Melania’s Coat


Let me open by saying I am Canadian. Some people might argue I don’t have the right to comment on American politics. As a human, I believe I do: especially because last night while watching US news, my heart broke. It actually ached in my chest. This morning it still does.


A couple of years ago, I was separated from my middle son at Walmart. He was eight. I was rushed and assumed he was walking behind me with his two brothers. It wasn’t until I came to the checkout I realized he wasn’t. We were separated less than five minutes before my name was called to the service desk. He was standing with his teacher who happened to be shopping in the same store, and appeared to be all right until the moment he saw me. Then, he broke down. He thought I forgot him. He thought that in my rush I had left the store without him. And, even though he was generally a tough little guy, he sobbed for almost ten minutes with his small arms around my neck.

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 Photograph: TIME

I have never felt so guilty.  But, I held him tight. I comforted him. Soon, he was okay.

The children separated from their parents at the American border are not okay.

The leaked audio from the patrol facility where agents openly mocked the children crying for their parents has affected me tremendously, taking me back to the day I lost my son for a mere five minutes.

Yesterday, the American President signed an executive order to put an end to the policy separating children from their parents (drummed up John Kelly and Stephen Miller, approved by The Donald, adopted by Sessions, and instituted on 4/6/2018). The executive order was a show. It was an attempt to appease the masses rallying against him. The President could have put an end to the policy with a simple phone call. In spite of the very grand gesture, many of the children already separated from their parents will have a long time to wait before being reunited.


And, while on her way to a border detention center, the First Lady of the United States of America wore this:

Melania-Trump-Sports-Jacket-That-Reads-I-DONT-REALLY-CARE-to-Visit-Border-Detention-Centers


Let me tell you something, as a citizen of the world, I do care. I care very much.


A spokesperson for Melania claimed the jacket carried no hidden message and was “just a jacket,” but the President later alleged Melania directed the statement to “fake news.”

We all know Melania Trump has handlers. She would have been told how the public would perceive the words printed very clearly on the coat. And, she chose to wear it anyway.

Because she doesn’t care.

cooknart11.jpg


Michelle Martin, Ph.D. Cal State Fullerton, researches and writes about these issues and summed up the most important facts about the policy here.

Please, take the time to read it in full.


Her key statements really hit home for me:


•  The increase in asylum seekers is a direct result of the increase in civil conflict and violence across the globe. Rather than processing their claims (according to witness accounts) they have been taken into custody on the spot and had their children ripped from their arms. The ACLU alleges that this practice violates the US Asylum Act, and the UN asserts that it violates the UN Treaty on the State of Refugees, one of the few treaties the US has ratified. The ACLU asserts that this policy is an illegal act on the part of the United States government, not to mention morally and ethically reprehensible. https://www.nytimes.com/…/meatpackers-profits-hinge-on-pool…

•  We are a country that has an above-ground system of immigration and an underground system. Our government (under both parties) has always been aware that US companies recruit workers in the poorest parts of Mexico for cheap labor, and ICE (and its predecessor INS) has looked the other way because this underground economy benefits our country to the tune of billions of dollars annually. Thus, even though many of the people crossing the border now are asylum-seekers, those who are economic migrants (migrant workers) likely have been recruited here to do jobs Americans will not do. https://www.upi.com/…/Donald-Trumps-wall-ign…/2621477498203/

•  There is great legal ambiguity on how and even whether the parents will get their children back. According to the ACLU lawsuit (see attached link), there is currently no easy vehicle for reuniting parents with their children. Additionally, according to a May 2018 report, numerous cases of verbal, physical and sexual abuse were found to have occurred in these residential centers. The report covers earlier years, but highlights the problems of keeping children in large residential centers, even if they are run efficiently and supervised by licensed social workers and counselors: https://www.aclu.org/…/aclu-obtains-documents-showing-wides…


Despite everything happening in the world today, I believe most people are good.


