Folks! It’s not about Trump! It’s about us! We, the people hold primary blame for the challenges facing our country! After reading an article by Skip Bacevish (one of my husband’s classmates), I considered Skip’s words, “The individual inhabiting the White House has become the preeminent symbol of who we are and what we represent as a nation and a people.” Rather than attributing the state of the union to Donald, we must look within for our own causes and cures.
Fans of Trump as well as those of us who worry about him share an important common flaw in our thinking. We all tend to allot more power to Trump than we rightfully should. Those who adore Trump firmly believe he is the savior who will fix America — “Make America great again.” Those of us who distrust Trump wag our fingers dismally as we blame him and his cronies for the problems we face.
The current plan to keep America safe anticipates deporting undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes. It seems like a good plan, doesn’t it? We all want our cities safe. What could possible be objectionable about a plan to protect the United States?
Sometimes, the finest plans do not work out quite as we envisioned. Please allow me to share a few unintended consequences associated with 278(g), which became law in September 1996. This law called upon local, county, and state law enforcement officers to assist ICE with identifying, processing and detaining immigrants. Although the idea sounded reasonable, consider the outcomes listed below:
- Instead of developing trust between police and communities, 287(g) promoted fear and suspicion. Police officers became enemies of the people.
- When communities perceived police as enemies, the lives of officers became endangered.
- Once community members became distrustful, they stopped asking for help. For example, a woman whose husband sexually molested their eight-year-old daughter became too anxious about deportation to ask for help. Had she been deported, the documented father would have stayed and kept the child with him.
- Deporting workers often removed key witnesses. After identifying a human traffic operation in an Arkansas restaurant, ICE deported all busboys, wait persons, and dishwashers. No witnesses remained to testify against the guilty owners who went free.
When asked if she would join a protest movement against the Viet Nam War, Mother Teresa replied that although she would not demonstrate against the war, she would march for peace.
In that spirit, Chris and I joined 50,000 others in Austin, Texas for the Women’s March on January 21, 2017. Instead of considering this a walk against the new president, I walked in support of values, which I consider basic human rights. My kind husband spent about 90 minutes helping people climb over the fence to get on Congress Avenue.
Racial Minorities— I walked to demonstrate support for racial equity. Racial discrimination may appear healed to many, but bigotry emerges alive and well. Those who believe we all get a fair shot at success believe in a myth. Allowing all citizens an equal playing field begins, but does not end with fair voting opportunities.
Whether you like Pope Francis or not, you must admit, the man speaks and lives in ways that change people’s hearts and minds. In doing so, Pope Frances changes the world.
Personally, I like this man of God. Although I am not Catholic, I appreciate his courage. Below, I share a few reasons for my deep respect for the pope.
- With his scientific background, this educated pope demonstrates intelligence and understanding about nature. On his recent trip to the United States, he urged followers to respect and abide by President Obama’s stand on climate change. When each of us arrived on earth, nature greeted us with visual canvases of splendor and symphonies of songs. Taking care of planet earth is nothing more than good stewardship. When we cap pollution, clean up our oceans, reduce smog, and seek alternative forms of energy, we honor God. Even if climate change has nothing to do with man’s behaviors, honoring the planet provides a concrete way to express thanks.
- Pope Francis encouraged the church to follow the teachings of Jesus by ministering to the poor, the sick, and the underprivileged. He did not recommend a checklist of required behaviors or conditions.