About Carol Anne Donohoe

Carol Anne Donohoe is an immigration attorney with a private practice in Reading, Pennsylvania. She has represented and advocated for detained mothers, fathers, and children in the Berks Family detention center, largely pro bono.

I have a question for those of you who continue to say “not all cops are bad”

I have a question for those of you who continue to say “not all cops are bad” or to share the heartwarming photos of a black man supposedly buying lunch at Cracker Barrel for 2 white cops, or to remind us that the important thing is to be kind to everyone (because, after all, we want to feel GOOD, don’t we?):

When you learned about the horrific abuses of children by pedophile priests, how widespread it was, how the church tried to cover it up and would move pedophile priests from one parish to another, did you say “Hey, not all priests are bad?” Did you tell the victims how they should feel or how they should formulate their ‘message?’ Did you put an “I Support My Local Priests” sign on your front yard? Did you share touching photos of a little boy hugging a “good” priest? Did you balk at the idea of removing the statute of limitations for the abuse? Did you disbelieve the victims’ stories? Did you tell them that somehow it was their fault? Did you remind everyone to be kind to each other and that priests were hurting too? Did you say “Well, we ask so much of priests, you know, with having to solve the community’s social problems and that whole celibacy… thing?” Did you say “How do we know the kid didn’t come on to him first?” “All s/he had to do was comply and it wouldn’t have ended so badly?” Did you watch the movie Spotlight and think “Well, they didn’t really tell the priests’ side of the story?” Did you think it was OKAY for a diocese to cover up the abuses and move a priest from one parish to another, only to abuse more children? If you learned that someone you knew was abused did you tell them “Well, all kids matter, not just you” 

I’m guessing the answer to these questions is no. And, if the answer is no, then you best do the important work of asking yourself why you think or say these things about #BlackLiveMatter and the response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless others at the hands of the police. Do the work. Love and kindness aren’t spread through platitudes, they’re spread through DOING THE WORK.

(Photo Credit: Mainichi / AP / Matt York)

For all the children I know and love, we can’t give up. But it sure as hell feels hopeless

Indefinite struggle

Here in Berks County, Pennsylvania, it is rainy and dreary, though the leaves are starting to pop up on the trees. I don’t know if the gray skies reflect my mood or if they create it. Probably both. I don’t work in a hospital. I’m not an ‘essential’ employee. I don’t live in a big city. So, it’s easy for COVID-19 to feel distant for me. But I’m reminded daily that COVID robbed my dearest friend of being with her 26-year-old son as he died. I think about how COVID-19 is seizing the elderly in nursing homes, dying a painful death instead of passing naturally in peace. Hospital workers are on the frontlines of a relentless battle. 

Please, don’t be complacent. 

Our President has never once mourned the dead. Terrorists are protesting that it’s their God given right to be free to get a haircut. At one point in my life, I might have dreamed we’d come out better, stronger after this; that we’d use this time wisely to reflect on all the wrong it brings into the harsh light and determine that we won’t go back there. That’s the way I work. This could be such a catalyst for change: for the planet, for the marginalized, if we had leaders with vision. 

We not only don’t have leaders with vision, we have “leaders” who don’t care whether we live or die, as long as we die working, who amplify hatred and division, who’ve hijacked every level of government, who’ve emboldened the idiotic masses. I know that, for my kids, for all the children I know and love, we can’t give up. But it sure as hell feels hopeless.

(Credit for `Indefinite struggle’, from Under the Unminding Sky by Gregory Thielker: Gregory Thielker)