In the midst of so much worry about children being taken from their parents at the Southern Border, yesterday I listened to Donald Trump describe their trek through Mexico to reach the United States. "They're strolling like it's Central Park," he said, "they're criminals infecting our country."
This is so far from the truth I'm constantly stunned by how and why so many Americans believe him. There is concrete evidence that almost all the families and children walking for days and weeks to apply for asylum are anything but criminals. These are folks who have left their countries because their choices ran out, and not just from poverty, but because of threats and episodes of lawlessness, murder, rape, people suddenly "disappearing."
This is the reality but Donald Trump pounds out the message that immigrants are 'infecting' America and must be banished, that it's 'us' or 'them.' As a country, Trump's government has no interest in promoting or protecting human rights. To be living through this is unreal, disheartening, frightening, and thank god for this too--energizing.
Yesterday on Facebook a woman from my high school and a Trump supporter blamed the parents for exposing their children to roundup and lockdown by the United States Government. Several other high school classmates agreed with her that everyone has a right to their opinion and Trump is doing his best. I disagreed.
Do we have the right to offer and support an opinion that contradicts facts and debases morality? Is it okay to say that slavery was justified and white supremacy is justified? How about Hitler--should we respect the opinion of anyone who says the Holocaust never happened? Should we justify small children being ripped from their parents and warehoused throughout the US because the US President didn't plan for that or doesn't care that these kids will carry this trauma for the rest of their lives?
And yet here we are. I'm well aware that this post is not fun to read and may not be read at all, same with my recent Facebook posts. But isn't that a problem? Are we numb? How can it be that more than 40% of Americans and 90% of Republicans support the lies and racism and inhumanity of Donald Trump? These are folks I went to school with, who had the same safe childhoods I did, whose parents were likely Democrats, as mine were. These are decent and intelligent people, except they've put their faith in a Fascist. These folks are furious Trump is being compared to Hitler and they believe nothing the special counsel is uncovering. These are folks who don't mind that Donald Trump is systematically dismantling our democracy and our diversity.
This is probably the lowest point in American History, certainly in my lifetime. Was the Civil War like this?
How is it that Trump supporters can be so misguided, so uncaring to the plight of others, so believing of a man who lies all the time? Do they care that their schools and children aren't safe, their communities are feeling the disastrous effects of climate change, their health coverage is in trouble, their allies in Canada and Mexico and Europe have been abandoned, and what we're told about Russia and North Korea are lies?