TODAY Fiction was Born/e

Today, Donald Trump opened the world of fiction. In the week when thousands were made homeless by a hurricane, and a nation mourned the unfairness of the persecution of the innocent by Mother Nature, Donald Trump made 800,000 young people homeless by an act of will, as if he were Mother Nature, and the earth did not already cry out. Pain and cruelty like this can only be born, or be borne, in fiction. Millions weep for those drowned and near drowned. Heroes emerged in the unlikeliest places, and some on their way to be heroes died. Just like in fiction. And Donald Trump, the coward hiding behind Jeffrey Sessions' skirts, decided to become Hitler before the Concentration Camps, Stalin before the Archipelago, Pol Pot before the killing fields. Or maybe it's FDR before the Japanese internment camps? We too created a history of fear, destroyed lives, carelessly tossed living bodies aside for political convenience and fear divorced from reality. Yet, no two events can actually be compared, because no one lives two lives. Each lives his/her own life, and each tragedy is a unique story -- lived just once, but forever, because cruelty and suffering capture eternal truths. Today fiction opened. The nation espousing justice again, like at Selma, like in Birmingham, like in Watts, declared cruelty righteousness and injustice to be justice. They should simply disappear, don't you think; like maids in fifties white, suburban households? They are just too inconvenient. They should just disappear. Jeff Sessions' skirts are wide and deep. Not only Trump, but Congresspeople from all over the nation hide behind them, peeking out like 3 year olds who believe they cannot be seen or hurt, to see where the enemy is, and how s/he is approaching. "Will I be labeled bigoted? Not me. Right is right. Just is just. They should not be here. They should disappear. Don't you think Mr. Trump? Don't you think Mr. Sessions? Don't you think Mr. Duke, Mr Spencer, Mr. Limbaugh, Ms. Bachmann? We're not putting them in camps. That's what Nazis did. We'll just make them disappear, right? Somebody hold the skirt in front of my face, and tell me it will be ok." Today is the day future careers begin for writers. Here's the first line of the story, "On September 5th, 2017, the President of the United States decided that my lifelong home was actually not my home, and my new life began." If America does not become ashamed of this day, then one of two things will have happened: Congress will rescind the order, or America will revert to its racist past. But whichever way it goes, today fiction was born, because only fiction captures such cruelty and makes it real and believable to those who claimed they were not there, who closed their eyes and hid, and watch it later on wide screens and on white pages, and say, "We didn't know."

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© 2016 by Rabbi Mark H. Levin.