Most people want to be productive. They want to contribute. They want to help when help is needed. People need to feel valued, and thrive when given the opportunity to instill that value into the lives of others. We all want the same things: dependable healthcare, creature comforts, education, and the promise of a stable future for our children.

As humans, we are within our rights to fight for it. And, to flee danger and oppression.

Because some people are not good.

They don’t care.

And often, those people do everything they can to climb into positions of power. They will turn the masses against each other with the use of words like “us” and “them.”bd91a50c9aa262d4b60d247e53e0615d


They are not like us.

They are dangerous.

They don’t share our “values.”


Don’t fall prey to it.


Don’t stop seeing the humanity in others. Don’t stop seeing the similarities that bind us to each other. Because that’s how the wars begin. That’s how rape, murder, bombings, and pillaging is justified.

That’s why people have to flee.

Children have been taken from their parents. They are being locked in cages and treated like criminals for seeking refuge from dangerous places. Believe me when I say there is no us and them.

You cannot justify child abuse with those words. You cannot justify ripping a nursing infant from his mother. You cannot justify horror.


This is horror:



The effects of what is happening at the United States border will last more than a lifetime. The children of these children will become the survivors of survivors. It’s a cycle that’s hard and sometimes impossible to break. It’s a cycle that does the entire world a grave disservice, no matter where these kids end up.

You, as a human, can do something.


Show you won’t be swayed by a grand gesture executive order.


If you live in the States, write your representatives. A plan should be implemented to reunite the children who have been taken from their families.

Canadians can write a letter to our United Nations Representative, Marc-André Blanchard, who can be reached at:

Canada.UN@international.gc.ca

i-really-do-care-do-u-melania-troll-tshirt

And hey, you can buy this shirt on Etsy, with all proceeds going to RAICES in support of refugee and immigrant services.


More links:


https://mashable.com/

http://takeaction.amnesty.ca/

https://globalnews.ca/news/

http://amp.slate.com/


 

Comments are moderated.


46 thoughts on “Melania’s Coat

  1. Comment on, Canadian sister. It’s been an insane ride since 2016 and it keeps getting worse. I’m embarrassed for America and Americans. Atrocious.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. As a citizen of the world and a human being you have every right to comment and work towards ending this atrocious agenda by the Trump Administration and his gang of thugs and sheep.
    Melania was wearing a $39.00 jacket…the first time she has been seen wearing anything in or near that category, a planned message to the world.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Thank you! I really appreciate your comments. I am appalled at what is going on at the border, and I think the more people speaking out on this egregious abuse of human rights, the better. Our nation needs to be better than this, and we need public outcry in order to move change.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Great post. No amount of backtracking can ever make it forgiveable that this happened. I hope the people on the ground who actually carried this out are punished too. Just following orders was the defence used at Nuremberg and it was sickening then too. If they genuinely disagreed with what they are doing then they should grow a pair.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Here, here! Headed over to get the t-shirt. I, too, believe the coat’s message was planned. Whether to appease Trump’s followers or just to send a message in general isn’t clear. Glad you took time to address this. I am reblogging!

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Pingback: Melania’s Coat – Seeing Beyond the Ordinary

  7. Canada, you are family! Please contribute your thoughts. We are struggling in the U.S. to get back on track and to stop being ashamed and appalled at what is happening here. “45” is an embarrassment to us and to the world.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Pingback: Melania’s Coat | cyclingrandma

  9. Thank you for sharing such a powerful voice for sanity and compassion. As the daughter of Ojibwe woman who was forcibly taken from her family as a child by federal agents and placed in an Indian “boarding school” like thousand before her, this most recent outrage is yet another very painful reminder of how the U.S. has always treated brown-skinned people. Sadly, too many people here “don’t care” and so the brutality continues. They haven’t learned that the US provoked a war with Mexico in 1846 as a pretext for claiming half of Mexico’s territory, now the western half of the US. The promises made to the inhabitants. like treaties with Indigenous peoples, were quickly broken.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Canada has a dark history of taking children from their parents too. The effects are generational and the children of these survivors often become the survivors of survivors. It’s good of you to speak out now. History has already taught us the consequences of acts like these. We just need to pay attention.

