Prayers for Our Broken Country

I have tried.  Lord, I have tried.

I have not wanted to fall down the rabbit hole of writing angrily about the president and his enablers. I did not want to fall into the trap of using angry language to respond to anger. But his using the 8th year anniversary of the massive earthquake in Haiti as well as the weekend we celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to call entire countries and continents “s***holes” — especially those countries where a majority of the population is made up of people of color — pushed me over the edge. No, this was not the final straw in my thinking about this individual or his enablers.  I’ve been in essentially the same place on that point since (before) day one.  It pushed me over the edge in using a personal blog where I try and look for the positive in life to call out the obvious:  we have a so-called “leader” in this country and a group of enablers who are working together every day to move us away from our nation’s aspirations and values, to divide us, to rob our shared wealth and public lands, and to give money to the rich so they can convince what’s left of the middle class to blame the poor for our problems.

Rather than rant, I’m going to direct you to three recent articles that ring with truth to me.

First, This is How Ignorant You Have to Be to Call Haiti a S***hole.

I’ve recently been reading a number of books on slavery, and what is clear is that Haiti has been both a shining example of early self-liberation and a deeply exploited country by white slaveholders and business interests that feared a country led by liberated slaves.

“To rail against poverty in countries such as Haiti and argue that it’s some naturally occurring, objective reality ignores why that poverty exists and what the United States’s role has been in creating it. And ignoring that means not only making bad and hateful decisions today but risks repeating the errors of the past.”

There is a lot in this article, but it is a piece on U.S. history that I recommend.

Second, This is the WYSIWYG Presidency.

I’ve often thought that “what you see is what you get” with our president.  Paul Musgrave says it better than I ever could.

“Since (the election), Americans have sought some hidden meaning behind the erratic actions of the man who now sits in the Oval Office. His tweet Tuesday night warning that his “Nuclear Button” is “much bigger & more powerful” than Kim Jong Un’s (and that “my Button works!”) has prompted more of the same. But nearly a year in, it turns out that the truth is hidden in plain sight: Trump’s actions appear angry and impulsive because Trump is angry and impulsive. Computer programmers use the term WYSIWYG — “what you see is what you get.” The real secret of the Trump administration is that it is the WYSIWYG presidency. There is no grand plan or veiled purpose. There is no wizard behind the curtain — just an old, irate, obnoxiously ignorant man.”

That sums it up…

…and leads me to the third article by a progressive Christian (or just Christian) pastor: “Good People Don’t Defend a Bad Man.”

Generally speaking, there are things that good people do and things good people don’t do.

Good people don’t refer to entire countries as “s***holes”—most notably countries that have given birth to our very humanity; ones that for hundreds of years have been colonized and poached and mined of their riches by powerful white men; countries whose people have been enslaved and sold and forced to come and build your country.

Good people by any measurement we might use—simply don’t say such things.

Of course good people also don’t say they could grab women by the genitalia, either. They don’t defend racists and nazis and call them “fine people,” days after murdering a young girl and terrorizing an American city. They don’t brag about their penis size during debates, or suggest protestors at campaign rallies should be roughed up, or crack jokes about captured war heroes, or make fun of the physically disabled.  They don’t.

. . .

But this President is simply not a good human being, and there’s simply no way around this truth.

. . .

No, good people don’t call countries filled with beautiful, creative, loving men and women s***holes.

And good people don’t defend people who do.

You’re going to have to make a choice here.”

We all have to make our choice.

More to come…

DJB

2 Responses

  1. I love this David. I am tweeting it.

  2. PS Do you remember (or did you know) a hymn that has just come back into my mind after reading this piece? (“Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide…in the strife of truth or falsehood, for the good or evil side…And the choice goes by forever ‘Twixt that darkness and that light…”) I think you are very right. It is time to choose…

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