The last administration has almost destroyed our democracy, damaged our justice system and polarized the country like no other before.
It has lied and cheated at will with no accountability. The GOP has caved into the whims of a 74-year-old vindictive child and his tantrums. The inciting of a mob of white trash to storm the Capitol notwithstanding to me personally, Donald Trump's most infamous decision as president was to systematically separate thousands of migrant families at the border.
His cruelty and lack of empathy were in effect for months before most Americans saw the living conditions of the children in custody at the epicenter of the policy.
NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff was among the first national television journalists to expose the truth of what their lives were like on the inside after seeing them firsthand. His widely shared reports in June 2018 ignited public scrutiny that contributed to the president reversing his own policy by Executive Order, and earned Soboroff the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Broadcast Journalism and the 2019 Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism.
In his book, “Separated: Inside an American Tragedy,” Soboroff weaves together his own experience unexpectedly covering this national issue with other key figures in the drama he met along the way, including feuding administration officials responsible for tearing apart entire families, and the parents and children who were caught in the middle. He reveals new and exclusive details of how the policy was carried out, and how its effects are still being felt.
Today, there is still not a full accounting of the total number of children the president ripped away from their parents or where they are or how they can all be reunited. The exact number may never be known, only that it is estimated in the thousands.
I would have never imagined that our country could sink so low.
The country of “In God We Trust” and “God Bless America” is showing its facade and a true evil streak. Where are all those militant anti-abortion demonstrators? They oppose women's right to abortion but they don't care about living children? How hypocritical is that? They should be marching to the border and demand that those families be reunited immediately. What kind of emotional, mental, physical scars will these children carry for the rest of their lives? They will never be normal.
Try and imagine the fear and the pain of being, as a little child, torn away from your mother and father. What will they become as adults? Will they turn against us as many terrorists do? If we look back at our post-WWII years, we see that terrorists are people deeply concerned by what they see and experience as social, political, religious injustice and hypocrisy. The immediate grounds for their actions are retaliation for an action of the United States.
Recently we have shown our ugly face without shame. We are accused, among other things, of sexism, racism, imperialism, institutionalized patriarchy and slavery, tyranny and exploitation.
Wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat will not gloss over these heinous charges. It is criminal intent in my book. We have no option but to plead guilty as members of the human race.
We live in a fallen universe. We have been fools and fooled for years, all of us with our hopes for a better society and our idiotic faith that this disgusting political system and its disgusting politicians would somehow bring this country back to the ideals of the founding fathers.
After everything I witnessed in the last four years, I have no faith and I have no hope.
Pier Angelo was born in Italy, moved to England at the age of 17 and learned English at the Nelson School of English. He attended college and graduate school in Manhattan. In 2009 he founded SFGN with Norm Kent. Now he’s retired with his husband Tom and his Affenpinscher Cabbage. He still enjoys writing his column Off The Wall for SFGN.