Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Child Crying In The Night

From The Washington Post (via MSN):

A pediatrician visited a children's shelter in Texas full of children taken from their parents at the border:
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 two, 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.
Stop and think. They're not allowed to touch the children. Babies left to cry with no comfort. Quote from the article, "America is better than this": What a doctor saw in a shelter for migrant children
 A Child Crying in the Night
(words and Families Belong Together Protest photos by C.A.Matthews) 

I know I don't have to paint the picture for you moms and dads out there... You know all about the sheer exhaustion of being awakened by a child crying in the middle of the night because of an earache, a toothache or other illness. You swear and sigh, and you say things like, "Never again! I want to sleep! Why did I ever think having a baby was a good thing?"

But, if someone would come to you at that very moment and say, "I'm taking your child away from you, and I don't care about your family's safety or your child's happiness," would you take back those words you spoke in sleep-deprived haste? Could you live with yourself if you were forced to hand your child over at gunpoint?

These are the feelings flooding my heart whenever I look at the photo of the

little girl crying beside the ICE vehicle. I had two little girls once, long ago and far away, and I would have done anything to protect them and keep them away from strangers who could possibly hurt or harm them (even if these strangers say they won't). I'm their mother, and I'm responsible for their safety and care. Why wouldn't I want to keep them beside me at all times? Why wouldn't I want to keep them safe and happy?

Human beings generally want to stay in their hometowns and home countries. They leave when they are forced to do so by dire circumstances and only then. If the circumstances are dire and deadly, why wouldn't they bring their children with them as they journey toward what they hope is a better life?

These human beings escaping death and hardship are not criminals. I hope it

goes without saying that their children are also not criminals. What "crime" would you charge the crying toddler in the top photograph with? Is she guilty of the "crime" of being brown, poor, or the wrong nationality?

That's why I will no longer tolerate anyone saying that these families "deserve" to be broken up, and their children "deserve" to be taken away from them and used as slave labor on farms or sold into sex trafficking or packed into an old Walmart building like dogs in a kennel. No family deserves to have their children locked in cages by anyone. It doesn't matter to me if these government officials who make these judgments without due process of law call themselves "Democrat" or  "Republican" or  "Nazi." These children don't deserve to be stuck in a concentration camp in the middle of the desert outside of El Paso in summer.  (Former First Lady Laura Bush agrees with me, too.)

I lived in West Texas for fifteen years. You do not want anyone--especially vulnerable children--being housed outside in that intense heat. We had temperatures of 122 degrees Fahrenheit in July. The heat was oppressive inside an air conditioned building. Can you imagine what it would be like inside of a tent? What will our government tell these families when they finally get a chance to ask what has happened to their children?

I have a sinking feeling our government's reply will be along these lines:

"Sorry, but your child died of heat stroke in our custody. Too bad. You shouldn't have been born brown and poor in a country where people threatened your lives. You shouldn't have tried to escape that awful life and attempted to build a new one in a new place. Have a nice day."

This week, the Poor People's Campaign's rally theme at your statehouse is Challenging Our Nation's  Distorted Moral Narrative. Ripping babies from their mother's arms--you can't get much more distorted or immoral than that, can you?

On June 23, the Poor People's Campaign will have its final big event at the National Mall in Washington DC. It's a culmination of these past six weeks of PPC rallies and events that focused on the poor, the homeless, our veterans, women and children, the disabled, the elderly,  immigrants and refugees among other peoples and issues. What better way to express our disgust and horror at our current immigration policy than by rallying in great numbers and protesting loudly that we refuse to become a 21st century Nazi Germany?

We hope to see you there.

 Check out these related stories:

An example of our distorted moral narrative--and this title is not a joke like "Three men walk into a bar," either.

An Abuser, a Brothel Owner and a Supporter of Confederate Symbols All Won Primaries Tuesday:

The cruelty of separating immigrant families reaches an all-time low.

