First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews ,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemoller
I walked the halls of yet one more empty house yesterday. My voice echoed through the empty rooms, the bright paint and modern fixtures made me think of those who once lived here. I could hear their children's small voices getting ready to catch the school bus in the morning and I could smell dinner cooking in the sparkling white kitchen and I could still feel the warmth that once resided there.
A sticker placed on the front door by the automatons from the bank told of another story. A story of to big to fail and too weak to stand, of a family sandwiched in between until all of the love was squeezed and wrung out. Left like an empty wrapper and tossed aside in the garbage.
They left with what they could carry and they left behind the painful memories of what was and what is and what is going to become of them. On a bedroom door was a sign, written in a childish scrawl, "No girls allowed in my room, except my Mom!" The child understands possession and space and privacy but he doesn't understand mortgage instruments or financial necessities.
How do you explain to small children about losing a home? How do you explain why daddy isn't come along? How do you explain why so many of their toys must be left behind? How do you explain why the new place is so small and isn't as nice as the old place? What does it mean when a generation of children grow up without a real home?
Children who pass from apartment to apartment or rental house to rental house, how will they put down roots? How will they learn about permanence? What does it mean to a child to grow up a transient? I grew up with military kids whose families traveled from place to place and they envied those of us who were able to stay in just one place. They called us normal kids but what if there aren't any normal kids anymore?
It was a sad climax to a sad day, worried about my own cares only to be reminded of a promise that I had made to myself. I had promised myself that I would not forget those cast aside by the nation of their birth, those losing their homes and as I walked through these empty rooms I cussed myself. What are my problems compared to an empty house with children's board games left behind in the cupboard? Yhatzee and prophetically Monopoly, maybe this family doesn't want to play these games anymore? Perhaps, games of rolling chance and trying to ruin competitors have lost all of their entertainment appeal. Monopoly is the great American game, who wants to be the banker? Who wants to get a leg up and then crush the poor out of existence?
But this isn't a game is it? This is one more of the millions of American families, this one with two small children pushed out of their home so that bankers can live. Live the good life with six figure bonuses and if they play the game just so, they might even be asked to join the administration. Wouldn't that be great? To join with Obama's Chief of Staff, William Daley a former JP Morgan Chase executive. Or Tim Geithner of Goldman Sachs and the Federal Reserve or Eric Schmidt, the Google CEO who beat out former Pfizer CEO Jeffery Kindler to head the Commerce Department.
After a while it reaches the point of a sickening farce, corporation or government who is in control and who runs whom? The invertebrate President might not even know himself but he most definitely won't say either way. But as the erzats Tinker Belle flits through fantasyland what of Peter and the population lost boys and girls in America? Yet realities clock ticks in the gator's stomach and the payday pirates grow restless. They must be reassured that their cardboard cutlasses and fountain pen knives are still sharp and that a purchased wind still fills their grocery sack sails. A man-o-war powered by the winds of propaganda and armored by illusion, sailing on the good ship "Greed" while ignoring the crimson tide aligators that are surrounding them as well.
They wage war against unarmed American families, they tear down the signs from the children's bedrooms doors. They claim as their own the property left behind, the booty and plunder of lawnmowers and lawn furniture. Only fair, they reason, for these dispossesed didn't clean up the banks property before being dispatched from it. Clean up their wreckage, tidy up their lost future and wash away the dream of a family home from their eyes.
Walking through these halls I thought what a sham and a travisty of a nation, sickening sycophants eager to pick the pockets of the diasadvantaged for just one more paycheck.