Do you know what I discovered this past week? A human being never gets over being taken from their mother, no matter how old they are, no matter what the circumstances, and no matter how it turns out in the end. Even if it seems justifiable to the powers that be or it eventually saves the child’s life (as in my case), anybody with a viable soul must know that the hearts of children are much too vulnerable to be separated from their parents—especially after weeks of traveling as refugees.
When this happened to me, my body snatchers and I spoke the same language and we never left the city of my birth, but that made little difference as to the scaring of my psyche. In 1957 my baby sister and I were taken from my mother in the middle of the night by policemen with guns ablaze who had stormed through our apartment door. Our mother was put in a strait jacket and thrown into an ambulance, and my sister and I were hustled into the back of a police car as I sobbed and screamed at the top of my lungs and my little sister collapsed into a catatonic state. No one told us where we were going. No one told us where they took our mother. No one held us. No one comforted us. Everything was institutionalized and calculating—not mean, just matter-of-fact—just what is needed to crush an abandoned child’s heart. My sobs and hysteria were so legendary the night our world finally fell apart after existing in years of mayhem and chaos that we still—to this day—cannot discuss that fateful night without tearing up. My sister is 67 and I am 70 years old, and we never lived with my mother again. Below is an excerpt of that night as seen through the eyes of a child just taken from her mother:
After the King of Night Court dubbed Pee-wee and me Wards of the State, we were taken to a temporary orphanage that the judge called “The Receiving Home.” On the way to the orphanage I heard Miss Perkins [social worker] tell the policeman who accompanied us that even though it was past midnight, the matrons would have to open the kitchen because not to feed Pee-wee and me as soon as possible seemed like cruel and unusual punishment. I remember wearily climbing a long flight of stone steps up to a brick building with large windows. At the door, Pee-wee and I were met by a woman who was called the Night Matron. After a brief whispered conversation between Miss Perkins and the Colored matron, we were led into the kitchen. Pee-wee and I were so frightened and overwhelmed that we refused to let go of each other’s hand, so they picked us both up and set us down at a table without untangling our fingers. My baby sister and I hadn’t eaten anything in days and nothing of any substance in months. Our clothes reeked of urine and excrement, and our bloated stomachs made us resemble children fresh off the boat from the remotest part of Africa. At least that is what the Night Matron loudly whispered to the policeman…
“We’ll have to separate them eventually—might as well do it sooner than later. The one in diapers will have to go to the nursery and sleep in a crib, even though she should be in the kindergarten dorm.”
“The nine year old needs to sleep in the teen ward in a bunk bed.”
“They both needs to be checked for lice and deloused befo’ they heads get near any beddin’.”
“First things first. Feed these babies before they faints dead away from hunger.”
“Who been raisin’ these chilrin’—a pack of rats?”
Even though the adult consensus was that Pee-wee and I were absolutely filthy, a humane decision was quickly made that food was needed before a bath and delousing. The Night Matron had one of her helpers open up the cafeteria kitchen and heat up the leftovers from that night’s dinner. She gave Pee-wee and me a bowl of navy bean soup with globs of fat-back floating on the top, a cup of rice pudding with lumps the size of my toes, and two stale ginger snap cookies with a glass of buttermilk. Pee-wee was too frightened to eat much of the food, but I gobbled up the meal as if it were my Last Supper.
I can’t ever remember anything before or after the first meal in The Receiving Home tasting as great as that bean soup/ginger snap cookie combo. Exactly at that black-hole moment, food became my drug of choice, and I would struggle with this addiction for the rest of my life. After two servings of everything, I licked the soup bowl twice; and then I spoke for the first time since the invasion [of our home] by the police: “People, I gotta tell ya—you done outdid yo’selves! This here is the best damn food I’ve ever eaten!”—EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK, “MONSTERS’ THROWDOWN” BY ELEANOR TOMCZYK
Knowing what I know about being separated from one’s mother as a child, I still can’t understand how Trump could approve this border control evil, and Sessions and Sarah Huckabee Sanders could sanction it by quoting scripture to justify that action. It’s as if Jesus DIDN’T say: “Suffer the little children to come unto me…” but instead said: “Snatch the little children and use them as manipulative tools any time you need to gain control of a political situation, for that is the way of the Lord your God.”
