When you think of President Kennedy, what comes to mind? His dream of sending astronauts to the moon? The Cuban Missile Crisis? What about Richard Nixon? Watergate is the first thing that history students learn about him and the most memorable event of his presidency. Think about Jimmy Carter. What comes to mind from his presidential years? Is it the failed attempt to free American hostages in Iran? A major event or two always mark the legacy of a president’s time in office.
Every day of the 45th president’s term has been dominated by chaos, outrageous tweets, lies, conflict, and unpredictability. But when the dust settles, what will Donald Trump’s legacy be? What event will stand out in history books as we reflect on the years between 2016 and 2020?
One episode has dominated the news for more than a year, has captivated compassionate hearts, and has challenged the moral principles upon which our country was founded. When the White House executed the policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S. – Mexico border in spring 2017, our federal government entered a new cruel and inhumane era. The government’s toleration of the slave trade, attempts to exterminate Native Americans, the implementation of Jim Crow laws, and the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II are some unfortunate comparable black marks in our country’s history.
The news from the border has worsened over the last 18 months. Families were separated with no system for reunification. Children have died. Children have been sexually abused. Children are severely traumatized. Their most basic needs are not met. The Trump Child Internment program is a failure from every possible perspective. This heartless policy must end immediately. The current president is fine with incarcerating children. I am not. Are you?