Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The problem we all live with

The Problem We All Live With is a 1964 painting by Norman Rockwell that appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. It depicts Ruby Bridges, a six year old African American girl on her way to William Frantz Elementary School, an all white school, on November 14, 1960, during the New Orleans school crisis.

Although her walk to school occurred more than six years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case was decided, colored people in America still suffered harsh discrimination. Separate bathrooms and water fountains still were common in 1960, and lunch counters were segregated until the Greensboro lunch counter sit-in was held from February 1, 1960 until July 25 of the same year. The Freedom Riders did not start their protests until 1961. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed on July 2, nearly a year after Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi. However, the passage of the Civil Rights Act still did not allow colored people to vote. The march from Selma, Alabama in 1965 finally brought about the passage of the Voting Rights Act on
August 6, 1965.


As of today, 32 states have voter ID laws, which are nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to discourage voting by minorities, who tend to vote for Democrats. 7 of those states now require a photo ID in order to vote. The excuse for these laws is to reduce voter fraud, which is virtually non-existent in this country.


The editorial cartoon shown above was published by Steve Benson of the Arizona Republic yesterday. The black girl has been replaced by a young Central American refuge, and the U.S. Marshalls have been replaced by embers of Homeland Security, but the message is still the same.


The majority of the people in the current wave of asylum seekers come from the Central American countries of Guatamala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which are among the most violent countries on the face of the Earth. What many of the conservatives in this country fail to understand is that people who are seeking asylum are NOT illegal immigrants, but simply people who are seeking asylum, which is NOT illegal. One of the asylum seekers is a woman from Guatamala, who is suing the Trump administration for taking her 7 year old son from her as she crossed the border. Not only was she escaping the general violence in Guatamala itself, she was also escaping from an abusive husband who was threatening to kill her and their son.

The current inhumane practice of separating parents from their children was instituted on April 1. Although it was announced by Jeff Sessions, it was actually the brainchild of senior advisor Stephen Miller, who also wrote Trump’s dystopian inauguration speech, as well as Trump’s Muslim bans.



The vast majority of the people in this country, on both sides of the aisle, recognize that the current process of separating parents from their children is inhumane, and should be stopped immediately. However, as Laurie Roberts pointed out in today’s column, there are a surprising number of people who fully support Trump’s policy. In view of the fact that 62 million people voted for a man who every major newspaper in the country said was unfit for office, perhaps that should not be e surprise after all.


Ironically, January 20 is World Refuge Day, which was created by the United Nations on December 4, 2000, and effective June 17, 2001, which happened to be the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Ultimately, the date was changed to June20 in order to coincide with Africa Refuge Day, which was celebrated on June 20.


Although Pope Francis has long been a supporter of refuges (and gotten criticism for it) the Roman Catholic Church, under Pius X, instituted the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in 1914.


The advantage of having a free press is that the glare of publicity can sometimes reverse policies that are clearly not in the public’s interest. The New York Times recently interviewed Stephen Miller, but did not air the interview at the request of the White House. Then, earlier today, Trump signed an executive order halting the administration’s policy of separating migrant families detained at the border because “I didn’t like the sight of it”.


No shit, Donald. Neither did we.


The problem that we all live with, of course, is political.  However, starting in November of this year, the voters of this country can start to solve the problem by electing the right people to positions of power in this country. It may take until 2020, but the excesses of the most corrupt administration in our country’s history will eventually catch up to Donald Trump, and he will no longer be in power.


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