The Government Allegedly Ripped a Baby Away From Her Mother While She Was Breastfeeding:

Trauma at the Texas-Mexico Border: Families Separated, Children Detained and Residents Fighting Back: https://youtu.be/wrEAyne41iA

Federal judge tells distraught mother he doesn't know where her child is:

Watch and see how they're treating asylum seekers these days at the US border. We're breaking our own laws!
P.S. For those who wonder why I'm not bashing Trump by name:
This sort of travesty didn't start yesterday--it's been going on for years. You may recall only a few years ago that we had a Secretary of State who deported children seeking asylum from Honduras because of the hit squads and violence there. These children were sent back to be killed during the Obama Administration under the direction of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The writ of habeas corpus, which means a person can be thrown into jail without charges and held indefinitely,
was suspended under the Obama Administration as well.

So, we can't keep making excuses and blaming "one party over the other." Both establishment parties (or are they really one party?) are bought and sold by the mega-wealthy. (They make deals with for-profit private detention centers to house immigrants. No profits if they don't fill them up!) They have become the unified party of greed, war, and oppression. It even extends beyond our borders. Have you heard about the genocide happening in Yemen? (Probably not if you watch only mainstream media.) What was the name of the president who first helped Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen? It started before Trump, so please don't tell me how the other "side" of the establishment is better than the current "side" in office. They are essentially the same and act similarly. They build upon each other's evil.

Americans need to wake up and stop financing the corrupt establishment. They need to kick out both "sides" of the status quo and replace these corporate-owned groups with people who care about us ordinary people. I suggest you vote for people, planet and peace over profit. Support your local and national Green Party , the only major party that does not accept corporate money or have super PACs. Greens are ordinary folk like you running for office--not billionaires trying to further line their pockets and discriminate against the poor and downtrodden. Greens know what it means to struggle, and they know we ordinary people need honest representation to be heard.

Challenging the Nation’s Distorted Moral Narrative -- a New and Unsettling Force (The Week of June 18th Poor People's Campaign theme). https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/
If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his landmark speech at New York City's Riverside Church in 1967
Check out this following story and video on the Poor People's Campaign action in Washington DC. A group of homeless walked from Philadelphia to DC to set up Resurrection City II, a re-enactment of the first Resurrection City from 50 years ago.


From Movement for a People's Party:

The Poor People’s Campaign began in 1968 with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a call for economic justice for America’s poor.

Five weeks ago, the reignited Poor People’s Campaign launched a national call for moral revival in the most expansive wave of nonviolent civil disobedience in U.S. history with thousands of poor people, clergy and advocates demanding policies that lift up the poor in this country. Every week hundreds of people have been arrested in state capitals from coast to coast, including Nick.

We officially partnered with the PPC on the Forty Days of Moral Action, which are coming to a close with the Rally to Fight Poverty Not the Poor on June 23 on the National Mall in Washington DC. So many of you have sent in photos, written to us and come on our monthly national call to share your profoundly moving personal experiences from the campaign. You have joined with over 30,000 people in this important endeavor for which the Forty Days is just the first phase.

Our political leaders are trying to keep us quiet because they don’t want anything to change. But they can’t keep us quiet anymore. On Saturday, June 23, the PPC is busing people into Washington, D.C. for a massive rally on the National Mall, and we need you to be there. 

Rally to Fight Poverty Not the Poor
Saturday, June 23
10 am - 2 pm EST
Washington D.C.
National Mall by Jefferson Dr. and 7th St. SW

Nick and many other members of our MPP family are coming. Click here to RSVP for an MPP get together right before the rally. We'll have swag for everyone! Because a Poor People's Campaign needs a People's Party.

The rally will feature music, speeches and next steps by PPC Co-Chairs the Revs. Dr. William Barber and Dr. Liz Theoharis. People are ridesharing to D.C., buying train tickets and getting on free buses organized by activist groups across the country to pack the Mall and demonstrate unprecedented grassroots strength. Register here if you can provide transportation by bus, van or carpool.

If you went to a Poor People’s Campaign action in your state, MPP and the PPC want to hear about it. Please write a short one or two-paragraph testimonial about your experience and why the Poor People’s Campaign resonates with you. Send your testimonial and photos as a reply to this email or to Organize@ForAPeoplesParty.org. We’ll share your story on social media ahead of the final rally and the PCC may email it to all of their supporters.

It’s been 50 years, and there are 60 percent more people living under the poverty line than in 1968, the Voting Rights Act has been dismantled, and children in our poorest cities drink lead with their water. This is our last chance to act. We need you to show up and let politicians know there are consequences to undermining access to the ballot box, destroying healthcare and the social safety net, and slashing wages.

