I have really, really underestimated the current President of the United States of America. Just when I thought he could not go any lower, he did.
Trump went down to a new low by showing nothing but disdain and absolute disregard for people who do not look like him or who do not have what he has. That is why I believe it was so easy for him to separate young, frightened immigrant children from their grieving parents and to send them to minimalist camps all over America … he does not care.
Yes, I have heard him say many times before that the people who illegally cross our borders are nothing more than rapists, murderers and thugs, but I beg to differ. The rapists, murderers and thugs are already over here and so are the terrorists, thieves, gangs and bullies. The people who are corrupt and who are only concerned with wealth for themselves are here, too, and have been for decades. A lot of them are disguised as politicians who took oaths for their respective offices to serve this country with pride, integrity, and truth … well, so much for that.
If I remember my history correctly (and I certainly do), many, many immigrants came to the United States of America to start new lives. The Irish, Germans, Polish, Italians, Asians, Sicilians, and others came here, hoping for better living conditions, better work, better wages … better lives in general. Most of them came legally, yet, certain undesirables came with them. Some of them came illegally and brought certain undesirables with them, as well. Consequently, African-Americans were forced and tricked to come here to be slaves and to endure years of beatings, rapes, torture, killings, inhumane conditions, and, yes, to endure the separation of their families, many of whom were never reunited. The separation (and, of course, the slavery) was absolutely wrong then and it is absolutely wrong now.
I believe that the immigrants crossing the borders illegally now are doing so because they are leaving very desperate situations. They have no financial means to book flights here. They do not have private jets or rich friends who can buy their way in. They are fleeing violence, hardship, poverty, and overall dire conditions. Yes, there may be some bad people included, but, guess what? There are bad people in every nationality, in every neighborhood, in every school, in every workplace, and in every family. Do the Sandy Hook shootings or Dylan Roof ring a bell?
You know, the Statue of Liberty, standing proudly on Ellis Island in New York, holds a torch that lights the way for immigrants coming into our country. It is emblazoned with these words: “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” It symbolizes to foreigners that America welcomes the poor, the suffering, and the hopeless.
We have a charge from Almighty God to take care of the poor, the needy, the widows, and the children. Many immigrants came from all over this world just seeking a chance. They have worked hard, usually on jobs that no one else wants. They have built businesses, homes, careers, neighborhoods, colleges, churches and have contributed immensely to this country.
The hope of having and doing better is what really makes America great … along with its diversity of people. Remember, any of us could become destitute, or worse, at any given time … any of us. So it is imperative that our nation is led with compassion and empathy, not with an iron fist. That is not who we are … or perhaps I should say, who we were or hope to be.
Charlette Rhue Bennett