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Comments 45

America, where’s your goddamn empathy?

I cannot believe I’m watching footage of crying children in ‘cages’, and reading comments that say their parents shouldn’t have broken the law anyway.

What the f*** is happening over there?

I’m hungry as hell here in Australia, brain a bit foggy on Day 3 of Refugee rations challenge, and today is World Refugee Day. I’ve raised over $1200 through my donations page HERE, and am therefore helping to feed 3 Syrian refugees for a year.

That feels amazing, and thank you to my fellow bloggers, including The Lockwood Echo.

But you Americans? You need to donate to an organisation in your own country, helping out these traumatised kids. Here’s Brené Brown’s endorsed link, and this recommendation from my journalist sister-in-law in New York.

Take action. Spend twenty bucks on someone else, not yourself. Spend fifty. Send only two. But please DO SOMETHING!

 

45 Comments

  1. Too right G. A lot of things in politics have disgusted me in the last two years but this is a new low when I did not think it even possible to sink further. And people are actually trying to justify it! I despair sometimes.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. More of us americans are horrified than not. The waffler in chief apparently got the message as he is changing the policy per an announcement today. We shall see what actually happens. And yes this awful episode has galvanized a lot of us to action.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I know, & bless you all- I just can’t bear to think it could get any worse… we need to rise up Now! 💪🏼💪🏼
      Thanks for reassuring me Steph ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Coyote from Orion says

    Land of the free and home of the brave meant as much to me over there in the 90’s as Melbourne being the world’s most liveable city. It is say a few people in the Carlton commission flats, if you are on drugs and have a good job.
    The only way some people can get massive ROI on their lifestyle investments is if slavery exists. Drugs and weapons go with slavery… the same as the US journalist who tried to blow the whistle on the southern states… coroner found he suicided by 2 gunshots to the head.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. The US faces an epistemological crisis. Some 20-25% of the population–primarily rural white Protestant men with at most a high school diploma (culturally conservative, isolationist , economically populist)–has been conditioned by right-wing propaganda (Fox News, talk radio mostly) for 30+ years to believe that all of their problems are caused by a long list of “others”: blacks (dangerous criminals), Spanish-speaking immigrants (drug-lord rapists and murderers who want your jobs), Muslims (terrorists), LGBQT folks (out to destroy your families), the mass media (lying to you), liberals (wimpy snowflakes who hate you and your values and *your* country) and the globalist-coastal elites (sending *your* jobs and country overseas, or something).

    The crisis is that these Americans literally live in a different reality, with different news sources and accepted truths. This self-contained echo chamber is the only way they can sustain their paranoid grievances. And what they most fear is not loss of economic status but loss of racial/cultural status. They see an encroaching diverse modernity in which they have little-to-no status, which existentially terrifies them.

    And so they cultishly follow an autocrat who echoes and validates their worst fears: Mexicans and Muslims and transgendered folks and black athletes and liberals and Democrats and the media and China and our allies (Canada? Really?) are out to get *them*.

    They are so deep in this twisted (yet infinitely self-justified) worldview that they no longer see these “others” as human beings, at some primitive level. *They* are animals who will “infest” (in 45’s words) THEIR country and destroy THEIR way of life.

    Yeah, you say, but they are outnumbered at least 3-1, so why is this happening?

    This 20-25% of the population has an outsized influence on the Republican Party (which has cynically nurtured their paranoia for political gain since Nixon was first elected president in 1968), particularly which Republicans get nominated—and especially since the election of an urbane black man as president in 2008. That was a bridge too far for them, and for the Republican Party, who (to prevent losing nominations to further-right-wing candidates) vowed absolute opposition to him. They are also geographically dispersed across enough districts to elect enough like-minded Republicans to effectively control a majority of state houses and the United States House of Representatives. And, in a 17-person field, they coalesced around Trump early enough to allow him to win the nomination, sweeping aside an establishment that could not (or would not) coalesce around a more “mainstream” alternative (not that their choices were all that impressive). Once the Democrats nominated the equally-flawed Hillary Clinton, after Democrats had controlled the White House for 8 years…well, he still only won by 77,000 votes in three states (while losing the popular vote by 2.1 percentage points—the Electoral College’s Republican advantage at work again).

