No Doubt

By now you’ve probably heard about 45’s alleged “sh**hole” comments during a private immigration meeting regarding DACA in the Oval Office. While 45 denies using disparaging language, albeit – well after severe condemnation and backlash, he acknowledges that the words he used were “tough.”

(Based on the evidence, I believe that the comment was said.)

If you’re comfortable “believing” what 45 says, perhaps it’s a good time to remind you that the New York Times has catalogued and published nearly every outright lie (2,000) the POTUS has told publicly since taking the oath of office.

That said, this isn’t about the string of lies told, or the number of lies that will continue, it’s about how the president’s comments affect everyday Americans.

Yesterday, a friend of mine shared some words from her son Emmanuel (pictured second from left). Before I get to his poignant message, allow me to share that I’ve known his mother for most of my life. Moreover, my parents have known her parents for most of theirs. When she and I were much younger, we attended the same schools, get-togethers, and lived within close proximity to one another. But — like so many — life happens, and we lose contact with many of the people we care about, and we settle for loving and respecting each other through distance — and social media.

While my friend’s son’s post was replete with powerful statements, I was struck by this one:

If I could tell the President anything, I’d tell him this: My father isn’t sh** and his country [of Nicaragua] isn’t a sh**hole. His country taught him the importance of working hard, having honor, respecting others, and he brought those character [traits] with him to the United States.

He went on to say that wealth is not determined by how much money one has, but by one’s wealth of character. And he adds — that the President can learn a lot from his father.

I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve met this young man’s father (Hugo) on a couple of occasions years ago. And while I don’t know him well, my father has always told me how much he admires him, and everything that he’s done, including being a hardworking and loving husband, as well as raising exemplary kids.

Hugo, in the words of his son, came to this country as a young boy to flee the civil war in his native home of Nicaragua. And like so many immigrants, he had to learn English, navigate the rigors of the American educational system, and work tirelessly to pursue the American Dream.

After years of sacrifice, Hugo, and the love of his life — my longtime friend Carmen — have raised three boys: two are double-majors in college (one is even playing baseball), and the youngest, Emmanuel — whose words you’ve read here — will join his brothers in higher education following his final year at Mitty High School.

While Emmanuel included a litany of things his father has done for him and his brothers – from finding time to coach football, soccer, and little league, to explaining the importance of education, to putting him and brothers through private school, to doing what is RIGHT, perhaps the most compelling has been teaching them about what it means to be an American, and how profoundly important their heritage is.

Earlier today I heard President Obama’s former Senior Advisor, David Axelrod, quote the words of a senator from the 1890s who said immigration threatens the quality of our citizenship in America.

Over one hundred years later, we have a president who is saying the same thing.

Axelrod went on to say that the waves of immigrants [over generations], and their contributions, have made America great. He also said, “The question isn’t who Donald Trump is? The question is who are we?”

I believe my friend’s son answered the latter.

Emmanuel also added that “there should be no doubt that my father has contributed in making this country a better place.”

Young man, there is no doubt.

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