In my 52 years, I have had many jobs in this world. As a teen I had the requisite retail experience - working at County Seat, Foxmoor, and then JC Penney. As the years moved on, I added "stuffer" to my resume - that was a graveyard job in college in which myself and about 15 other students stuffed ads into the local paper to help cover our expenses. I have been Group Coordinator for an airline, a front desk agent, an Assistant Manager, and a Front Office Manager in my previous life in hospitality. I have had a booming cake business - creating everything from Sesame Street in icing to far-too-lifelike penises for bridal showers, to ornate wedding cakes for 500 people. I spent years coordinating the activities of two competitive soccer teams, including shepherding them across the ocean to Europe. And I have sat at this keyboard (the one my children mock because I have worn the N, M, H, and I off through the years) writing for magazines around the globe, websites, papers, and this blog.
I am proud of all of those jobs, and endeavored to do my best at each. But none of them compare to the position of which I am most proud; the job into which I have poured my heart, soul, days, nights, laughter, tears, worry, and joy: PARENT.
Those of you who have followed this blog throughout the 13 years it has been a presence, have come to know my children. You have "watched" them grow up, cheered their accomplishments, felt their disappointments, and embraced them no matter what. You know about them because they are the subject that is easiest to write about - each entry born of a love that flows as easily as the blood in my veins.
They are my life. The air I breathe. The breath I hold. Their well being means my well being. Their heartaches tear mine apart. Their joy transports my soul to places I did not know existed.
In short, they are my everything.
Through the years, you have also read entry after entry as I railed against horrific stories of child abuse, abandonment, kidnap, rape. Stories of people who procreated with no intent of parenting, loving. My feelings about the children of this world are no more secret than my feelings about my own. They are precious. They are innocent. And they deserve to know nothing but security, love, hope.
Watching the story covered by Chris Hayes, reading the ICE excerpts containing statements from those parents who watched as their small children were taken from them sickened me. Literally. That so many have been lost? The fury I felt, combined with the fear I have lived with every single day since Culley came into this world - that of someday not knowing where my child is - violently forced itself from my body. Manifested into the vomiting of what little I had eaten Friday, the strength of emotion had to find release.
We all know that this administration hates people of any color other than white. We know their disdain of immigrants is legend, encouraged to be let out and proudly shown by the most reprehensible sack of sewage to occupy the Oval. We know our current governance is peopled with like minded bigots, racists, and completely out-of-touch rich kids who only care about their own enrichment and survival.
But to now know that this cadre of evil has not only sanctioned the ripping away from their parents children as young as ONE YEAR, but that they have lost almost 1,500 of them? As a parent, it is my nightmare come to life. To say I cannot imagine the horror of these parents is wrong. I can imagine it. I have imagined it repeatedly through the years - that of having my child kidnapped by some faceless stranger. But these parents see the faces of their child's kidnappers. They see the faces of their confused, scared children as they are dragged away screaming for their parents to save them. And they end up here, or worse.
Sit with that a minute. Look at your own children. Especially you, the MAGAt who helped bring this about.
YOU OWN THIS.
YOU cheered this at Trump's hate rallies. YOU emboldened him to take steps that not only echo the Hitler tactics of child separation, but replicate them. YOU, who bought wholesale the bullshit story of a pizza parlor with an imaginary basement where child sex trafficking was coordinated by Hillary Clinton. YOU, who always blame every black person whose life ends at the hands of corrupt and racist police officers. YOU, who claim to love the Constiitution, yet support Trump's aggression against football players who dare use their rights to peacefully protest. YOU, who stood shoulder to shoulder in this raw sewage of the worst of human behavior. Hear me now:
YOU LOST THE CHILDREN.
Just as you do not get to act innocent in the face of tax cuts for the rich, the ripping away of healthcare, the targeting of DACA recipients, the endangering of LGBTQIA human beings, the continued suffering in Puerto Rico, and on and on - you do not get to act surprised, angry, or innocent as this news of the missing children fills the airwaves.
YOU. DID. THIS.
Every single churchgoing MAGAt who cheers Trump's pretend crusade against abortion? YOU LOST THE CHILDREN.
And do not even come at me with the "well, you don't care about children being ripped from a uterus" garbage. There is a massive difference between a ball of cells, and actual human beings shoved into cells.
Look at those pictures. Now, imagine your child being taken from you FOR NO GOOD GODDAMNED REASON, and treated like a dog in a shelter.
And make no mistake, there is NO GOOD GODDAMNED REASON to separate the children from their parents at the border. NONE. It is being done to terrorize, dehumanize, intimidate, and deter anyone else who mistakenly thinks this "shining city on the hill" is a safe haven.
It is sanctioned by an administration supported by YOU, MAGAt. An administration that casually speaks of what happens to these children with "whatever".
And because we also know you believe anyone brown trying to come here is a rapist or drug kingpin, allow me to introduce some FACTS to Bullshit Mountain.
The majority are coming here to escape the violence, uncertainty, and crushing poverty of their countries. Coming here, through extreme and dangerous conditions because they fear for the lives of their children. Children they love with every fiber of their being, just as you love your children.