      Liked by 5 people

  10. This is by far the best piece written about this shameful atrosity – this country needs to see and read what the world thinks especially from our closest neighbors. Thank you for the care (and words) that you shared today.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pingback: Melania’s Coat — J. A. Allen | Admission-Transfer-Discharge

  12. The United States of America kidnapped 2,300 children. I want and encourage everyone to make noise about that! You don’t need to be from the US. Thank you for your well-written, articulate piece. I’ve shared this post on FB and I’m buying t-shirts.

    Melania shouldn’t get a free pass for her choice in clothing. What she wore made a statement and like all things Trump, it was mean and without heart.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I’m not sure what that jacket was all about but I do support our laws, I do support placing these children in the custody of HHS while their parents are held accountable, and as someone who has literally ripped babies from the arms of mothers I can tell you that these children will be just fine.
    It’s hard to listen to video tape of cries but trust me, they will be just fine. I spent 11 years of my life caring for children who were displaced, had one parent, had no parents, had horrible parents, refugees, foster children, abused children, and children from good homes. ALL OF THEM adjusted to being separated, survived, thrived, and were okay! A lot of these news stories are there to tug at the heart strings for political reasons but rest your heart, some of those children are being treated better than they ever have before. They are being well fed, receiving much needed medical care, clean clothes, and an education.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Well said. The U.S. Government is using Us and Them tactics to dehumanize the migrants and refugees in the eyes of Trump’s supporters. Hitler did the same thing with the Jewish people and we all know where that led.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Thank you!!! I never in my life thought that I would say these words. In the last year plus I have not proud of my country, or proud to be an American. I am embarrassed and shocked.

    My uncle died fighting against these very values in World War II. My dad fought in WWII and Korea to stop this type of garbage. And yet here we are.

    We are now today as a direct result of our own actions raising and encouraging a new breed of North American terrorist. These new terrorists are not going to be Muslim extremists. They will be white American haters, and unfortunately justifiably so.

    There is no excuse for our government’s actions. Period. It is wrong; it is pure evil. Thank you for standing up for what is right, even though so many here will not.

    When we elected President Obama, I was so proud. I thought we had overcome our racist heritage, and moved up. But no, that is not the case. Racism, bigotry and other forms of hatred and extremist behavior are back with a vengeance, and being spearheaded by the man in the White House.

    I deeply fear for our nation now. Our racism will be our undoing. Please, please do not let your wonderful country follow in these ugly footsteps.

    There are still many great Americans, but I fear too few to stop this process of hatred.

    Thanks again for being brave enough to call out our own horrors.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you so much for this. It is extremely disconcerting to to absorb the reality of this atrocity. This isn’t about being political, this is about being human. And it is utterly absurd for anyone to try to defend these actions.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. great post. But this shit is happening everywhere. I am from Australia. Even here I am not exactly thrilled the way the refugees are treated. I am not saying let everyone in but there has to be a humane way to deal with humans. What bothers me more is this issue being used for political gain.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Reblogged this on adaratrosclair and commented:
    Thank you, J.A. Allen! Not only have I grown tired of the argument of what has been called “political”, but I have learned to see through this false narrative. What is going on in the world regarding our “leaders” isn’t merely a matter of politics. These are societal matters of common sense and simply the heart of humanity (or often the lack thereof). America is the poisoned chalice . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  19. As an Australian, can I just say that we all have a right and must speak out! Not only are Trumps actions affecting these people seeking asylum. His actions are affecting the rest of the world. The tariffs, for example, our housing/mortgages are going up because of Trump and needing to get his money somewhere! So I believe that we have every right to speak on Trump, lol

    Liked by 2 people

  20. These measures are clearly against Human Rights and international treaties. And Melania’s coat 🧥… come on!… maybe I am skeptical, but I find it hard to believe it was just a coincidence.. I hope this situation changes soon. I read it has been already repealed by a judge… Great post 👌

    Liked by 1 person

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