Oprah told us it was the most important story on the planet.
I distinctly remember that phrase because I thought to myself, “Wow! That’s a big statement. She’ll probably do a whole month of shows on this.” Nope. That was the only show on it. One of the shows that followed it was the interview with Tom Cruise where he jumped up on the couch, and professed his love for some woman …I can’t remember her name. No follow-up show was ever done …on the most important story on the planet.
My point? The Bird Flu story was, indeed, NOT the most important story on the planet. In fact, nobody even remembers it, now. But we got awfully emotional over it for a while. We hugged our kids tighter and worried for our collective futures. After all …the Bush administration wasn’t doing ANYTHING to stop the Bird Flu. And that was borderline criminally negligent, given the circumstances.
The outrage over the Bird Flu was a classic case of drumming up something over which people could get angry and mobilized. Nothing more. The truth is none of us really knew anything about the Bird Flu. OPRAH didn’t know anything about the Bird Flu. The Bird Flu wasn’t any more of a threat than any other flu. But it pitted the sides against each other perfectly …for a few minutes. And sometimes, a few minutes is all you need.
Right now, the current outrage is the children being ripped out of their parents’ arms, on the southern border. My God! I am heartbroken! Okay, maybe not dramatically heartbroken …But I’m interested …let’s put it that way. How can I be so cruel and unfeeling? Because truthfully, I don’t really know what’s going on down there. And truthfully …neither do you.
I’m not as interested in the laws or the Trump policy or, believe it or not, what’s actually happening on the southern border, as I am in the responses to it. As I understand this situation, illegal alien parents, and their innocent children, are being processed separately, when they attempt to come into the country without documentation or a Visa or a passport or a work permit. Is the United States handling this the best way it could be handling it? I have no idea. Maybe not. Or maybe it’s doing an incredible job, given the circumstances. I honestly don’t know. And again …neither do you.
But the hand wringing and cyber tears and cries from the souls of those who just know “this is not US!” is what I’m focussed on. See, if Americans were really incensed about children being torn away from their parents, they would be out in force at every custody hearing, in every courthouse in America. Children are systematically ripped away from dads in this country every second, of every minute of every hour of every day. We’re pretty okay with babies crying for daddy and being taken away from him. Hey, just because he’s out of work or an alcoholic or he cheated on mom or he occasionally loses his temper and hits mom …should those things make a difference? I mean we’re talking about taking kids away from a parent. Right?
What about when mom is on crack and a baby is taken away from her and put into the system? Shouldn’t we get nauseous over that? Okay …maybe that’s a bad example. How bout this? How about when a girl gives a baby up for adoption in …oh …I dunno …Florida, let’s say. In Florida, a birth mother has thirty days to change her mind about giving up her child. So, are there cameras there on day 28, when a baby is ripped from its adoptive mother’s arms and given back to birth mom, who now thinks she can kick heroin once and for all? Do these people nearly faint with indignation then?
The United States government takes children away from parents EVERY. SINGLE. DAY, for any number of reasons and any number of existing laws. Right now, one of those reasons happens to be trying to enter the country illegally. Would I do it that way? I don’t know. I’m not privy to all the facts. Maybe I would or maybe I wouldn’t. Again, that’s not really the point.
What I DO know is my fingerprints and personality profile are on file at the FBI. If I screw up a little too badly, the United States can walk into my house and remove my adopted children without so much as a “nice kitchen.” They told us as much back when we were being processed. I would only hope all the protesters would come to my defense and help me get my kids back. But if Trump was doing something else someone decided to hate, I doubt they would bother.
The problem with a situation like this is that it’s a flashpoint for everyone’s political ire. And that makes it all worse.
And it doesn’t help when our stupid attorney General (who should be fired for a myriad of reasons, by the way) starts quoting scripture in defense of the most damning photo campaign since Abu Ghraib. Stop using Jesus for either side of this. Jesus didn’t work for the government and he didn’t have to deal with eighty thousand illegal border crossings.
This is a processing issue. Period. It’s not a referendum on anyone’s faith or lack thereof. If I hear one more person tell me how a “real Christian” should feel or think about this, I’m going to surf internet porn and drink whiskey and play my rock and roll records backwards until the evil spirits overtake me. I don’t care about how you think I should feel. I don’t care what you think Jesus would do. I don’t care how horrible you think Donald Trump is. The bottom line is YOU don’t really care about families getting torn apart anymore than Republicans care about terminally ill people being forced off of life support. You just need to feel like you’re on the side of the angels. You just need to feel like you’re outraged by the right thing.
If you are seriously crying and having a hard time eating, go to the border and offer to take in a child. Sponsor a family to come here legally. Lobby for laws in your state that shrink grace periods for birth mothers. That’s what I do. See, I actually know kids who were ripped out of homes. I know adoptive parents who’s babies were born and then the birth mothers skipped town the day after they held their children for the first time. Those aren’t just pictures to me. I know what it means. The difference is, those children on the border will most likely be reunited with their parents once the processing is over. It’s temporary. The stories I’m talking about are permanent. And no protestors marched for those families. because they weren’t a cause de jour, and they weren’t simple scenarios to direct outrage toward. They were complicated matters, just like I’m sure a lot of these cases on the border are.
If children remaining with families is your real passion, get involved right in your city …right now. Otherwise, this is just another reason for you to either defend Trump or hate Trump and these kids are nothing more than your own personal soap box to stand on. And next week, they will be discarded, because there will be a different outrage. And we will have all moved on.
And all of this urgency will vanish into the same place every other news story vanishes into …the hole where the Bird Flu lives.
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