June 24, 2018
Joseph had his “amazing technicolor“ coat, Superman had his cape, and Dorothy had her magic shoes, but the most important garment, in more recent times, is Melania Trump’s coat.
On her way to Texas to visit some shelters for asylum-seeking children, Melania wore her coat. She wore it as she ascended and descended the mobile steps to the jet plane that would take her on her journey. The inexpensive coat bore the words, “I really don’t care. Do you?” For celebrity, political and governmental figures, fashion is more than clothing. You can survey the political spectrum standing on a street corner reading the Tee shirts of those just walking down the street.
Context is everything. The context of Melania’s coat and its statement is heartbreaking if not downright alarming. Children are not only being separated from their parents for the “crime” of seeking asylum, but these children, who are practically jailed, are being dehumanized by those who should know better. Some “religious” commentators who heavily influence the media are participating in the dehumanizing of these children in ways that endanger our society and the rule of common decency.
We encourage you to study the issue, become aware of the history that has caused this problem, and respond to the plight of our sisters and brothers who are fleeing violence. They look to us for hope. Let us not disappoint them.
But back to Melania’s coat. It is more than a statement. I suspect the words on the coat are a sign from God. Perhaps a question from the depths of our collective unconscious. Melania is an immigrant so, I suspect, she knows something about the hopes and desires of the refugees. The statement on her coat has caused a stir. The White House denies it means anything at all. The President offered an interpretation that is more than baffling. And the talk in the street is endless with interpretations.
As I think about it, what really matters is the question: “Do you?” That is, “Do you care?” and I must honestly answer, “Yes! I do!” Melania’s coat may not be amazing, but it does ask the question we must all confront in our heart of hearts: “Do you care?”
Thanks for saying “Yes!”
Love the Children,
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
With the Board of Directors and Everyone at
The Interfaith Peace Project