Mary Beth Writes

Here we are at Memorial Day again. This is a time to honor those who have given so much to and for our nation. In honor of their honor - here are some of my thoughts and actions. 

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Some of you already know about this. If you don’t, please read the Sun-Times article.

Pastor Betty Rendon was arrested by ICE early in May in Chicago. She was a student pastor at Emaus Lutheran in Racine and just beginning her work on a Ph.D.

Click here for the story from the Chicago Sun-Times

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I don’t quite know how to relax in my country anymore. Do you? 

Every side, every front, every place one's heart goes – there is this Trump Republican Administration trampling law, fairness, and decency.

This is not the Republican party of the people who raised me. This powerful, chaotic, fascist administration is hijacking who we are. The sanity, justice, fairness, and opportunity that has been the slow churning history and legacy of this nation is under seige.

What I keep hearing us saying is this. “I don’t even know where to grab on. The chaos is everywhere. This lie, that slur. This law broken, that massively unfair deal done. How do we keep breathing?”

This is where I am. I am not accepting that my full-time job is to oppose injustice. I am also not “a good German” which in 2019 is a racist and pejorative phrase. I am not running on guilt, frenetic energy, or a full-steam ahead anger. But I am paying attention.

I do grab some issues and injustices.  You grab, too.  You don’t have to do it all and neither do I.  But we all have to grab some causes.

I suggest you start here.

Wikipedia has the back-stories of our elected representatives.  Go to Google, type in their name, (skip the sites they pay for.).  Read who they are.  It sheds light.

EXAMPLE: My reps are:

Senator Ron Johnson was raised in middle American family and then he married the daughter of a man who started a plastics company in Green Bay. This translates to a current personal worth over $36 million. He is one of the seven richest senators in Congress.

Senator Tammy Baldwin was born to a 19-year old mother who was in the middle of a divorce and who was a drug addict. Tammy was mostly raised by her grandparents. She is related to TWO biochemists and also to Andy Samberg! She is lesbian and had been open about that since the beginning of her career. Her net wealth is $800K.

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner’s great-grandfather invented Kotex napkins and also served as the second president of Kimberly-Clark. Sensenbrenner is an heir to the family fortune. His net wealth is 11.6 million.

Knowledge sheds light on power.

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Back to the ICE arrest of Pastor Betty Rendon.  

I sent the following letter to one of my reps and then detailed it differently for the others.

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Dear Representative Jim Sensenbrenner,

Lutheran Pastor Betty Rendon of Racine is due to be deported 5/28 by ICE.  Today is Sunday. The 28th is Tuesday.

I STRONGLY oppose this arrest and deportation. This is a Nazi-like travesty of American justice. ICE knowingly arrested a DACA recipient – using their daughter as “bait” to get to her parents and uncle - planning to deport her in the process until others protested and ICE un-arrested her. This family arrest was carried out in a guns-drawn, strong-arm militaristic manner that terrified the family’s 5-year old. Brown shirt methods, Sir.

Is this how you planned to keep America safe when you introduced the American Patriot Act in 2001? Deporting Lutheran pastors at gunpoint?

“In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Rendón’s daughter Paula Hincapie explained that their family moved to the U.S. from Colombia after guerrilla soldiers threatened her mother, the principal of a school, for opposing their attempts to recruit students.”  Sojourners

This is YOUR party’s “shock-and-awe” policy. To deport educators who fled to the US to be SAFE? This is a mockery of American justice. On YOUR watch, Sir.

 “Since the couple’s arrest, more than 65 organizations have submitted letters of support through the Emaus Evangelical Lutheran Church in Racine, Wisconsin, where Betty is a student pastor, and more than 13,000 people have signed a petition requesting that ICE halt the couple’s deportation to Colombia and release them from detention."

This is one more letter - and a few hundred more readers of this letter who are the people who read my website.

Release Pastor Betty Rendon and her family from custody now. 

Sincerely Mary Beth Danielson

PS: I am posting this at my website: https://www.marybethdanielson.com/

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“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”   Warsan Shire, poet of "Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth"

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”  Adolf Hitler

“If you want peace, work for justice.”  Henry Louis Mencken 

 

Comments

As an American resident and citizen I am appalled and ANGRY. The travesty being committed day after day is frightening. As an immigrant myself, this is even more personal. It makes me realize that my 1989 thought that my sister and I had nothing to prove we were citizens and therefore fought to get our own papers was fortuitous. Nevertheless, now that dual citizenship is legal, I am filing papers to regain my Danish citizenship. It’s called: Self Protection

You tell it like it is! I live in a state and district (Illinois) with legislators I can count on to speak out for justice. But they need calls too so they know we have their backs.

What a powerful and inspiring letter. Thank you.
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks, Kjr..
Leonard's picture

See what happens, I guess. I mentioned your post in my email.

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Three Things / Story, Eclipse, Brando

1. I scheduled my Substack story to go out at 8AM this morning. I just looked to see why it didn’t show up and it says it is going to be sent at 8:49 tonight. I’m going to leave it like that. Maybe 9PM on a weekend night is a good time to send short fiction. Let me know if you have an opinion.

2. I read this quote by Marlon Brando who said this early in his career. “I’m not afraid of anything and I don’t love money.”

Even though this is probably not exactly true of me and you, I do love the bravado.

Peace Like a River / Book Report

4/3/2024 She Writes

I just finished reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and I am going to talk about it for a little bit before I forget how profoundly interesting and evocative this book was and is, at least to me.

I get emails from Boswell Bookstore (2559 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee). They host artist events pretty often and Monday evening, April 15th Len and I will be there for the Author Evening with Leif Enger. You can look up more of the details if you are interested. (Tickets are free but you need to reserve them.)

My Grandkids & 'Wandering Stars'

4/1/2024

The past month has been jam-packed. The week in Mineral Point. Len’s two-day seminar in Chicago. Last week we had various grandkids here for three overnighters and yesterday our family came to Easter dinner here in our house which was clean after a week with grandkid overnighters so you know that was a piece of cake. Len smoked two hams (yes, hard to keep them lit) and I made the largest amounts of from-scratch scalloped potatoes plus macaroni and cheese that I have ever made. As in, I grated four pounds of cheese Saturday afternoon. “On Wisconsin.”

Ghost on a Post / Poetry with Third Graders

3/12/2024

This is what I texted to Len this afternoon after I finished the poetry class with third graders. “I’m done and back. The kids were great and I’m a limp washrag, Teaching forty 8-year-olds for 90 minutes is way more energy than Everest.” I then drank half a beer (I NEVER drink in the afternoon) and fell asleep until the Mineral Point afternoon ‘change of shift siren’ shrieked for several minutes. It’s been a full day.

How 2 Write a Poem (3rd grade edition)

3/7/2024

Next week is my Writers Week at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI. I won this when my story “How Crow Got Out of Jail” (Read Here) won first prize in the 2023 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring contest for short fiction.

Winning that contest motivated me to open my Substack account. So far I’ve published 17 stories and only published once twice. (Who noticed that?)

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