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Taking the Point Position…


Allen Polk Hemphill

I am convinced that we are all predisposed to be religious or non-religious; conservative or liberal; homosexual or heterosexual. No amount of discussion will convince many of us against our predisposition – but, having said that, let me express my outrage over the precipitous seizure of Elian..

1. It is 1859, and a Black slave has escaped from a Louisiana plantation with her 6 year old son. She is seeking freedom for herself and her child through the Underground Railroad, as have tens of thousands before her. Making her way North, she arrives in Maryland – but is killed by a runaway horse. Her son lives.

2. It is 1955, and a North Korean mother tries to swim over the Yalu River between North and South Korea with her six year old son. She is seeking freedom for herself and her child as have tens of thousands before her. In the swim, she drowns but her son finds a drifting log and arrives safely on the Southern shore.

3. It is 1963, and a Mother tries to escape Communism over the Berlin Wall with her six year old son, because she has been divorced from her husband for years. She is seeking freedom for herself and her son. The Stazi shoot the woman to death, but with her last effort she throws her child over the Wall.

4. In 1995, a woman and her six year old child try to escape the most Revolutionary (and backward) countries in the world – Afghanistan under the Fundamentalist Taliban. She is divorced from her husband since before the birth of her son. She dies of the cold trying to cross the mountains, but her six year old son lives.

5. In 1997, a Black woman tries to escape from Zimbabwe with her six year old girl to avoid the genital mutilation of her daughter and the slavery of herself to the tribe. She had previously been separated from her husband for more than six years. She catches Ebola enroute to freedom, but the young girl survives and arrives in a neighbor country.

6. In 2000, a Cuban woman tries to escape Cuba with her six-year-old son on a makeshift raft, as have tens of thousands before her. She and her husband had been divorced before the birth of her son. On the trip from Cuba, she is drowned – but her son is saved by a passing boat.

In each of theses cases, do you:

  1. Offer the child asylum with close relatives who live in freedom
  2. Return the child to the father.

All of these cases are analogous, although not identical because nothing is identical. If your answers are all a), we have too much difference to bridge the gap. If your answers are all b) we have no disagreement to discuss. If your answers are sometimes a) and sometimes are b), then I suggest that only professional counseling and possibly medication may be the answer because that would indicate a leaning toward situational ethics rather than philosophy. Situational ethics is so ephemeral as to defy discussion, because the temperature, humidity, phase of the moon is always different.

Having said that, I support the child being with the Father under most circumstances – but not all circumstances. If the Father is a child molester, for example, perhaps we could ALL agree with not returning the child to the father. I would not return a child to Jeffery Dahlmer – but there are some who would.

In a more rational world, one might await a court hearing that settles the issue – in this case the government went before the Court of Appeals and asked for a directive to take the child – that was denied. The Attorney General says that her request was denied, but she was not forbidden! The next thing we will hear from this government is that anything that is not forbidden will be mandatory!

The child was under no physical threat. The administration simply wanted it "off the front page." The way it was done is an absolute guarantee that it will not be off the front of the mind for years.



Send mail to allen@allenhemphill.com or dolphinrealty@earthlink.net with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Allen Hemphill
Last modified: August 13, 2012