Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Trump's America - shame on you!

America is 242 years old. I have lived through 90 of those years. Most of them, I only know through reading and study. I started school in Home Gardens Grammar school in 1935 in South Gate, CA.. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Ross was a very good teacher. She taught us about how our nation was formed and about the several wars we fought to maintain the rules and laws via the Constitution established to protect our nation from foreign countries. We did this with via a mighty military. local laws were passed to protect our citizens. Rules and laws were also passed to make it possible for immigrants to leave their homes where life was hard with no laws to protect the citizens. Because of our liberal laws regarding immigration, our country grew very fast and an innate feeling of patriotism grew along with our citizens.

The increased population was not all good; it caused problems that for a time seemed insoluble and the new citizens were blamed and often mistreated. The "Dust Bowl" in the plains states with the concomitant unemployment created animosity toward the workers who migrated to the areas where they were told jobs were available. They usually found no jobs and it increased poverty. I personally lived through this poverty but as "local citizens" we blamed the newcomers and instead of trying to solve the problems, sometimes, to our shame, we participated in the mistreatment of the new residents. These hard times seemingly lasted forever. Actually, as we got further and further involved in the war, the mistreatment of our citizens was mitigated. In retrospect, the treatment of citizens by our government was sometimes shameful; sometimes extremely shameful.

I was a young man of 18 when my family climbed out of the depression. I graduated from high school and in 1948 got work as a lather. This happened toward the end of the unionization movement when I was forced join a union in order to work as a lather. I didn't mind the dues and rules because it gave me a higher wage than non-union workers. Most of the union organization and growth occurred before I was old enough to work. I learned of most of this oppressive anti-union attitude by the government and big business as part of my education and experience.  In 1937, I remember my father commenting to my mother as he was leaving for work, "there's going to be blood shed today!" There was. I was 8 years old; I didn't shed any blood but my father did and I saw his blood. It was ten years later when I was able to join the Lathers Local 40A in Southern California. By then there was no more violence...I just earned a good wage that was provided by the union organizers of the AFofL. I learned of most of this activity in school and through conversation at lunch time by the older lathers who HAD shed blood.

I missed WWII but my older brothers didn't and some of the older men I worked with didn't. Neither did I miss the Korean War. Most of the fighting I read about and heard about on the radio. Through out this period of time, our nation fought with honor and bravery and, along with other young men, and later young women, developed our patriotism. Elections were held peacefully...until my later years. The reins of power were passed from politician to politician and party to party with some rancor but mostly friendly quarreling. Throughout this period of time. I was, for the most part, proud of our country, of our political leaders and our government. Except for a few exceptions it was the best government in the world. But we weren't perfect. I saw our government after the attack on Pearl Harbor, we interned thousands of Japanese citizens in prison camps because we doubted their loyalty. Most of them were good loyal citizens and proved this when given a chance. I served in the army with three of these young men during the Korean War. They were hesitant to criticize the government but I detected some resentment when I discussed it with them.

There were other incidents of mistreatment of citizenry by our government but there were logical reasons for most of these cases and redress was often made. But the treatment of people by the Trump administration who have entered the country illegally with their children is unconscionable. Taking children, weeping and screaming from the arms of their parents, usually their mothers is below evil. Imagine the fear of the mothers and the children when separated not knowing when, if ever, they would be united again. It's not too surprising when one considers the background and prior behavior of our president! But continued support of him places his supporters pretty much at his level.