce it for them because of this U. S. President and his administration. And the background for my memories was the laughter.

Listening to that laughter, I thought and saw again the image of this president selling out the security forces of  the United States while speaking on a platform in Helsinki making clear statements that he trusted Vladimir Putin and Russia, but not the FBI – the CIA – the National Security forces of the government which he was standing there representing as its president.

Having been a victim of sexual assault I stood there remembering how awful that was and remembering the  19 plus women who made even worse charges against this president and in spite of that he was still elected – by who?  Who could be so callous, so cold, so unbelievably vicious as to push forth such a person as leader of America?  And here we were as I listened to the laughter and thought of my pain and the pain of so many other women.

I see an America where a president who has bragged about sexually assaulting women as though he had reached some great level of achievement appointing others to top positions who have done the same thing and turning over to them different parts of the governing of the United States.  I thought of William Shine – a man this president appointed after he knew of the substantial way Mr. Shine supported Roger Ailes, president of Fox, throughout Mr. Ailes sexual assault against many women trying to make a living inside and outside of Fox television.  By this time I was standing there shaking because the realization hit that Mr. Shine was only one of many such sexual predators and enablers of sexual predators with whom this president associated, had as his close friends and who he appointed to serve in this United States Government.  And through those thoughts came the laughter.

So many sexual assaulters in high places and now possibly another being elevated to become the second such person on the United States Supreme Court.  This time, a man accused of sexual assault who claimed, as his defense, that he really did not engage in sex with anyone throughout high school and many years thereafter, didn’t drink and worked very hard at his studies.  It is too much to comprehend.  My mind is totally blown that this is how low we have been brought and still they were laughing.

So much more of this ugliness has happened during this President and his family’s ‘reign’ over these United States, but my mind can’t comprehend anymore.  My reaction to the U. S. President and the comments he made as an introduction to and throughout his talk at the United Nations was to walk out.  Why are they still sitting and laughing and not walking out with me, beside me, for me, around me?

And as I reached the door I could hear the laughter still ringing in my ears.

Will we ever………………

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On the Issue of Immigrants and Refugees

Friday, January 27th, 2017

by: Marceline Donaldson

WHERE DO WE STAND AS AMERICANS ON THE ISSUE OF IMMIGRANTS?

The United States of America has a rich and long history, which started long before Donald Trump and will continue long after he is gone.

Where do we stand on immigrants? This has been documented historically for generations and we have a beautiful statue on its own island as a symbol to make sure our next generations and those looking to us for leadership around the world understand where we have come from traditionally, historically and out of the very soul of this nation, which is made up of immigrants and where we will be solidly for a very long time.

A poem, written by Emma Lazarus and cut into the stone of the gift from France – meant to be a beacon to Exiles from all over the world – says exactly where Americans have been for a few hundred years. This is not the first time I have quoted this poem on this blog.  Hope it becomes meaningful to you – as it has been to generations of Americans and Immigrants coming to this country.  Many I have met can quote this poem from memory.

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Not Donald Trump, nor anyone else can erase the history of the United States with its continuing stance on immigrants no matter how hard they try. We need to come to our senses and look at our history and respect where we have been – who we are – and where we are going.

Neither Donald Trump, nor his wife, nor any members of his family would be in this country if we did not have the above stance on immigration and immigrants. This was not written for the immigration to the United States of Northern Europeans – it was written to and about the world and to and about who we all are.

Me and mine have been in this country over 5 generations and we are not going anywhere. Some of my ancestors were here before the Pilgrims and the Puritans.  Some of my ancestors were brought here against their will.  Some came as immigrants either because of the possibility of wealth and they wanted to increase wealth they already had; or because they wanted to escape oppression.  Some didn’t come at all, but became United States citizens when the borders were redrawn and their plantation was deemed no longer in Mexico, but in America and they were thrown off their own land and put in the street.  So, no – I am not going anyplace and I know that my family is very much a part of the fabric of America – the good, the bad and the indifferent.

I did think briefly of updating my passport and leaving before all hell breaks loose. However, this is my country and the Donald J. Trump’s are the newcomers and the nouveau riche. Their history is short and littered with commercial moments trying to take money and material goods from the rest of us without paying, without earning what they have taken, without any regard for the humanity or the human rights or the Constitution of these United States. It is time for them and theirs to leave and be blocked from arriving – not for them to be able to go against those who have always been Americans – always respected the Constitution – always have given and shared and helped those trying to make a better life in these United States – legal or otherwise – trying to respond, as best they could as they were caught in the horribleness of where they called home.

May God forgive him and all the rest who are following him for the way they have lived and contributed to the pain and suffering of those whose lives they have touched, changed and made excruciatingly difficult just because they could.

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