Thursday, June 14, 2018

Being Properly Appalled

There has been a lot of bad stuff over the past year and a half--failing to prepare and then help Puerto Rico recover from a hurricane, corruption here, there and everyPruitt, the racism, xenophobia and misogyny, but I guess I have reached my limit.  Until now, I was angry and ruthlessly pessimistic, but now I can't even describe how I feel, and my attempt to come up with a way to describe the worst set of policies possible will have to be tossed aside.

That policy and that description was: kiddieconcentrationcamp.  I thought it might do a decent job of reflecting the horror that is the mass separation of parents from kids, including infants, and putting them into dead walmarts and eventually tent cities, but my twitter followers found it problematic.

This entire story starting with this is just appalling:

The pictures are more than a thousand words--they reflect an effort to destroy families.  Is this going to be a deterrent? