Sleepless in America

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"Turning and turning in the widening gyre.                                The falcon cannot hear the falconer;"

I could not sleep last night. My mind racing around and around and around in endless circles, a dog chasing its tail. There are 2500 children who have traveled here, in the vague hope of salvation. The shining city on a hill proving to be a terrifying mirage, a wicked monster waiting to devour them. They've been torn from their families, shoved into cages, and now the stories of drugging and abuse are unfolding. Our Mad King Donald, chaos creator, shit stirrer, lie machine, narcissist, a heartless, cold, bitter old man drunk on his own power, signing another duplicitous decree to the applause of his sycophants and co-conspirators. Then, driven by an insatiable need for constant approval, this twisted shell of a human stands on a podium crowing for adoring crowds infected with cognitive dissonance, convinced that these beautiful brown babies and their loving families are a threat to their soft, cozy, whitewashed comforts.

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold:                                                                                                                                                    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,"

Mad King Donald is right about one thing. There is an infestation in our country, it has risen from the shadows. It threatens everyone and everything. It is fed by the demons of racism, sexism, homophobia, and Xenophobia, cloaked in the robe of self-righteous indignation, and it is growing stronger and more twisted every single day. If we don't rise up and stop this monster, it will devour us all. 

"The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere                                                                                                                                      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;"

This monster is not new. This monster has always been lurking in the shadows, occasionally emerging to remind us of our collective shame. 

This is America. This is America. This is America. This is America.  This is America. This is America. This is America. This is America.

How can anyone defend the indefensible? Aren't they exhausted from twisting themselves into ugly new shapes? Who among us would not travel through the pits of hell to save our children? Who among us would not risk everything to give them a better life, a sliver of hope? How can anyone hear the plaintiff cries of innocents begging for their parents and not be moved?

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst                                                                                                                                                  Are full of passionate intensity."

Yet, what do I have to offer, beyond words? My cocoon, my privilege, my whiteness protects me. My physical limitations, my financial obligations, the animals who depend on me to care for them, all of the complexities of my sheltered life prevent me from standing outside the gates of the prisons in which these babies are being held hostage and demanding their release. 

"Surely some revelation is at hand;                                                                                                                                                                      Surely the Second Coming is at hand."   

I cannot sleep. I cannot focus. I cannot understand how anyone can turn away. I don't know how anyone can concentrate on anything else. I'm disgusted by friends who announce they're no longer going to pay attention and they're going to turn off the feeds of anyone who dares to speak truth to power. Those who refuse to face the cold, hard, difficult truths are making a conscious choice to look away. They are being seduced by the monster. This is a choice I cannot make, even if I can hide within the safety of my whiteness.

"The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out                                                                                                                                               When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi                                                                                                                                                Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert"  

Yet, who am I to judge, the tapper of keyboards, the wordsmith? I, I, I, the self indulgent I.

Talk is cheap.

"A shape with lion body and the head of a man,                                                                                                                                                A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,                                                                                                                                                                    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it                                                                                                                                                        Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds."  

All I have are words. Words won't save these children. Hope won't save these children. Marches won't save these children. Speeches won't save these children. They can't wait for the mid-terms, they can't wait for the courts. Every minute that passes takes them further away. 

"The darkness drops again; but now I know" 

So I tap into the keyboard. I fax, I email, I call, and I write. I make plans to march. I stare down the monster, and I refuse to turn away. I keep shouting that the Emperor Has no Clothes, in hopes it will awaken some of the sleepwalkers who still cannot see it. I hope that with the eyes of the world opened wide, the monster will be forced back into the shadows.

"That twenty centuries of stony sleep                                                                                                                                                           Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle," 

But, what about the children? 

"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,                                                                                                                                    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"                                                                                                                                               William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming