Barbara Z. Rofkar guest writes this article. She is a 50 year resident of Bellingham.
Toni Morrison said, “If you can only be tall if someone is on their knees, then you have a problem.” She sums up too many leaders in the world! And the USA’s treatment of too many people and nations.
The longer this president is in office the more I have stopped asking myself what the German people were doing as Hitler was consolidating his power and corruption. People have been comparing Trump and Hitler since his election and I originally thought his ego was so big he would not do anything too erratic. Now all I can do is walk around in circles watching history repeat itself and asking myself what to do as he goes after anyone who does not think like him
Destroying families by separating them, keeping people in cages, and taking babies away from their parents…...and we watch and march and have a Congress that cannot seem to muster any consciousness to speak out or uphold the Constitution. We have four young and exceptional women who speak ‘truth to power’ and are often attacked. Other members of Congress are so quiet one has to wonder if they are awake
As Dr. MLK reminded us, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal”. And, “In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” Both Republicans and Democrats in and out of Congress who know better have lost our respect by their silence and reticence not to call out this illegal, immature behavior displayed by Trump.
Trump attacks the four women of color who were duly elected by the majority of people in their districts. On the other hand, Trump was put into office by the electoral college with a minority of people of this nation voting for him. He portrays them as “Trouble Makers” because they see all people as human beings! His anti Black, anti people of color and anti Muslim attacks are the antithesis of our ‘stated’ values and our Constitution.
As a Muslim, I grew up believing we had a truly great nation whose Statue of Liberty was a symbol of who and what we were and could work toward. They haven’t started the mass rounding up Muslims yet. But when I have people ask me why do I stay here if I think the policies being promoted are not Constitutional, well, I answer, we learned that we fight for what are the stated principles of this nation are. That is why so many of my family members served in U.S. Army and Navy.
Being taught to work for the freedom, democracy, equity and justice was what this nation was supposed to be about. Yet, looking at what is going on in the southern border, is a shock. I had the opportunity to volunteer in Greece with refugees two years ago. Greece is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Yet, they somehow managed to house thousands of helpless and hopeless FAMILIES! They kept them together! Gave them water, bread, pasta, a place to lay their heads and bodies as they were in shock.
There were many volunteer organizations that helped with food, fresh veggies, protein, fruit and other staples for families. Volunteers were allowed to come in and play games with the children, give mental health services. The sick were taken to hospitals, never separated from their moms or dads. The whole situation was incredibly sad, BUT it was HUMANE!!
Dr. King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” How fitting and connected to Toni Morrison’s words! How have we allowed ourselves, one of the wealthiest nations in the world to ” ...only be tall if someone is on their knees”? We in the USA have an incredible problem! Only the ‘ruthless’ shall prevail now?! Especially with a Congress that appears too comfortable or is too well compensated by the oligarchy to act. We all need to reread and bring the Constitution and values we learned in grade school of what this nation stood for, back into life. The U.S. is great when it stands for all human kind!