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 #142 Swimming Lessons

“It's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except in learning to swim.” Unknown author

I was well into my 40’s when I realized that one doesn’t have to wait for perfect weather if one wants to go into the water. 

Quarantine Diary #141 8/5/2020 "Red Dust"

I just finished reading “Red Dust – A Path Through China” by Ma Jain.  It is a remarkable book that asks more questions than it answers.

Ma Jain was born in the 50’s and grew up grew up very poor in a small Chinese city. He remembers when his mother would simmer stones for dinner so that the neighbors would see her cooking and not realize how poor they were.  (A whole different take on the children’s tale “Stone Soup.") The violent and terrifying Cultural Revolution that Chinese citizens lived through is over but memories of it are in everyone’s minds.

Quarantine Diary #140 7/31/2020 Wishing you a Merry Quarantine Weekend

When I’m in a certain mood I love how-to articles – and I’m in that mood right now. I think it happens at the intersection of reasonable weather and Friday ... when happiness still seems possible.

I googled “How to have a nice weekend in the time of Covid” and guess what? There are no Wiki-How articles on how to be happy in a pandemic.

Let’s invent this right here, right now.

Quarantine Diary #134 Written while sweating …

My best coping skill for appalling weather is to show it who is boss. 30 below?  Cool. Let me put on all my clothes plus a hat down to my eyebrows and another one up to my glasses, and I’ll go out there.

Quarantine Diary #131 7/23/2020 "Becoming Labrador"

Yesterday I forgot to write about a movie we watched which I think many of you might like to watch, also.  We’ve been talking here about what one can stand to read and watch these days when our spirits are stressed and anxious.

I thought I wanted to reprise some of our Canada travels.  FYI, if you’ve traveled in a place you loved, put that place into your streaming service Search window, find some great or mediocre documentaries about that place, and revisit your memories.  It’s fun.

Quarantine Diary #130 7/22/2020 What's in your glass?

In the last few weeks one of my knees has decided it is the current star of the MB show. I overused it one day, I know when that was, ever since it’s been wonky. I have to baby it otherwise it hurts more than a little. Aging isn’t for wusses. 

I am walking less because walking a lot makes it worse.  I CAN ride a bike as much as I want since that doesn’t exacerbate the situation. I’m trying to weigh less, which is its own comedy.

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