This afternoon, I heard a recording of little immigrant children wailing, sobbing, crying, calling for “mama!” torn from mama’s arms, denied comfort, incarcerated, in many instances caged, away from a mama drying tears, just 4:1000 social workers, the cruelty of police hooting “It’s an orchestra in here!” Not 2,000, but actually 10,000, incarcerated.
Hearing the grief-stricken crying, my lips trembled, I gasped, and wept uncontrollably. This rarely happens to me. But, fleeting visions of my little Izzy, Racheli, Batya, Johnny, Myles, Evan,clawed from my Chanie’s, Jess’s, Joy’s, Heather’s, Laura’s arms — those are MY ARMS, damn it! I rolled over and helplessly sobbed. NO! NO! “Nisht emes! Not true!” my own mama would cry when a beloved one suffered or died.
Ruthless government apparatchiks in front of microphones ruthlessly, indifferent, bereft of compassion, lying their dirty lies. And a gurning, idiotic power base celebrating it.
How can this be?? Can it be our sloth, mean-spiritedness, xenophobia? From where did it come? Are our babies later-day passengers on the Voyage of the Damned?
Now I am vomiting out this bile onto the page. Irrational? Not yet to the edge of irrationality. Since these atrocities started, there has been an implicit no-fly zone over comparison to Hitler and the eve of Nazi Germany. (Was not Charlottesville a fearsome foreshadowing of Kristallnacht?).
Why are we afraid to speak aloud the damning curse: Trump=Hitler? Huckabee=Goebbles? Sessions=Eichmann? Maybe not now, but just give them a chance. We who dare lift our voices this way are warned by rankled congregants, readers, audiences, to “be careful” not to hurt the opposition’s feelings or madden them by standing up to them and maybe losing a few faux friends. No, not friends! Who cares whom we anger, turn off, alienate? Far too much at stake then to let our cowardice stand in the way.
I have been cautioned not to print this column. I wavered until this afternoon. Now, agree and we have work to do. If you disagree and shut your door to me, to us, I condemn you, for whatever that means.
But of this I am sure: You are not the heroes. You are the accomplices. Can it feel that victorious to take a baby from its mama’s bosom?