You could not not read this story when it appeared a few days ago in the Los Angeles Times. Everything started with that headline: “ ‘I knew they were going to die.’ This foster father only takes in terminally ill children.”
Here was a well-told story about an unassuming Muslim man doing a heroic task. And -- he's an immigrant!
The Times wasn't going subtle with this message aimed at Donald Trump. Want to kick out immigrants, this article almost says. Want to start with this guy?
OK, we get the point. It is beautifully written, but there are some big blank spots. The story starts with:
The children were going to die.
Mohamed Bzeek knew that. But in his more than two decades as a foster father, he took them in anyway -- the sickest of the sick in Los Angeles County’s sprawling foster care system.
Now, Bzeek spends long days and sleepless nights caring for a bedridden 6-year-old foster girl with a rare brain defect. She’s blind and deaf. She has daily seizures. Her arms and legs are paralyzed.
Bzeek, a quiet, devout Libyan-born Muslim who lives in Azusa, just wants her to know she’s not alone in this life.
“I know she can’t hear, can’t see, but I always talk to her,” he said. “I’m always holding her, playing with her, touching her. … She has feelings. She has a soul. She’s a human being.”
The article then informs us that out of 35,000 children in the city’s foster care system, 600 of them are in dire medical straits. As for those who are dying, only one person is available to take care of any of them. The story doesn’t say it outright, but these are all children who were dumped by their parents.