This morning I’ve been brainstorming slogans for signs to bring to Courthouse Square tomorrow for the nationwide protest of the Trump administration’s inhumane policies regarding asylum seekers and immigrants, especially the tearing away of children from their parents. The pain and trauma is unbearable, as the world has witnessed through clandestine recordings of boys and girls crying inconsolably for “mamá” and “papi.”
One Honduran man—Marco Antonio Munoz, age 39—took his own life in a Texas jail cell after being separated from his wife and 3-year-old son. “The guy lost his shit,” commented a border patrol agent, in a cavalier manner reminiscent of the “tender age” detention center guard who said of the chorus of wailing children in his charge, “We have an orchestra here. All we need is a conductor.” I could almost hear his smirk. (See Democracy Now’s interview with a youth care worker who quit his job at Southwest Key’s Estrella del Norte shelter for unaccompanied minors and separated children).
Yesterday, nearly 600 women, including one of my most admired actresses Susan Sarandon, were arrested in a Senate office in the Department of Justice in a demonstration denouncing the immoral “zero tolerance” border policy. Contrary to the Republican blather, immigration is not illegal (duh, we are all immigrants here); accepting and giving proper hearing to migrants fleeing violence and requesting asylum is part of U.S. law; and there is a (deliberately underfunded and understaffed) process to conduct it. My fellow humans are NOT an “infestation.”
I can’t even begin to speak about our so-called president’s disgusting language. Or understand why his partner-in-cruelty chose to wear a jacket imprinted with I don’t really care, do u? when she visited a child detention warehouse at the Texas border. Incomprehensible…as is just about everything that has happened this week, and just about every day since the presidential election of 2016.
Language counts. Trump’s non-stop denigration of the press may have influenced the white man who shot up the Capital Gazette yesterday in Annapolis, Maryland and killed 5 newspaper employees. Perhaps the U.S. will soon become as dangerous for journalists as Mexico or Colombia. But that’s another blog.
Here’s some language I’m considering for my protest signs: STOP DETENTION OF REFUGEE FAMILIES; WE DO CARE, DO U?; HUMANITY HAS NO BORDERS; SEEKING ASYLUM IS A LEGAL RIGHT; WRONG IN THE FORTIES, WRONG NOW. (Thanks to Brian Boldt for the last one).
There are “Families Belong Together” marches and rallies all over the Bay Area on Saturday, June 30. I’m going to the one in downtown Santa Rosa from 10 a.m. to 12:30. Maybe I’ll see you there.