In Solidarity,

Carol Ehrle
Political Director
Movement for a People’s Party 

From National Resources Defense Council:

We're at a critical moment in our fight to stop the climate-wrecking Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Trump's State Department, which must review the pipeline because it crosses the international border with Canada, is inviting public comments on its plan until June 25. So, we must flood the agency with tens of thousands of letters of opposition.

Submit your public comment before June 25 and tell the State Department that you oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.

Keystone XL would transport 830,000 barrels a day of dirty tar sands oil from Canada's boreal forest through America's heartland.

That's why, when the Trump administration illegally approved the cross-border permit for this horrendous pipeline last year, NRDC sued to stop it.

But as we continue to fight in court, we also need concerned NRDC activists like you to help keep the pressure on the State Department to kill Keystone XL for good.

Tell the State Department to revoke the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline immediately.

Keystone XL threatens our land, climate, and drinking water supplies for farmers, ranchers, indigenous people, and other communities. The pipeline keeps us rooted in the dirty fossil fuels of the past instead of moving us toward a clean energy future.

Please make your voice heard before June 25, even if you've spoken out against the Keystone XL pipeline in the past. Together we can stop this irresponsible project once and for all.

Thank you for standing with us during this critical time.


Rhea Suh
President, NRDC

From Credo:

Four years after it began, Flint, Michigan's water crisis is not over. Earlier this year, tests showed lead levels above the federal limit in the water at five of nine Flint schools.1

But we now know that the crisis goes far, far beyond Flint – and the children poisoned in Flint are not alone. Over 3,000 American neighborhoods have childhood lead poisoning rates at least double those in Flint during the peak of its contamination crisis.2 Over 1,000 areas tested with a rate of elevated blood levels at least four times as high as Flint’s at the height of the crisis.3 In one neighborhood in Cleveland, nearly half the children have lead poisoning.4

No family should fear that turning on the tap could poison their child and harm them for life – no matter what their zip code is. Reps. Keith Ellison and Ro Khanna recently introduced the Water Affordability, Transparency Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2018, which would start the process of addressing this crisis. We must build grassroots support for this crucial legislation now.

Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act. Click here to sign the petition.
Lead is a cumulative toxin particularly harmful to young children, who can suffer profound and permanent damage to the brain and nervous system.5 There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe. In the wake of its water contamination crisis, Flint saw a measurable rise in miscarriages, fetal deaths and illnesses.6

In 2016, Congress finally directed $170 million in aid to Flint.7 But the Center for Disease Control's entire budget for assisting states with lead poisoning this year is just one-tenth of that.8 We must do better.

The WATER Act would provide $35 billion a year in federal funding to improve community drinking water and wastewater services.9 It would also provide grants to replace lead service lines going into homes, remove lead pipes and plumbing in schools, and upgrade home wells and septic systems.10

In thousands of neighborhoods across the country, systematic neglect and denial of basic infrastructure are limiting children's futures. No one bill will solve the problem, but we have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference – if our legislators act.

Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Thanks for fighting back,
Brandy Doyle, Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

  1. Ron Fonger, "Most Flint schools water tests OK for lead, but problems found in 5 of 9 buildings," MLive, Feb 13, 2018.
  2. M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer, Special Report: Thousands of U.S. areas afflicted with lead poisoning beyond Flint's," Reuters, Dec. 19, 2016.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. World Health Organization, "Lead poisoning and health: Key facts," Feb. 9, 2018.
  6. Ayana Byrd, "New Legislation Aims to Prevent the Next Flint Water Crisis," Colorlines, April 25, 2018.
  7. M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer, Special Report: Thousands of U.S. areas afflicted with lead poisoning beyond Flint's," Reuters, Dec. 19, 2016.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Byrd, "New Legislation Aims to Prevent the Next Flint Water Crisis."
  10. Ibid.

1 comment:

  1. This is a criminal regime. Trump's actions are highly illegal and immoral, and he should be charged with felonious kidnapping and extortion. I read today that he plans to withdraw from the UN Council for Human Rights. Eleanor Roosevelt must be spinning in her grave. She worked so hard to set up the human rights council when the UN was formed. :(


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