There wasn’t enough oomph in the sound system at the last week, so it was very difficult for my wife and me to hear the orators amidst the other city sounds at Washington Square Park. But we knew the big picture, the horrific intolerance of the Trump administration’s policies towards those desperately trying to find sanctuary from the violence, economic strife, and Climate Change compelling them to flee to our door. What we couldn’t hear well were the local stories of those trying to keep themselves and their families together while our country gives way to xenophobia.
Given that most of us are immigrants to this country (I descend from potato-famine Irish), the hypocrisy of Trump’s moves to separate families at our borders is hard to stomach. Trying to appease his political base by terrorizing those who help make our country work, who actually make the US the US, only puts everyone else, including our friends around the world, on edge. Many are probably wondering why the Statue of Liberty still stands. Would you leave your ‘No Pesticides’ signs on your lawn if you started to use pesticides?
The heat at the rally was oppressive. As I write many days later, the heatwave is still going on. It is part of a worldwide, record-breaking string of heatwaves that all but the most indifferent see as another sign that our planet is quickly warming. [See, July 4th The Washington Post)
The connection between the heat at our local rally (which was but one around the country) and Trump’s hypocrisy is clear, for it is hard not to see the selfish hypocrisy that our present US attitude towards migration has now taken: We put most of the greenhouse gas emissions into our climate system, which this system is presently responding to, but we refuse to stop the burning of fossil fuels for energy, refuse to help other nations adapt, and then refuse to let them into our country when climate change makes them desperate.
Then, in the same article:
Global warming is driving migration | Rising average temperatures are already pushing people from their homes in many middle-income countries, according to research by Cristina Cattaneo and Giovanni Peri, increasing migration from rural areas to urban centers and across borders to other nations. As warming continues in the coming decades, it will probably push people from agricultural areas to urban areas and from the global South to the richer global North. (ibid)
Morally, this is despicable, and you don’t have to be a bleeding-heart liberal to understand it.
Practically, it’s insane. We are trying to shut the door on people whose building we have set afire—forgetting somehow that we live in the same building.
The present reign of xenophobic isolationism, trying to pull out of the Paris Agreement, refusing to help the, and slamming our doors shut to the victims of our self-induced conflagration, is not going to make America great or safe again. It’s going to cook us all in a boiling vat of hate.