Making America A Child Abuser

As a Christian, a mother, and a pastor, my conscience will not allow me to remain silent about such things. Upon deep reflection and prayer I have come to the regrettable conclusion that the 45th President of the United States of America fits the definition of a child abuser. I do not come to this conclusion lightly, but with a heavy heart about one of our nation’s most tragic moral failings in my lifetime.

The babies and children detained and separated from their families are the victims of the institutionalized child neglect and abuse orchestrated by the President’s policies. According to federal law, child neglect and abuse is, “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation” or “an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” By definition, the President is leading a massive child abuse operation, funded by tax payers–by us.

This sounds impossible. How could a “great Christian nation” allow things to get this bad? Reports from detention centers tell of babies and children experiencing serious harm, both emotional and physical. One of the newest policies from the President seeks to remove limits on how long migrant families with children can be detained, increasing to indefinite length of time for babies and children to be exploited, abused, emotionally harmed, physically harmed, sexually harmed, and at risk of death.

Abusers commonly express concern for the pain their victims feel, but place the blame for this pain on the victims themselves. As the President recently said, “very much I have the children on my mind. It bothers me very greatly.”

It is also common for abusers to state that their actions are intended to teach a lesson and prevent future behavior that displeases them. Again, the President said, “many people will be saved” by neglecting and abusing those currently detained.

We must hold the President and those following his commands accountable for the long-term harm caused to babies and children. We must exercise our power to stop the neglect and abuse as soon as possible.

The American Psychological Association issued a statement that the President’s child abuse causes detained babies and children to continue to suffer from trauma and mental health challenges.

It is emphatically immoral that the President’s child abuse is the official strategy of the White House. He neglects and abuses innocent children as a matter of policy. A vote to re-elect this President is a vote to support the world’s most powerful serial child abuser.

As people of faith, we must speak out for the abused babies and children who have no voice. We must take action to ensure that those elected into positions of power will protect the value and dignity of all humans.

We cannot keep a serial child abuser in the White House. If we do, then we will embolden and empower future neglect and abuse of human beings that is more horrific than we can possibly imagine.

Protest Fast Day Three

On the third day of my Pastor’s Protest Fast I found myself staring at dozens of flattened out, deflated black football hides stitched together to make a haunting quilt that hangs on the white wall of the museum. Standing in the art gallery at Newfields in Indianapolis, I listened to the brilliant Kelli Morgan, Associate Curator of American Art (she’s the first Black woman in the country to fill this role) describe how Indiana has its own unique history of white supremacy and racism given the historic role of the KKK in Indiana and the lynchings.

The exhibit features the work of Samuel Levi Jones “Left of Center.” His art addresses how injustice pervades systems of education, criminal justice, healthcare, and the American historical narrative, the stories we tell our children about American history.

As I think about hunger and food insecurity in America through this historic lens, I wonder about how segregated neighborhoods and food deserts are part of this historic narrative of racism and oppression.

Kelli said that our highway 65 in Indianapolis runs strategically through the poorest neighborhoods, often disrupting Black communities. It makes me wonder: How might White supremacy create food insecurity? How might classism create food insecurity and what about the double whammy of both in America?

If we are serious about ending hunger and food insecurity in America, then our strategies must include dismantling White supremacy and classism.

To learn more connect with the 1619 Project curriculum http://pulitzercenter.org/lesson-plan-grouping/1619-project-curriculum and Bread for the World:  https://bread.org/