I came upon two pieces of input, within the same hour, recently. They seem unrelated. But I went ahead and related them, as an exercise. And I’ve been thinking about this exercise since. Maybe it can be instructive.
|image from here|
The second thing I came upon was this short little self-help piece: “To Get to the Bottom of Any Problem, Simply Ask ‘Why?’" It suggests asking why, and then why that, and then why that, and so on seven times. And when you reach the bottom, it should be something for which you can let go of the negative emotion.
As I read it, I was upset/angry about a post about “concentration camps” on the border. I had given Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez not much more than an eyeroll over that stupid comment—or her follow-up defense and doubling down. She is not worth my time. But the comment was from a young relative, and it was aimed at the enemy—me and anyone who doesn’t agree to let any and all comers into our country. Here’s the beginning statement (following a personal intro I’ve left off for privacy):
The US is holding children in concentration camps. This could all be changed with a policy change by Trump. He is the one that started all this. This is so immoral and wrong and just pure evil. Call your reps. Vote democrat. Join protests. These innocent children should not be rotting away in squalor. This will cause permanent trauma to them.
In short, she has bought into AOC’s terminology. She—and a number of others in the thread—think that if you even point out the misuse of the term and its implication that we are evil Nazis, then we’re just arguing semantics rather than addressing the problem.
So much on Facebook I simply scroll past. Engaging in politics on a social media site is not what I typically do. But son Political Sphere had responded, which he rarely does either, and he sounded reasonable. So I responded too. I pointed out that separation of families while waiting for hearings is a continuation of Obama’s policies. (I didn’t say this, but Glenn Beck was trying to raise awareness of it way back then, because it was worse in some ways then.) I also said the people were free to leave, or not come when they knew they would be detained at the border and risk separation.
She responded to that—illogically. They can’t leave, she says, because they’re separated from their children. Wrong. All they have to do is get an official, say, “I’ve changed my mind; I don’t want asylum after all. I want to return home.” They might even be given transportation home. It might take a matter of days to retrieve a child from foster care, or from sponsoring relatives. But to imply that the US is purposely splitting up families and trying to keep them apart forever is a despicable lie.
I used the word “despicable.”
And then I found that piece about the seven why questions. So I did the exercise. It helped, until the next day when the attack started through Facebook Messenger, more privately. And on totally unrelated but very liberal topics. I have not answered there yet; I’ve been having vacation days with a granddaughter this week. But Political Sphere is handling that in logical, lawyerly fashion, and may prevent permanent extended family ruptures thereby.
Anyway, in case it helps, here is the exercise, which got harder toward the end. I may not have nailed down the right answers, if there are right answers.
Why am I upset/angry about her post about concentration camps on the border?
1. Because it’s a gross distortion of reality and an attack on people like me personally as inhumane.
Why am I upset/angry about a gross distortion of reality and personal attack on people like me as inhumane?
2. Because the distortion and name-calling do nothing to solve the problem, but do cause more division among people.
Why am I upset/angry that the distortion and name-calling do nothing to solve the problem, but do cause more division among people.
3. Because I actually do have humane feelings for the people suffering at the border and would like to see the situation improve, but the division among people is in the way of any solution.
Why am I upset/angry that the situation doesn’t improve and division is in the way of any solution?
4. Because those are two wrongs being caused by the accusers who are blaming people like me, whereas people like me could make things right if it weren’t for the interference on top of the accusations.
Why am I upset/angry about the wrongful accusations from people who are actually preventing things from being made right?
5. Because, under these circumstances, I don’t know how to fix either the situation or defend against the accusations.
Why am I upset/angry that I don’t know how to fix either the situation or defend against the accusations?
6. Because that makes me feel both frustrated and hurt, and powerless to do actual good.
Why am I upset/angry that I am both frustrated and hurt while feeling powerless to do actual good?
7. Because I’m not well adapted to a fallen world. But I need to learn better how to be resilient against it, since there’s so much of our world in that fallen state.
Later today, I responded to more replies in the thread directed at me, following stories about how bad things are at the border. I repeated, again, that we need better facilities for this huge influx that we did not cause or invite, but that Nancy Pelosi’s Congress has turned down funding for that specific purpose. It appears the Democrats prefer to have the issue than to actually deal with it.
I added a couple of links. One was this piece about the high number of children not genetically matched to those claiming to be their parents. Unnamed female relative says she’d rather risk them being sent to “fake” sponsors than to have to sleep without a bed in those “concentration camps” that are a “crime against humanity.” I let her know that risking sending children into child sex trafficking looks to me more despicable than risking their temporary discomfort until we can get them better facilities.
|Border patrol agents in West Texas doing DNA testing on immigrant with children.|
Image from CBP West Texas, found here
Another is a piece from November 2018, from a woman living in Honduras, commenting on the caravans, how they’re being recruited, and what the people are actually leaving, which means they likely do not qualify for asylum: “I’m a US Citizen Living in Honduras. Here’s What I Think About the Caravan.”
|Caravan from Honduras, November 2018|
AP Photo by Oscar Rivera, found here
A third piece I shared I’ll repeat here, because I’m not sure how to link to a particular Quora answer. This was answered by Joe Flynn on June 17, 2019. The original question was, “If ALL people are endowed with inalienable rights as we claim, how is it constitutionally legal to treat those seeking happiness and refuge in the US as criminals?”
Here’s the major portion of his answer:
A man is living in a house down the street from you. He’s found that he has a rat infestation in his home and that there is also toxic mold growing in his walls. He feels he can no longer live in those conditions but knows of a place, just a bit more than a block away, where there’s a house that is well kept, clean, and with four bedrooms and only one kid, has plenty of room available.
That night, the man visits that house, breaks a rear bedroom window, and enters the house. He now makes the statement that his house in unlivable and that if he returns to his house, he is subject to getting sick because of the rats and mold.
He claims that since he’s now actually in “your” house, he has the right to remain until there is a court hearing to determine whether he will be permitted to stay or leave. Unfortunately, the courts are backlogged and that hearing won’t be for another 18 months.
And, under the basis of your question, since he has gained access to your house (legally or illegally), he now has the right to stay there.
In the meantime, while half your neighbors think you have the right to throw the guy out, the other half believe that the man has a valid right to remain in your home because of he’s a “human being” deserving of a better life. Of course, they aren’t willing to give you any funding to help feed or clothe him but they ARE willing to vote in the homeowners association to require that all homeowners who have a nice, clean, mold and rat free homes be mandated an extra association fee to pay for him to remain in your home.
And, of course, the Homeowners Association has pass a requirement that says that homeowners are not permitted to cooperate with the local police in the event of a break-in IF that break-in is simply an effort to find a better place to live.
You OK with that guy living in your house?
Bottom line ….. your and my freedoms start and end with other people. We have an absolute right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T CREATE AN IMPOSITION or interfere with OTHER people’s same rights. Those impositions are determined, in the law, by Congress, signed by the President, and interpreted as legal by the Supreme Court.
The emotionally motivated enemy of truth and justice is claiming we Americans are immoral for having boundaries such as are protected by every nation in the world. The border is a moral issue. But not the way they’re framing it.
I don’t have a high tolerance for being called a Nazi war criminal by someone gladly willing to risk sending children into sex trafficking, and maybe especially when I have known and cared about that accuser since she was born. I’m still upset/angry. I may have to ask yet another seven questions. And stay away from social media for a while.