Erica Michaels Hollander lives in the Front Range of the Rockies in Colorado. She has paints, practiced law for over 30 years, taught human communication, and practices psychodrama. She lives with a great husband and the World’s Foremost Dog.
Displaced on another dimension
My grandparents were hated in Russia because they were Jewish. They fled from killers and pogroms that terrorized, fled from serving as cannon fodder for a regime that despised them.
My father went to fight in the Pacific and wept when his returning ship came safe home by Lady Liberty. He taught me that this country offered many important freedoms and had been structured with good laws to protect all its people. My father believed in an America where people were free to believe as they wished. Or not. Where people from all over the world were welcomed to try their luck here. in my father’s eyes Jews, Quakers, atheists, Christians of all kinds, Hindus, others were equal before the law. When I was a small child I was taught that that was a key to America’s character and strength.
Now we have forsaken these virtues. We speak of building great walls to protect us from outsider criminals, animals, rapists. We say the skinheads and those protesting their march and their Confederate heroes are somehow equal—“good people” on both sides.
Congress refused to consider a solid moderate judge by stonewalling. Instead rammed through a lesser candidate, a conservative ideologue, with obvious inability to maintain an even keeled detachment, who showed his venality to the public at the President’s direction.
Never have I felt my country move so drastically away from all its features my family once held so dear. Years ago I held a glorious idea of America as a beacon of hope in the world. I mourn for the loss of that feeling.
In this moment it is harder and harder to recall that pride and sense of rightness. Now there are 69 million homeless on this planet, more than ever before, fleeing oppression, war, disease, drought. In Syria, Sudan, Kurdistan, Iraq, the Congo, Myanmar, Yemen, other places. What are we to do?
But I too feel displaced, though I have plenty of food and shelter. My disheartening displacement is that the pillars of my country’s pride, decency, and principles are being torn down by criminals, cheats, bigots, bullies, and haters who love only power and wealth.
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