Saturday, August 11, 2018

We carry on

My daughter's boyfriend's mother and sister are in town for the weekend. They're staying with us. It was his sister's birthday earlier in the week, so we did cake and candles and the happy birthday song. We stayed up late last night talking and laughing, until my girl and her guy, hardworking stiffs, feel asleep in our midst, and we two mothers looked over at them fondly, then looked at each other and smiled.

We have a plan to walk the High Line later, even though the forecast calls for rain. The High Line is an elevated park built along an old railway line that runs for more than twenty city blocks, with breathtaking views of the harbor. It's one of my favorite places in the city. Right at this moment, the sleeping beauties from last evening are bathing and settling in an old dog they are fostering. They picked her up this morning, and say she's serene and gentle. I think they've already fallen a little bit in love.

There is so much going on in the political universe I can't keep it all straight, but yesterday, I was particularly disturbed by news that notices of denaturalization proceedings have already started going out. Naturalized citizens who at any point availed themselves of public assistance of any sort, including Obamacare, could have their citizenship revoked and be deported. I guarantee you, the main targets of this task force will not be naturalized citizens that look like Melania's parents, who were sworn in as new Americans this week. So much for Republicans' loud disdain for family reunification, or, as the president calls it, chain migration.

Our family is one big long chain, starting with my Aunt Winnie in 1949. She sponsored all eight of her siblings and their children. Scores of us set down roots here. And now my children are American born, and my grandchildren will no doubt also be born here. Even though I don't recall ever needing to avail myself of public assistance of any kind (and aren't I one of the lucky ones), it seems that every week the denaturalization task force adds a new deportable offense designed to allow them to throw black and brown people out of the country. We all know this is the objective. If they could deport Native Americans, too, I'm quite sure they would.

I never thought that in my lifetime, I would know first hand what it's like to live under a fascist regime. I feel slightly schizophrenic that, in the midst of it all, we still laugh with houseguests, foster homeless dogs, and make plans to walk in the rain.


  1. It is scary, and it is sad, and it's so much worse than those puny words can convey. It makes me feel violent and helpless on behalf of those under siege. I can't imagine how much worse they actually feel.

    Hugs, my friend.

  2. It is fascism, isn't it?

    I'm glad that you can still enjoy time with your family:)

  3. It says so much that your daughter and her boyfriend feel safe enough to fall asleep in your midst when they are exhausted and that they take time out of their busy lives to foster dogs and that all of you can laugh, that plans can be made to walk in the rain with those you love. Those are the bonds that help us survive in times of fascist regimes. Fascist regimes are the work of people who lack those bonds. They do a great deal of damage before they self-destruct. We can protect our hearts and minds in these times through the loving bonds we share -- the bonds that fascists so sorely lack.

  4. What I was thinking about today was your family and how I was just born where I was born, the white child of white parents some of them who were no doubt slave owners and how we've just lived with that evil right there, that stain of choice which, if you just think about the whole concept for about four seconds you realize is so wrong that the wailing should never cease. So anyway, what else did my white ancestors do? I don't know. Same things everyone else does. Some of them had lots of money and no doubt did things that may have helped their communities, but I don't know. And then I think about your family who came here in your Aunt Winnie's strong and clean wake during the times that it was the American Dream to do what your family did. Come here, get educated, get jobs, do the right things, pay the taxes, follow the rules, and let that dream come true! Y'all did the hard work! And who in the world would think that now we have a president who is so petty, so racist, so afraid, so evil that he would task people to go through the papers of people who have achieved what America was set out to represent with the intent of getting rid of them?
    Who would have thought?
    Not me.
    Boy was I stupid. As bad as I thought this man could be, he's turned out to be that times squared and every other trick of multiplication.

  5. Yes. It's the crazy feeling. Gaslighting. We can't believe it; we doubt ourselves. I am afraid.

  6. I never thought that in my lifetime... I can't tell you how many times those words have come out of my mouth preceding some new horror from Trump and the administration and Party that enables it. all we can do is carry on and trust in the system and vote but if November comes without change, all bets are off. there will be zero restraint to this man and this country will not be the same country.

  7. I love how your daughter and her love fell asleep right there. Such a lovely serene and safe place. Oh how I wish the whole world was as safe, how we could all just close our eyes and know that when we opened them, there would be peace, safety, generosity of spirit, and the global truth of compassion. That lucky fostered doggie is receiving more kindness than many of our fellow citizens these days. Sigh.

  8. I don’t have a deep and meaningful comment. Just a dull and heavy ache in my soul and tears that threaten to spill over. I am so afraid for all of you. I am so afraid for us all.

  9. I do think it's important to maintain some sense of, if not normalcy, then adaptability, as this evil Trump agenda progresses. Of course we have to fight it in any way we can, but we also have to live our lives and stay sane ourselves. So yes, by all means, love your family and adopt dogs and walk in the rain!

    It is blatantly illegal, it seems to me, to change the rules AFTER people have been naturalized and settled in their adopted homeland. I can't believe a court will uphold it in the long term. Meanwhile, of course, a lot of damage can be done. It's appalling.