The Parable Of The Pink Emperor
The ghost of my father, who fought in WWII and Korea, visited me today.
“This is not the country I fought for,” he said. Tears rolled down his face. “Separating children from their parents? Put in cages? Behind barbed wire? I’ve seen this before. In Germany.”
“At Vel d’Hiv. In Central African Republic. From Isis. The Rohwer Relocation Center. The list goes on and on and on, too long.”
“I thought we learned,” he said. “But now, this: Trump. Immigrants. Now, Tornillo, Texas. My father, your grandfather, the Danish sailor who jumped ship in New York City, the immigrant who came west in Conestoga caravans, is rolling over in his grave.”
He turned to me. “You’re a child of the 60’s,” he said. “Do something.”
“What can I do?” I said. “I’m an old woman. I have no pulpit, no platform, and I’m not on Twitter.”
“Do what you can.”
“But Dad. I have friends and family on both sides. I try to walk a narrow line. I try to be diplomatic. It’s a delicate balance.”
“I raised you to do the right thing,” he said. “And it’s Father’s Day. You’re a storyteller. So tell them a story.”
The Parable of the Pink Emperor
On April 19, the Year of Our Lord 2018, the Pink Emperor, who had a beautiful wife, a handsome son . . .
. . . and an extremely beautiful daughter with corn-yellow hair and three gorgeous grandchildren who sat in sunbeams in manicured parks in spotless clothing and expensive shoes.
He should have been happy.
Instead, he was angry that he wasn’t getting his Wall.
After consulting his Sidekicks, he decreed that henceforth, all children would be separated from their parents at the border and incarcerated for the criminal act of being a child of someone who had crossed the border fleeing from oppression, violence, or poverty.
“Good punishment!” said Sidekick Miller. “Take away their kids. Serves them right for not being white.”
“Great deterrent,” said Sidekick Kelly, formerly known as ManOfIntegrity. “And two-for-one: You can also blame the Democrats.”
“Zero Tolerance!” said Sidekick Sessions. “Those people need to know that if they cross the border, their children will be taken away.”
“Boys,” said the Pink Emperor. “You’re missing the point. It’s just a great negotiating tactic. Am I not the greatest Negotiator since Adam with the Snake-Thing?” He smiled. “The kids? They’ll get over it.”
When they heard about The Children Separated Thing, most people, including Senators and Congressmen, were silent, fearing their Gravy Train would stop.
If anyone did complain, Sidekick Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III quoted the Bible, Romans 13, which his great-great-great-great grandfather had also quoted at the slave markets in Selma, Alabama, where children were taken from their mothers and sold as separate items.
Back at the Palace, The Pink Emperor thought that This Great Separating Thing was going quite well, when the phone rang. It was his new pal, KJU, to whom he had given his personal non-secure cell phone number.
“Congratulations on using that Child Separation Thing as a negotiating tactic,” KJU said.
The Pink Emperor chuckled. “That means a lot, coming from you, the smartest and toughest negotiator (after me).”
“Yeah,” KJU said. “We’ve been using that tactic for decades.”
“Well, it seems to work,” the Emperor said.
“Yes, indeedy,” KJU said. “Well, gotta go. I’m judging the Annual Separating Children Competition. Winner gets a banquet.”
“Eat well, my friend,” the Pink Emperor said, and hung up.
The mention of food made him think again of his beautiful immigrant wife and his handsome young son and his golden-haired daughter and three brilliant grandchildren.
He was a lucky man! Maybe he would take everyone out for burgers!
He went looking for his son, but his bed was empty. So was his wife’s.
He went looking for his golden-haired daughter and his grandchildren. They were nowhere to be seen.
He called Sidekick Sessions. “Where did they go?”
“There was a problem with your wife’s visa,” Sidekick Sessions said. “I separated your son and deported your wife. I had to. Romans 13.”
“What about my daughter? My grandchildren?”
“They’re Jewish,” SS said. “Don’t you read the Bible? Romans 13? When Paul said to obey the laws, he was referring to Emperor Claudius’s decree that all Jews be thrown out of Rome.”
“Hmmm,” the Pink Emperor said. “If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.”
But his law was the law. Even Sarah Sanders said so. What could he do?
So the Pink Emperor sold their mattresses to S. Pruitt, a junk dealer, and rented out their empty rooms (one also to S. Pruitt for $50 a month).
Sometimes he thought of them, in the way he thought of a popsicle that he had once dropped on the sidewalk in second grade, or the time he caught a cold and couldn’t go to the movies. But he never shed a tear, for his heart was made of ice.
Without them. . . who could he hang out with? His pink fingers scrolled through Contacts. Cohen? Delete. Manafort? Delete. Flynn? Delete .Spicer? Delete, delete, delete., delete, a thousand times delete.
Who was left? Ah. One of those gals who’d jumped on the bed in Moscow! Maybe she’d like a burger. What was her name? He didn’t know. She was listed as “Bed-Jumper.”
He smiled. Dialed. Things were looking up.
The End of The Parable of the Pink Emperor.
So you didn’t like The Story? Tough.
Going to leave a nasty comment? Threatening email? Unfriend me? Accuse me of — what? What?
Go ahead. Delete me. Unfriend me. Block me. I don’t care. I’ve spent the last couple years in a creative depression/stupor because of this. Now, this is going too far. I’ve had it.
This wasn’t the America I wanted to hand over to my children and my grandchildren, who may end up behind a wire.
I’m a Child of the 60’s (So was the Pink Emperor. WTF?)
I know there are many of us who still believe. Who still want to do what is right. I know we’re getting old. Tired. We try to be peacemakers. Respect each other’s point of view.
But enough is enough. My father’s ghost visited me today.
And I found that my voice still works. My pen still writes. My brushes still paint. And the music of the 60’s still plays in my head.
I can hear Dylan now: “Come Senators, Congressmen, Please Heed The Call.”
So take your canes firmly in hand, my friends, my fellow Children of the 60’s, and do what you can, for these times have to change. They have to.