I am trying not to lose my mind. I am trying to center myself, trying to dissipate my anger. I am watching my country turn its back on refugees on a most solemn day this International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
I am thinking of those Jews on the MS St. Louis sailing away from evil toward the shining light of hope, the light of freedom, the light of life toward our lady we Americans so proudly show off to the world.
I am thinking of when those refugees arrived at our shores: the land of free and the home of brave. I was trying to walk in their shoes, feel the wear of their clothes. What was it they felt, glee, relief? And cheers. Did they cheer? Or were they quiet in prayer.
What expressions are theirs, when their heart is full, when their spirit finds its room, when the spirit is released, when it is lifted? What is theirs?
The word I know comes passed down from the churches of the slaves. It is in their songs: Glory, Glory Hallelujah! It rings out in their marches Hallelujah! We shall overcome. And it is in their dreams Hallelujah! “Free at last, Free at last. Thank God almighty Free at last.”
But we Americans: The sons and daughters of Mother Liberty. We turned them away. We turned away those refugees seeking safety in our arms. We turned the Jews away. We did not want them here, those nine hundred. We sent them back into the shadows, into the darkness back into the hands of Hitler, into Nazi Germany. We sent them back and placed them into deaths hands.
And today of all days we have done it again. And I am trying not to lose my mind.
How many will die this time?
If you believe in God, then, God forgive us. If you believe in God, then, God help us.
For we have done it again.