    The thing is, 45’s policy advisors–including the all-but-Nazi Stephen Miller–truly think that they beat Clinton not because she was a bad candidate at the wrong time, but because they mistakenly believe that most of the country is as right-wing nationalist/racist as they are. Here, they are flat wrong, but for arcane structural reasons, it may still take a tidal wave of Democratic votes to wrest back the House this November (the Senate will be tougher, but I am optimistic).

    And as with any tribalist cult, they make up in passion and cunning what they lack in numbers, including voting at higher rates, while using every trick to maximize their electoral advantage (less through gerrymandering than through suppression). They do this because they legitimately see the “not-them” as Manichean enemies who must be stopped at all costs. For them, ends justify cruel, immoral and, yes, anti-democratic means: when push comes to shove, safety/security generally trumps (pun intended) liberal democracy.

    The thing is, though, even if Democrats win back the House (likely) and the Senate (30% chance?) and a bunch of state houses …actually, many good things will happen (if only by preventing more bad things from happening). But the crisis will still exist. This squeaky-wheel minority will, if anything, feel more aggrieved and more isolated and more desperate to fight inexorable change. And Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones and the National Enquirer and Breitbart will continue to echo and amplify their increasingly-distorted reality, not only because it serves their own interests (and bottom-lines) to do so–they also genuinely fear the consequences of suddenly backing off decades of crazy-stroking.

    So how do we fix this? How do we get a sprawling, impossibly-diverse nation of nearly 400 million people back on the same “we are all in this together” page (begging the question whether, besides WWII, we ever were)? How do we get these reality-denying folks to accept the reality of climate change, the trade-offs between secure borders and nurturing compassion, the tragic consequences of a overly-gun-permissive society (the unique Constitutional protection afforded guns has morphed into Constitutional protection of THEIR way of life—restricting the former is a direct assault on the latter), the value of expertise, the benefits of a multi-cultural/multi-ethnic society (a wider talent pool, if nothing else), and so forth?

    I have absolutely no idea.

    But as I see one California couple raise nearly $15 million almost overnight on Facebook to provide legal services for these newly-detained immigrants and their lost children, as I see more and more Republicans abandoning/staring down their party (thank you, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker), as I see the mainstream media absolutely refusing to back down from their Constitutionally-protected duty to investigate and report and expose, as I see Robert Mueller—a lifelong Republican—diligently pursuing his own investigations, as I watch previously apathetic citizens taking to the streets in protest…I have hope that the “sensible” (if not always ideologically-unified) 75+% will regain the “values” upper-hand and restore everything I have always loved about my country.

    The aggrieved minority may never accept what we understand as reality, because it is too existentially painful. But they are still my fellow Americans, and I must share our nation with them, just as they have to share it with folks like me. All I can do is continue to call out their nonsense in the clearest possible terms in the perhaps-naive hope that enough of them will eventually snap out of it.

    Otherwise…we may simply have to wait as their numbers shrink even further, as the demographers insist will happen.

    Do not give up on this country…we ARE better than this.

    Thank you for allowing me to blog-bomb my thoughts.

    Liked by 9 people

    • This is a brilliantly written comment Matt. Pretty much the same story is playing out here in the UK – hence Brexit.
      For the record – I have dear friends in the US who are horrified by current events too, so I know many Americans are great people.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Thank you, sir. There are moments where I simply do not recognize my own country, and I question my own sanity. But I am sane, and this is still the country I love, despite it being off its meds for a couple of years now.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Matt, that is an incredible comment, which I value so much, thank you! Could I re-blog it as a response?

      And I do love the good American friends folk- my brother lives in New York- goodness will prevail in the end I hope 🙏🏼❤ G

      Liked by 2 people

    • That was so insightful, for someone in the UK who really doesn’t get how this is happening, along with what you’ve thankfully confirmed is the majority view in the US. You’ve also answered a question for me regarding the demographics; that they are a dying breed, an old school view which hopefully will be eradicated by the educated, compassionate and better travelled younger generations.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yup, Matt wins a prize for best comment for sure- he is one informed and feisty guy, and I so appreciate his lengthy and considered input 🙂

        Like

      • Thank you!

        I would like to think they will slowly fade into history…but I see an awful lot of young folks at Trump’s rallies, so we shall see.

        Still, polling suggests that younger voters (and soon-to-be-voters) are NOT among the 20-25%.

