Tuesday, June 26, 2018


I am sitting here in my kitchen, looking out at the peach trees I planted and my two dogs in the yard, thinking about the world. The world right here seems fine on the surface. The grass was cut today and smells new and fresh. The little two-year old peach trees are bursting with life...hundreds of tiny peaches are dangling like fuzzy ornaments. The birds are calling in the distance. The neighbors' sheep are bleating. If I lived in a bubble, I might imagine that all was right with the world. But all is not right. 

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 today in favor of banning Muslims from entering this country, in what can only be described as an act of racism, plain and simple. The US is running on fear and that is the opposite of love. Our so-called president is a fearmongering ignoramus, a two-bit performer, a no-talent narcissist. And many people are supporting his hateful agenda. And man, he is gloating right about now. It makes me angry just thinking about it.

Children are in cages. Parents are desperate. It wasn't enough that these people were fleeing for their lives. LEGALLY seeking asylum. But now their lives are forever destroyed. The damage is irreversible. For the children and the adults. And we know that ICE never had any intention of reuniting children with parents. How is that ever going to happen? It is sickening and heart wrenching to think about it. I wonder, who are these goose-steppers? Who are these brainless, spineless monsters?

Just before #45 signed the bogus order to stop separating families, I wrote a letter to the FLOTUS. I was about to send it, and then she wore the coat. I knew that appealing to her as a woman, an immigrant, a mother, was a waste of words. I did not send it. Here is what I wrote:

Dear First Lady, 

I'm writing to you in the throes of profound sadness, heart-wrenching disbelief and abject fear of what is happening to our country. I have chosen to write to you because you sit in a place of power and honor, as the First Lady of the United States of America, FLOTUS. You; an immigrant, a woman, a mother. 

My sleep is disturbed, my heart is disturbed, my very soul hurts as I watch and listen to the news reports of thousands of immigrant children, displaced, ripped away from their mothers and fathers and placed in what can only be termed as internment camps. I imagine that nursing mother whose baby was ripped out of her arms. I feel her grief and I imagine her breasts becoming painful, perhaps infected, with no place for her milk to flow, no tiny mouth to suck on them for sustenance, warmth and succor. She is devastated. And I imagine her baby, traumatized, crying, with no one to hold her. Who is nursing that baby now? 

I can hear the five-year-old boy screaming for his papa, inconsolable, as he is being put in a cage. What if this were your son?

No parent would risk what these parents have risked if there was any other way. All they want is asylum. I hope that you would do anything to keep your son from harm, as I would do anything for my children. I heard you speak out against this with the other First Ladies. You yourself said that you “hate to see children separated from their families.” You visited, you influenced your husband to rescind the order to separate, and I thank you for that. 

But it doesn’t go far enough.
I don't know these children, but they are my children. They are our children. And they are undergoing trauma that is irreversible. The damage irreparable. They need to be reunited with their parents. Immediately.

Over the course of my life, I have had the unique honor and privilege to have worked with refugees and immigrants from all over the world. It has been my joy to have taught hundreds of people to speak English and to help them navigate their way around their new country, to welcome them and befriend them. I've learned their stories and I have held their hands, I have been their friend, and they have become mine. I have taught them and learned from them and my life is far richer because of them.

The people at the border have come here to escape something horrible, unimaginable; perhaps gang violence, perhaps abject poverty, human trafficking, war or climate disaster. They come here seeking safety and shelter. They're not stealing our jobs, they're not raping our women, they are not criminals. They are refugees. 

I am pleading with you, First Lady Melania Trump to do something. To use your incredible power and influence to do the right thing at this moment in history. Be the hero of the situation. You have the power to change the course of history. I'm afraid that if you don't, you and your family will go down in infamy.
This is your moment. 

Thank you,
Jana Laiz
Mother, daughter, sister, friend, woman, citizen 

I was hoping to reach her... I'm sure she would never have read it, but it was cathartic. Now it feels pathetic. 

So I am having a spiritual crisis. I am not feeling full of anything but rage. I know I am suppose to fight this with love, but I am having a real crisis. My heart is bursting with pain for the mothers and the fathers, the children, the babies. Is that love? I cry a lot these days. And I call my Congressmen and Senators and I call Republican Congressmen and Senators. I protested and made #143 tags for everyone to wear in solidarity with the little boy #47. Mr. Rogers' number was 143... and it means I LOVE YOU. #whatwouldmrrogersdo? 

I want to be like Mr. Rogers. I want my neighbors to be from Syria and Canada and Iran and Sudan and China and who the hell cares! EVERYWHERE. What are they so afraid of?

Try reaching out to an immigrant or refugee today and see what happens. 
I'm going to march on June 30 and try like hell to be love.

Will you join me?

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