Dogs, Children and History

On March 13, 2018, a flight attendant was responsible for a puppy being placed in an overhead bin. The 10 month old french bulldog died in flight. Less than 24 hours later, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana sponsored a bill to ban pets from the overhead bin, because “pets are family.” What does Senator Kennedy have to say about the detained children? There is nothing in the senator’s Twitter feed or Facebook posts. Silence. The news of infants being taken from their parents, children sleeping on concrete floors with mylar blankets and teens being placed on planes and flown to detention centers throughout the US ripped out the collective hearts of us with one. In the midst of an animated conversation on this very topic, a freak accident sent me into mild shock and the emergency room.

The treatment space in emergency was eerily quiet. My only hospital patient experience was at 7 years old for a tonsillectomy.  I was 1 of 4 of kids in a hospital room. Visiting  hours were over, our parents were gone, it got dark, it got quiet, we got scared. We whimpered and cried all night. Years later, here I am, rationalizing with myself, everything will be ok.  There is this visceral feeling of helplessness for the  2,322 children that are 12 and under who are alone. Unlike me, they have no certainty or possibly for what is next. At night, it get’s dark,nit gets quiet and they get scared. Their families are vilified as illegal immigrants, when the truth is the majority of these are families seeking asylum from gangs and criminal activities in their home countries, and are not breaking the law. The US is obligated to accept asylum-seekers under US and international law if they can show a “credible fear” of persecution or torture. The Chinese Exclusion Act, the first law implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States was in effect from 1892 through 1943.  During WW II, 120,000 Japanese Americans (62% American born) were interned along with 11,000 Germans. Historically, as a country, this is what we have done, detain, intern, dehumanize and criminalize. As a nation, this is nothing to be proud of, but a history to learn from.

In a medical situation it’s important to get the facts, to know as much as possible to determine the best options for treatment. There were two doctors conferring immediately after I was injured. This was a deep cut; you’re going to stitches. That was echoed in the emergency room. We have to bring both sides together for healing. This frightens me. No, not for me, three hours, five stitches and a tetanus shot later, I’m back with an amazing community. It’s the country. There is no unified effort to bring the two side together, no plans to heal. We need to keep the facts in the forefront, determine the best options for treatment. We need closure. There will be a scar; but the alternative is an open wound will fester. Senator John Kennedy, in a Facebook post, commenting on a department of justice report on “the emails.”

I’m only interested in getting the facts out in front of the American people. Some of the bacon-wrapped shrimp crowd here in Washington doesn’t think the American people are smart enough to draw their own conclusions. I think they’re wrong.

The facts are out there. We will keep the out there on the path to healing. Senator, on this point I agree, the American people are smart enough to draw their own conclusion and when the time comes, they will vote with resolution. Every dog its day, what about the children?


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