        I choose to be optimistic.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Matt. I walk around every day with everything you’ve said in my heart and in my mind. Often feeling like I am going to explode. Thank you for articulating all of this so clearly–more people will understand because of voices like yours.
      I love our country. We ARE better than this. I am not giving up either. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. The resistance in the U.S. is significant, meaningful, and palpable. It’s a mistake to lump “Americans” in with the actions of a few individuals in the U.S. government. There is significant and meaningful resistance even in the government. I encourage you to check out Congressman Raul Grijalva on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RepRaulGrijalva NPR also provides decent news coverage, https://www.npr.org/ , as does Democracy Now, https://www.democracynow.org/ . There’s a LOT more going on than makes the general media blasts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes I know Cathy- I didn’t mean to offend- I am all over lots of different media, but I WAS horrified at continually coming across comments from people who said the illegals deserved to be punished.

      Thank you for those links, and for being one of the good ones 🙏🏼❤

      Like

      • Oh ! Where’d you find those comments ? That’s awful ! I live a fairly insular life, in a town not that far from the border that has declared itself immigrant-friendly, and I work for a large urban school district that takes an open stance of support for all students, regardless of immigration status. We have large , mostly thriving and supported refugee communities in our town . So the only views I hear and am exposed to are resistance and working towards correction and solution . I’m not exposed to those who are supportive of the orange guy’s policies .

        Liked by 3 people

        • Oh goodness Cathy, they were all over Facebook and other social media sites, I could not believe it! That’s why I wrote what I did. I often make myself explore alternative news outlets, just so that I’m aware of the vibe outside my own lovely bubble here in the organic/gluten-free/vegan land of Milk and Honey that is my corner of Australia. It sounds like you are doing awesome work in a much-needed area, so keep it up ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Its terrible. Most of us are heartbroken. I’ve ( and many hundreds of thousands) signed many, many petitions and there is a march being organized in many cities in the States. This administration has caused a lot of damage and although there can be a feeling of helplessness it has also galvanized many of us to come together in grassroots ways to try and make our voices heard.
    Its terrible and another critical issue is while we are being distracted by yet another WTF?!?! is happening there are laws being passed that we dont hear about, which is equally as frightening to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes! I know so many are so hurt- Trump has certainly provided much fuel for bloggers’ creativity here. And I’m so proud of how so many Americans HAVE risen up to fight for their fellow citizens; I was just astounded at some cruel commenters who didn’t seem to care children were crying for their parents. Thank you Alexis, for all the work you’ve done, and all the feelings you’ve felt and turned into positivity… you are a gift to your country and our world xx ❤ G

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s so very, very sad 😦 I’m sad for my children, but I also have great hope that love, and critical thinking can prevail. How are you doing this week on your rations? I have been thinking about you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks Alexis- Day 3 was awful, Day 5 now, and just want it to be over. But it feels good to be raising money and awareness; I am SO privileged really, here in Australia, so it feels like a small sacrifice to make

          Like

  7. I believe the majority of us are horrified and what this administration has wrought and we are doing what we can locally as well as with our votes. I was and remain more that a little frightened of something setting off these marginalized people revolting. I have witnessed hate spewing people that now feel emboldened because of Trump go off the dial because of some perceived slight. I am trying to be positive and promote goodwill but at times you do feel like your are spitting into the wind. Just know that as a whole Americans are not represented by this man.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh yes, absolutely! I know it’s not fair to tar all Americans with the same brush of course; I was exasperated at a few horrible comments by people supporting the border separations… I know so many good Americans are resisting Trump, and I am with you all the way ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Bipartisanship as patriotism – Just Bear With Me…

  9. Again I wish I had a Love button for this post. I too just couldn’t believe what I was seeing on the News….where is the Compassion and empathy? It makes me so angry. I hate having to explain to my eleven year old how Australia treats the people seeking refugees, and now I have to explain why children his age are locked up and taken from their parents. This is not the behaviour of a country that pretends to be Home of the Free.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Rest assured, most of us are enraged and embarrassed by Trump. The fact that he is still in office is even more shocking, and I think that many Americans feel powerless now and have lost all trust in the government. The rot runs deep. Thank you for reminding us that we can still do good things and be productive while we wait for this nightmare to end.

    Liked by 3 people

    • We’re ALL shocked he’s still in power! Hopefully he will be the terrible wake up we need to bring us all back to our kindness and care?

      Like

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