Take, for example, Mirian, a 29-year-old mother from Honduras. She came to the USA desperate to escape the violence in her own country. She did not try to sneak in. She presented herself to immigration authorities, seeking asylum. Their response? They ripped her 18 month old child from her arms, placed her in the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas, and put her toddler in a facility in San Antonio, roughly 120 miles away.
Another mother, a Congolese woman, endured four months in which she and her seven-year-old child were ripped apart and placed in facilities 2,000 miles away from one another.
It was only after her story came to light, and the ACLU brought suit that they were reunited. And they are lucky, because ICE actually knew where her child was.
IMAGINE IT, you soulless, bigoted, hate filled swamp creature. Look at your offspring and imagine a government agency sweeping in and taking them from you. Yes, yes. yes, I know, you believe your whiteness is some supernatural cloaking device that renders you immune to such atrocities.
You have already started to cry victim about your jobs not coming back, your workplaces closing, and your benefits being threatened by the man for whom you slobbered. You think you cannot be targeted further?
TRUMP GIVES NOT FUCK ONE ABOUT YOU.
You are an easily led, easily lied to source of ego fellatio (fellatEGO, if you will) to Trump. He cares about you only as clapping seals who buy his hats and come to his masturbatory rallies.
He will take your child's healthcare and then golf while he or she has cancer rot away their organs.
More FACTS for you - in fiscal year 2017, some 40,000 children have been taken from their parents by ICE. Using percentages, the lost children make up about 20% of only 7,600. 7,600 is the number of children ICE has actually tried checking up on. Extrapolate that, MAGAt (sorry, big word). That means based on percentages, 20% of 40,000 is 8,000. Upwards of 8,000 innocent children could be missing at the hands of our government.
YOU LOST THESE CHILDREN.
Seriously, how the fuck do you sleep at night?
You are to blame for this government who places these children - "whatever" - then declares they are no longer "legally responsible" for them. Yes, that is a quote. I realize Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs won't share things like this with you, but that does not make them unhappen or fake news.
THIS is actual reporting:
Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary for the US Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, told a subcommittee in April that officials were unable to determine what happened to 1,475 children who were placed in sponsors' homes between October to December 2017.
Another 28 kids, Wagner told lawmakers, also ran away from the home.
The agency had been attempting to contact 7,635 minors and their sponsors, he said, as part of a routine checkup to look into their safety. More than 19% of them, however, were unaccounted for.
Mostly from Central American countries, unaccompanied child immigrants that are detained trying to cross the border are transferred from one agency to another, from US Customs and Border Protection to Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The child is then placed at the home of a sponsor, a parent, relative, or close family friend who can show ties to the child. But US officials say they are not legally responsible for children after they are placed in homes.
"I understand that it has been (Heath and Human Services') long-standing interpretation of the law that (the Office of Refugee Resettlement) is not legally responsible for children after they are released from ORR care," Wagner told the committee.
That's YOUR MAGAt filled corpse of a government stealing children from their parents and then feigning innocence.
Warms the heart, huh? Here's some more Hallmark movie stuff for you:
HHS has recently adopted multiple changes, including interviewing sponsors, conducting background checks, and refining the type of documents sponsors can use to reduce the possibility of fraud, to address problems, such as placing several Guatemalan minors in the hands of human traffickers.
According to a Senate investigation, HHS turned the minors over to human traffickers, who then forced many of them to work in an egg farm in Ohio for six or seven days a week. Their paychecks were withheld by the traffickers to pay off smuggling debts, according to the report.
The smugglers also threatened the children and their families so they would continue to work, investigators said. For example, one child was told his father would be shot in the head if he did not continue working, and another was placed in a trailer with no heat, bed, hot water, or toilet for complaining.
Imagine. Your. Child. Stop licking your AR-15, or masturbating to your autographed Trump teddy bear, and imagine this scenario, but with YOUR CHILD playing the starring role.
These children do not matter less just because they are brown. Just as your children did not ask to be born to parents who are proud of their ignorance, arrogance, and heartlessness, these children did not ask to be born into poverty, danger, and hopelessness.
The love of any decent parent, of any color, religion, country, is no different than yours. They know the same fears, emotions, have the same hopes and dreams for their child. And their children know the same emotions yours know. They form the same attachments to their parents, look to them for the same security.
But what these parents and children know that you don't, is the horror of having it all ripped away from them. The gutwrenching anguish of watching as their children are led away crying, screaming, begging for their parents. These people do not have safety, security, money. All they have is each other, and we are taking that from them. And these children will forever know and suffer the trauma inflicted at the hands of an indifferent, detached, ghoulish government supported by indifferent, detached, ghoulish citizens whose motto is:
This is a humanitarian crisis. These are atrocities being gleefully inflicted by Trump and his minions. The ACLU has stepped in, not only because of the missing children, but because they have uncovered thousands of pages of evidence of Customs and Border officials physically, sexually, and verbally abusing children.
We need condemnation by the United Nations. We need held accountable. This travesty of an administration needs its feet held to the fire. Hell, roast every goddamned one of them. And for the fire, start with the wooden hearts of the MAGAts who put them in power, who cheer this on, for whom hypocrisy and hate are the air they breathe.
The current hashtag on Twitter is #WhereAreTheChildren. We may not know where they are, but we know who is responsible: #YOULOSTTHECHILDREN
Excuse me now, I need to vomit again.