Open letter to my elected representatives –

As you and every person with a heart made of something other than stone knows, this family separation is amoral, cruel, inhumane and almost incomprehensible. I’m really angry. When I’m not crying.

All you are doing? It’s not nearly enough. It’s not enough to go to the border and look at the facilities and tell a few reporters how awful it is. It’s not enough, not by a longshot.

Please take a page from the Parkland kids or from MLK or Gandhi — be more radical, be more creative, be more outrageous — how can you not? This isn’t just a trade policy or whatever — this is NOW. NOW. NOW. They can’t wait a week and there’s no reason to.

Rather than doing a photo op, here are a few ideas.  These should be done with one consistent message and one demand for one action — something like, “The President must stop this NOW with an executive order” or whatever — that’s your job to figure out the ask/demand.

  • All Congressional Dems and sane Republicans (hereafter “all”) go on a hunger strike. Yeah, yeah you can’t. Too effin’ bad. Be bold and do the right thing.
  • All go to the border TODAY, especially the lawyers (and every outraged lawyer you can get your hands on). Go down there now (yes, cancel all your mtgs and cmtes and lobbyists and fundraisers and campaigning) and represent these families, help the attorneys on the ground, help those overwhelmed judges. Yes, it’s not allowed. Too effin’ bad. Be bold and do the right thing.
  • All go to the border for a HUG-IN: Ignore the guards, push your way in, risk getting arrested, and hug kids and hold babies!! It’s against “the rules” (NPR couldn’t find such a thing), but too effin’ bad. Be bold and do the right thing.
  • All pursue and accept everypossible media interview. Promise to talk about whatever the media wants to talk about — North Korea, trade war, Trump’s lies, Michael Cohen — say, “sure!” And then DON’T. DO NOT. Instead, answer every single question with the one consistent message and one demand for one action that’ll stop this outrage this minute. Yeah, yeah you can’t. Too effin’ bad. Be bold and do the right thing.
  • And my favorite: a general strike. No committees. No speaking except to the media. No voting. No going to the floor or the well. No meeting with lobbyists, constituents, donors. No phone calls answered or returned. No bill drafting or constituent responses. Nothing. SHUT IT DOWN. Get all the Dems and sane Republicans and the religious ones and every mother who has breastfed her baby to join you. Yeah, yeah you can’t. Too effin’ bad. Be bold and do the right thing.
  • And if I was there, I’d say: Brand yourself – “The WWJD caucus,” maybe. What Would Jesus/Jews/Justice Do?

What else could possibly be more important?

Please get back to me with a specific response telling me what you are doing now.

Thank you,

Katie Reinisch

Editor’s Note: When told that Congress is trying to pass a bill and some members are going to the border Saturday, Reinisch wrote a follow-up plea.

Dear Elected Representatives, Part II —

The rules have changed. When the POTUS allows and continues an action this inhumane, all bets are off. So why are you still playing by self-imposed rules? Break the rules and give toddlers and babies and tweens and teens back to their parents – WTF happened to our leaders? Is this what passes for bravery these days – a bill?

I just don’t get why the only solution is legislation! It’s like the saying, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you are in Congress, all you think you can do is pass legislation? This limited, myopic view is infuriating.

I really can’t believe Congress is going to do the usual dance as if this was any other issue. How can Reps just stand there in DC and pontificate?! It’s not enough, it’s not fast enough, it’s not nearly enough. No more speeches and op-eds and email updates, no more social media-only activism, no more petitions to nowhere, no more rallies for the choir.

Disrupt! Do it differently! Pick one of my ideas or ANYthing different than the same tired sh*t we always do.

Don’t we look back in horror asking why no one stopped Andrew Jackson or Hitler? Didn’t we see families torn apart at slave auctions? How can this not remind us of the 2 lines formed at Auschwitz less than 90 years ago?

For Christ’s sake, it needs to be fixed NOW, not “later this week.”

Get powerful people down there and match kids with their parents. Rip open the doors and carry them out one by one. Or do anything other than pass a bill. What are they gonna do, turn firehoses on you? Let’s HOPE so! Ask John Lewis to show you how it’s done.

I can’t be the only person who is way past the point of distraught FB posts and outraged press statements. There should have been action weeks ago.

Don’t write back; get pissed and take action. That doesn’t mean getting cosponsors and attending committee hearings.


Katie Reinisch