I don’t know what upsets me more—crying, fearful, abandoned children or Christianity being used in such a lying abusive way to harm children. Doesn’t Trump have children and grandchildren of his own? Did he ever put himself in the place of those parents fleeing their horrific countries to save their children, only to have them taken away—some of which may never see their kids again? When I heard Jeff Sessions and Sarah Huckabee Sanders justifying immoral governing choices by citing scriptural approval, I had a revelation: Maybe this evil was not Trump’s fault. Maybe he was led astray by people who claim to follow Jesus but wouldn’t know God if he came floating down on a cloud in front of them. Maybe if I let him know what really was at stake (his soul and the soul of America), he’d see the light and straighten up and fly right. After all, White Evangelical preachers have told us that he’s a “baby Christian”—new to all the rules and laws of Christianity. Maybe he just needed to be schooled. It was worth a try. I had to do something—anything—so I wrote the President an open letter.
DEAR PRESIDENT TRUMP:
I am an American citizen (you know, one of the people you’re supposed to represent), and I wish to render a spiritual intervention on your behalf (before it is too late for the redemption of your soul) regarding your treatment of the border children. You see, I am both a survivor of a traumatized childhood as well as an Evangelical Christian—thus giving me some moral authority on the subject of abused children and knowing what Jesus would do.
I know that you have begrudgingly put a stop to separating children from their parents who are seeking asylum, and you signed an executive order making yourself out to be the hero in a Hitleresque tragedy which you, and you alone, started.
But I ask you Mr. President, you the professed born-again Christian as confirmed by your personal pastor, Evangelist Paula White: Where are the 2,000 plus other children? Some as young as three months old, nine months old, four years old who have been taken as far away as Michigan, New York, and Washington State. Don’t know? Not telling? Couldn’t care less as your wife’s jacket seemed to convey when she made her obligatory visit to one of the kids’ shelters. Somehow it’s hard to believe that about you. You have kids. You have grand-kids. If I were to give you the benefit of the doubt, I would say you’ve been duped.
The only reason I think you have been bamboozled is I think Miller, Sessions, Sanders, and your Evangelical supporters have sold you a bill of goods. I know they’ve told you all that crap about how you’re a modern day King Cyrus, and that God has anointed you to be President to bring about his will in America and on the Earth, blah, blah, blah, blah. Except that under your “reign,” America’s soul is rotting—God’s will is not being done. You see, none of the shit the White Evangelical preachers you hang with have told you the truth: You’re actually in deep do-do with the Lord, Donald. God is not pleased with you!
You poor schmuck. I bet you were under the impression that God likes ugly ways and an ugly heart? Oh dear! Of course, the scripture the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions invoked to justify the evil of your child abusive immigration policies probably made you feel real sanctimonious and very pleased with yourself:
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”—Romans 13:1-5
Mr. President, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III didn’t tell you that Romans 13 was used to justify obedience to all sorts of evil in the past, and God squished the ruling authorities like a giant’s foot stomping on a pile of maggots when they enforced this scripture on innocent people (Google, Sherman’s march to the sea, and Hitler’s bunker demise). The Southerners used it against the Abolitionists to justify slavery and German theologians used it to support Hitler regardless if their policies seemed harsh and ruthless. (I know you don’t read, but when you can catch a break between Fox News and Alex Jones, have Melania read you the bio of the German theologian Otto Dibelius. I’m sure he’s still preaching Romans 13 in the town square of Hell.)
I don’t know what drugs the Apostle Paul was taking the day he wrote that scripture, but something got lost in translation. I do know it doesn’t apply to you, nor did it apply to Hitler or the American slave holders. Mr. President, the scriptures that the false prophets who surround you should have impressed upon you are the ones about how God regards children, the poor, the wretched, the refugee, and the vulnerable. Didn’t Sarah Huckabee Sanders (the daughter of a preacher-man) tell you about these scriptures that good leaders are charged to obey?
“Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”—Matthew 18: 4-5
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”—Matthew 18:6
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”—Matthew 25:40
Ooops! Mr. President, you’re in so much trouble with your Maker.
I hope you take this letter seriously because even if you don’t care about you own soul, I would encourage you to care about the soul of America. Did your sycophantic Evangelical support ever tell you the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and why it was destroyed by God? If they did, I bet they told you the lie that Sodom was destroyed because of all the homosexuals cavorting around. Well, guess what? They lied! Sodom was destroyed because they turned their backs on the poor and the needy. Check it out:
“‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”—Ezekiel 16:49-50
Oh dear, oh my…Mr. President, you know how you said you’ve never asked for forgiveness from God? Now might be a good time to start.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE I’M HANGING ONTO DURING THESE TRYING TIMES
“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in the universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”—Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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