Send Them God Damned Australian Children’s Book Authors Back To Their God Damned Kangaroo Ridden Island
Have you read Koala Lou? Night Noise? Wombat Divine? Wombat Divine – what a great book title! How about Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge? One of my absolute favorite books! I swear – all of them are right up there with Sense and Sensibility. All of the above, except, as you might have guessed, Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen), were written by Mem Fox, award winning children’s author and educator, frequent visitor, esteemed guest, and suspected despicable threat, nefarious menace, and unreasonable risk to the security of this great land. Stand, if ye be patriots! Hand on Heart! Do not question! Sing! America, America, God shed His grace on thee… And shed those friggin’ visitors, too. We don’t need ‘em. We don’t want ‘em.
Mem Fox, invited to the US as an honored guest, was detained at the airport in Los Angeles, put in a room with perhaps 20 other people, made to wait nearly an hour without explanation.
“They’ve gone mad…”
Not all of us. Some of us, most of us, still believe that guests should be kindly welcomed and all human beings should be treated, at the very least, with respect.
“The way I was interviewed was monstrous.”
Until a person has proven herself undeserving, she is a guest in our home. Truthfully, some people are unworthy of respect. In fact, there are people worthy of nothing but contempt. Look in the mirror. I’m not saying you are contemptible but you should consider the possibility. And once you’ve taken measure and found a rational comrade in yourself, look over the landscape, listen up, speak out about what you see.
“There was an Iranian woman in a wheelchair, she was about 80, wearing a little mauve cardigan, and they were yelling at her – “Arabic? Arabic?”. They screamed at her “ARABIC?” at the top of their voices, and finally she intuited what they wanted and I heard her say “Farsi”. And I thought heaven help her, she’s Iranian, what’s going to happen?”
We are giving our guests the impression that people are at grave risk when passing between their homelands and ours. We are becoming a nation of thugs. We are becoming a nation where arbitrary acts of violence against our neighbors and guests is acceptable and perhaps expected and even rewarded.
“In that moment I loathed America. I loathed the entire country.”
What have we done? What used to be a nice Australian lady, given to comforting children’s anxiety and promoting cultural appreciation, is now our sworn enemy! Congratulations, America. We are well on our way to building our own enemy base. Those who hate us are fuming. Those who, going forward, have no interest in our wellbeing are turning their backs. Those who wish us harm are arming themselves, as we speak.
“Remember, I wasn’t pulled out because I’m some kind of revolutionary activist, but my God, I am now. I am on the frontline. If we don’t stand up and shout, good sense and good will will not prevail, and my voice will be one of the loudest.”
Who do we blame for our disgraceful behavior? Look in the mirror. Not you? Good. Then once you’ve shaved and brushed and plucked, it’s time to step out onto the stage, into the fracas, belly to belly, muzzle to muzzle, and address the evil we have allowed to sit at the head of our table. He is not our approved host. He is not, nor are his appointees, agents of the people we ascribe to be.
“I thought I was an activist before, but this has turned me into a revolutionary. I’m not letting it happen here. Instead of crying and being sad and sitting on a couch, I am going to write to politicians. I am going to call. I am going to write to newspapers. I am going to get on the radio. I will not be quiet. No more passive behaviour. Hear me roar.”
This is what Trump’s American guest policy has done to a nice Australian lady who writes award winning children’s book, and believes in the beauty of cultural diversity. The question, now, is how do we change her mind about us – how do we convince Ms. Fox that we are still, at least the majority of us are still, human beings? And how do we apologize to her? Anticipating Ms. Fox’s question, I’ll ask: how do we apologize to every one of those poor people we have bullied and terrorized and treated as sub-human?
First? No more passive behavior!