Monthly Archives: June 2018

The girl in the red coat

Look familiar, Mr. Trump?


There is a rather famous movie entitled Schindler’s List, Mr. Trump. Perhaps you have seen it? I rather doubt that you have, or if you have you probably wondered what the fuss was all about. But it is an important movie, if only for how it captured the horror inflicted on one group of people by another group of people who you have a notorious soft spot for, and for the lengths to which some people will go to fight back.

The movie as a whole is disturbing, but there is one particularly distressing scene depicting a young girl in a red coat wandering through crowds of people as the Nazis rounded up Jews, separating family from family; children from mothers. It is an immensely powerful visualization of the horror of that period in time. It is also an immensely powerful visualization of a particular horror of this time.

When rounding up the Jews, the Nazis segregated family members: husband from wife; young from old; parents from children. Some were murdered on the spot, some were sent to work camps where they were worked to death, some were packed into rail cars where they died standing up. Some six million were exterminated in places like Auschwitz, and Chelmno, and Janowska, and Majdanek, and Maly Trostenets, and in the forests and woods of Poland, and so on. Of those who survived, many never saw their family members again. That haunted them for the rest of their lives. It haunts anyone with a shred of humanity.

Of course, Mr Trump, you have yet to take it that far here. You are not yet engaging in mass extermination. But the mass separation of family members: husband from wife; young from old; parents from children; well you are very much pursuing that. You are very much going down that road of atrocity.

You see, Mr. Trump, the girl in the red coat haunts me. The thought of a child separated from her parents, alone, in a strange place, crying out, in a cage, is horrifying. It is haunting. It is immensely disturbing. It is beyond words to describe. It speaks directly to anyone who is a parent, to the soul of anyone who has even a shred of humanity. And to perpetuate it, to staunchly defend it, speaks directly to the kind of person you are. For while the girl in the red coat may haunt most of us, she will never haunt you.

We all know your feelings about those who are not white. I wrote some thoughts on it in my last post. But while people may be forgiven for not empathizing with members of  gangs like MS-13, they will empathize with the plight of children. And make no mistake, Mr. Trump, most people are not buying your excuses. Indeed, this is your Katrina moment. This is the moment when the depth and depravity of your malevolence and cruelty become impossible to ignore, when it is exposed for the entire world to see.

Your time will pass, Mr Trump, and hopefully soon. But this horror will live on. Your horror will live on. It will live on in the minds of those who are witnessing it. It will live on in the hearts of the parents and children you have separated. It will live on in the soul of this nation. It will live on as yet another example of depravity; your gift to the human race, your contribution to the story of America. I hope we will never forget.


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