Dr.Seuss Meets Donald Trump

How to help your child make sense of it all?…Have no fear! Horton is here!

When our kids watch the marches, the protests at airports, the unrelenting, ever growing, global outcry over Trump’s edicts,  do we know how they are taking all this in, and if so, what it means?

After an evening’s digest of watching massive crowds protesting Trump’s immigration and refugee “executive orders” it was time to put the kids to bed, which is never without a bedtime story. This night our 5-year-old’s request was, “Dad, read Horton Hears A Who!”

Half asleep myself, I opened the bright orange Dr. Seuss book with that unforgettable Horton the elephant on the cover and I began…Perhaps you know the story.

Upon discovering a whole Who village on a clover’s head, Horton bravely protects them from Who deniers, evil birds of prey, and monkeys who beat and caged him, but all the while he holds the delicate clover and the Whos’ lives wrapped by his faithful trunk.

Then, these words clicked…sure as a Dr. Seuss rhyme.

“But he (Horton) managed to call/To the (Who) Mayor: Don’t give up! I believe in you all!/ A person’s a person, no matter how small! And you very small persons will not have to die/If you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!”
After all attempts to yell, scream, bang pots and more, still the Who people were not heard. Still they were in danger of extinction by the hard-hearted jungle creatures who harassed Horton.

But, then, the mayor finds one small Who boy who had not joined the ruckus.

“This,” cried the Mayor, “is your town’s darkest hour!/ The time for all Whos who have blood that is red/To come to the aid of their country!” he said./ We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts!/So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”

The young Who’s “Yopp” was the decisive voice!

“That one small, extra Yopp put it over!/ Finally, at last! From that speck on that clover/Their voices were heard!..”

The Whos were saved. The menacing kangaroo, threatening their demise, finally listened and…once he heard, once he acknowledged the Whos’ existence, he had a change of heart.

“From now on, you know what I’m planning to do?/From now on, I’m going to protect them with you!/…From sun in the summer. From rain when it’s fall-ish, I’m going to protect them. No matter how small-ish!”

Someone send “Horton Hears A Who!” to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, D.C. Address it to “Donald Trump and Staff” and inscribe it with these words, “For every bedtime until you hear us, Mr. President.”

And, perhaps, this Horton story just might help you explain to your children or grandchildren just how important their voices are, no matter how small. Perhaps this book may help them better grasp why YOU are out there, in the marches, organizing local resistance groups, getting up, getting out, and NOT giving up!

Good reading and sleep well! I have a feeling you’re going to need your rest.

The Unlikely Student





People, Pipelines, Posterity

“When one believes on a sacred level, one cannot but act! The word here is not protest but protect!”

Kudos to the MSNBC cable news network and host Lawrence O’Donnell for this week’s segment on the continuing Standing Rock, ND stand-off between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and yet another US Army invasion of Native American scared lands. This time its the Army Corps of Engineers who won’t listen.


Photo credits: Rally outside the US District Court in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

David Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Tribe, interviewed by O’Donnell, said the Corps of Engineers is ignoring concerns about the oil pipeline’s hazards which threaten water quality for generations to come. In particular, and against treaty agreements, the Corps of Engineers gave a green light to the oil pipeline company, without consultation with the tribe, to proceed with the project.

Though a brief segment, and late in the 10-11 (Easter Time) nightly broadcast, the MSNBC news team at least brought this on-going issue to their viewers on an international scale.

From here in West Michigan, a  Gun Lake Tribe delegation has joined the Standing Rock Tribe in solidarity.

Now, if the networks dare, and if politicians truly want to show concern over water quality, let them all devote as much attention to Standing Rock as it did/does to the Flint, Michigan drinking water contamination crisis.

At the very least, the more press Standing Rock gets, the more we will come to understand that Native American communities are the first and last hope for protecting the future quality of life for all who reside within our borders, and beyond, in solidarity with other indigenous peoples’ efforts on environmental issues.

It truly is all about the “seventh generation” while politicians and corporations don’t think past the next election or stock holder meetings. Dare I say, most of us don’t often think past our next piped-in showers.

Native Americans, who have seen what greed and corruption does to lands and our greatest “national treasure,” our children, are our spokespersons and front line voices willing and ready to take on whatever consequences and retaliation which may, and often does, result from such actions.

Question is, “Is anybody listening?”

Let’s not ignore the nuances here either. While the media often calls events whenever Native Americans stand up as “protests,” these are, in fact, actions motivated by a reverence for life and the inherited, sacred land trust we all should understand and hold.

When one believes on a sacred level, one cannot but act! The word here is not “protest” but “protect”!

Ironically, the only reference to anything Native American in this campaign cycle, by either candidate, has been made by Trump, who caught media attention by referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”

I will save for my next blog, the Donald Trump depiction of illegal immigrants as “rapists and murderers” being  unwitting accurate, not of the more than 11 million undocumented persons here today, but of the “rape and murder” behavior perpetrated against generations of Native Americans by “illegal” immigrant generations from Christopher Columbus’ arrival onward.

Our question is, “Who will stand with Standing Rock, and, yes, the generations to come?”

The Unlikely Student