Skip to main content

Crisis of Children Crossing US Borders

A letter to the editor of the Conservative paper, The Weekly Standard. 

Dear Mr. Kristol,

Not so long ago, a country in the Americas made its people suffer conditions so dreadful, thousands fled north. Most to successfully cross the border were under the age of 25. (I've read hundreds of fugitive slave ads. I know.) What were American slaves escaping? Were they enticed to emigrate by the thought of superior Canadian politeness, unlimited maple syrup and all those free meals on the Underground Railroad?


I really don't think the problem was that our slaves were flooding Canada. I think the problem was that they were slaves.

Now, in 2014, conditions in Central America are so desperate, that parents are parting with their children. Somehow, sending their kids off with human traffickers is preferable to the conditions of home. (And please don't tell me that it's a mass misinformation campaign. Perhaps some people are conned, but certainly not all. We cannot deny there is suffering going on. There is abundant evidence.)

So why do we look at the children entering our country as the problem and not the horror they are fleeing? Could it be guilt? Racism? Why do you ascribe base motives to Latina mothers who send their children to the US? According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, if your reasoning is correct, these children come to us seeking status, a better standard of living, free healthcare and education, etc. But has it never occurred to you that perhaps survival, a more immediate human need, is the reason? If not, why not?

Can you NOT see the racism in that reasoning?

What conditions exist in El Salvadore, Honduras, and Guatemala that are causing such desperation? How can the US keep these children well until it's safe for them to return home? (Like we did for the Brits in WWII) How do we Americans contribute to the power of evil drug cartels? Might we consider a moral campaign against illegal drugs? (Quakers boycotted slave-produced cotton and sugar.) These are questions I'd like answered: by the press, by my representatives, and in citizen conversations. 

I urge the delegation representing me: Representative Kennedy and Senators Warren and Markey, to side with Jesus on this matter. (More than just this would be preferred, but one must start somewhere.) I beg the Republicans, who have been fighting compassion tooth an nail, to do the same. You are the Grand Old Party, the party of Lincolm. Act like it!

Thank you for your attention to my comments.

Suzanne Gonsalves

PS. I noticed, Mr. Kristol, that when you discuss this topic, your smile never reaches your eyes. I'm appealing to your heart.


Popular posts from this blog

D, Popsicle Stick and Paper Plate Kalimba!

Back to the Orffabet! Today's letter is D, the shape of the popsicle prongs on a homemade Kalimba!

Lisa Lehmberg of the University of Massachusetts, has agreed to share this portion of her book chapter. Hurray, Lisa! Let's make a Kalimba out of popsicle sticks, paper plates, and some scrap wood!
You'll need: two small, sturdy paper platesone wood block (3cm x 7cm* x 1cm) To convert to inches click here.  This block is inside the plates and keeps them from collapsing.7 cm* piece of thin plywood five flat popsicle sticks7 cm* strip of flimsy wood moldingbrads or small screws (optional)paper gluewood glue*the length is determined by the size of the paper plates. These measurements are for the structural stability of the instrument, NOT the intonation. Just eyeball or loosely measure the wood.
Glue a block of wood to a paper plate near its edge. Glue another paper plate (plates facing each other) to the original plate and the wood block. Spread glue on both the rims of the…

Liquid Ass

So we've had another school shooting. By the time I post this, we will have had a few more. The NRA and President Bone Spurs would like us to arm teachers. Shooting another human being is not natural. Killing is not natural. Self-defense only feels natural when hand to hand combat is involved. Guns, even in the heat of  battle, are abstract. Perhaps the primary reason the United States has a volunteer army instead of a drafted one is that drafted soldiers are far less likely to actually fire at the enemy when the time comes. The kill instinct has to be trained into a soldier. It isn't natural, and it takes its toll on the soul. Plus, you'll probably miss and shoot an innocent student and die anyway.

So I offer a humble alternative. Well, maybe two, but one of them is actually entertaining.

1. ALICE training. Click on this. It's helpful.
2. Liquid Ass

Developed as a joke product, Liquid Ass makes an excellent deterrent to the progress of a shooter. Shooters expect thei…

"P", The Bucket Routine for older students

Today's Orffabet letter is P, for the shape of buckets and sticks when they are in storage in our guest teacher's classroom.

The following post and series of videos is for Upper Elementary, Middle School, or High School Students.  This is a rare opportunity for you to learn a routine without having to go to a workshop or Orff level.  You will learn the routine as your students would.

John is a teacher in the Worcester Public Schools.  He has taught this routine to Upper Elementary students as an after school program.  John's students worked on the routine for an hour or so every day for 6 weeks.  To see John in an earlier post, click here.

The "students" in this video are Orff Level I students in the Worcester Public Schools class of 2010.  They learned the routine in a 90 minute session with Level III students who already knew it.  Here is the routine after those 90 minutes.

This routine, inspired by African dance and Orff body percussion, is well outside the …