Thursday, August 16, 2018

Guest Post on the Smell of Patriotism #KeepFamiliesTogether

Please welcome my guest, friend, occasional boss, and cousin-in-law:

J Lenni Dorner

Thanks, Jamie!

I didn't know where best to share my feelings on this subject. But, since Jamie is my NaNoWriMo ML and her blog gets political sometimes, this seemed to be the best place.

On Tuesday night, the local writing group got together in a public place. They do that weekly. Picture, if you will, a handful of writers sitting around a table with their laptops, pens, books, snacks, and whatnot. I wasn't there, but Jamie was, and she's told me about it.

A man came up to the group and asked about the gathering. He was told it was a group of writers. The man said he would soon turn 91. The writers congratulated him on staying alive so long.

Then the man spouts off about the greatness of the current President, says something about social security, and states his joy that immigrants are being tossed out.

Again, I wasn't there.

Either he wouldn't have addressed the group if I was, or he'd have implied that I (a Native American) should be deported back to "my native country." I assume this because of how often that's happened to me since the last presidential election. #ThanksForTheHate

As a mute, I wouldn't have been able to respond fast enough anyway. (Though I'm told there's a hero in this story, another writer who gave a verbal smackdown and ended with, "Bye! Don't come again!" in an ironic customer service voice.) But here's what I'd have liked to have thrown out there:

There's a relative of my spouse, let's call him John Doe. He was visiting his parents who live down south. Or LIVED. They retired there. John Doe's father served in the military. The Doe family owned a small shop in Minnesota, where John Doe was born. The raiders came to call on the town in the south, taking John Doe and his parents and deporting all of them. Never mind that his parents had both been legal citizens since the sixties. Never mind that John Doe was born here, served this country in the Army and was decorated for doing so, and has a wife and child here. The three of them are gone.

I'm using an alias because his Army buddies are using back channels to try to get him back. They're trying to smuggle a United States citizen back into his own country, assuming they can figure out where he and his parents were shipped off to, and assuming they're alive.

Meanwhile, his six-year-old daughter, Pennsylvania born and raised, has cancer. The worry is that they'll come for this child. Throw her in a detention center where she will most certainly die because the treatments are the only reason she's alive right now.

So someone, and I'm not saying who, has to sneak the poor girl in under a costume to get her treatments. You know what her vomit smells like?


That's what it smells like inside the costume. And the wetness of her tears feels like morality. Mind you, it sounds like the opposite of patriotism, considering the current political field. But I don't believe the current rule will last. Not as long as people are willing to fight for love.

Congratulations to the man who lived for so many years and yet would deny this child her father, and her own life. I regret not having the authority to throw you off the land of my people. #KeepFamiliesTogether

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