This Evening: A difficult conversation with my son . . . .

weeping statue of liberty

Lady Liberty Weeps,

Tonight tested my parenting skills.  For 18 months, I have had to explain to my seven year old son that the man who ran for and received the Republican nomination for President represented the antithesis of our values as a family and a nation. Virtually every theme of his campaign was the opposite of what his dad fights for every day. Now he will be our President.

So, we respect the office of President.  When he gets it right, we will stand with him.  When he is wrong, we will fight to our last effort; with our words, with our arguments, with the facts …..with the truth.  And, as we all know, the truth is that the overwhelming percentage of undocumented immigrants are not drug dealers, criminals or “bad dudes”.  In fact they are mothers, fathers and children who we are more than proud to call friends and neighbors. They, and certainly not the candidate up to yesterday, represent the best of what has made and in truth, does today make America already Great!

But let us not fool ourselves.  We have our work cut out for us.  Already for months before the election we have received confirmed reports of elementary school children in rural southwestern Illinois being bullied by other white kids who tell them that after the election, their parents will be kicked out to Mexico.  Children.  US citizen children.  This is already the legacy of this election and our abject failure as a nation to remember who we are and who we are called by history to be.

So a great burden falls to us as we were all reminded this morning:

“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

My friends, there is much work to do and so much to work for.  We must not lose heart.  As my colleague, friend and oftentimes mentor over in Kansas City (you know who you are) consoled me this morning, we have a job to do and clients who depend on us to do it. Quit wallowing, get off you butt and get back to work!  Likely, I think, in the upcoming weeks, I won’t have much more to offer my son than that example.

So, in that vein, this Sunday its back to Dilley for a week of volunteer work with CARA representing women and children asylum seekers from Central America.  Somehow, that work always seems to put things in perspective.

In the upcoming weeks and months, we will keep you up to date on how the Trump administration begins to take shape and how that might effect the lives of our immigrant community.  We will not grow weary.  We will straighten our backs and stiffen our resolve and fight on with the good fight.  It is what we are called to do.

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