Reading the “illegal” headline in the HDR, I had the same reaction Laci Leblanc did: “red meat.”

It moved the story of two “kind and funny” children brutally killed by their father, their mother likely dead, too, from a horrendous domestic crime to a salacious political tool. Ms. Leblanc is spot on in her column. So much is made of the “illegal,” too little of the desperation behind the influx of those seeking asylum.

I looked at the recent photo of a young father, his toddler’s arm over his neck, floating face down in the Rio Grande. What, I wondered, would Congressman Patrick McHenry do if he found himself in an escape-or-die situation? How far would he go to protect his two young daughters? What would any of us do? Would we not be horrified to have our children ripped from us, end up abandoned, hungry, filthy, longing for our love and comfort?

We’ve thrown our humanity overboard in this country, trading it for cheap political power. The result is the increasing oppression of all we think we once stood for, that we often proclaim we still stand for. We are delusional and hypocritical. We are the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s narcissistic "me-me-me."  Until, of course, our ox is gored. Then we want someone else to save us, too.

What would we do with nowhere else to turn? Can we blame the White House for fomenting this? You bet! Can we blame our sour obstructionist Congress? Without question! But why do we tolerate the divisive swill, the inhumanity? Even more, why do we elect — keep reelecting — such people to represent us? Is it because, in our hearts, we hold the same sour, divisive thoughts, too willing to adopt whatever swill soothes any conscience we have left? Because they actually do represent the "us" we won’t own outright?

Pogo was spot on, too: "We have met the enemy and he is us." I challenge the HDR to set the "Record" straight on the facts of violence, to call our politicians out on immigration policy and call the rest of us to accountability to be part of the solution. Most of all, be a voice for touching our humanity before we slide irretrievably into the brink. In the meantime, amen, Laci. Amen.

Beverly Finney

Hickory, NC

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