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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Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

Advent Light Post 12/24/2020

Judy Saunders. Photo of a Rose.

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As folks of old have sung.
It came a flower bright
Amid the cold of winter
When half-spent was the night.

...

Len and I were delivering presents to Chicago yesterday. Social distancing, with masks, but we did it and we saw our kids’ faces and there’s your Christmas, Ma’am.

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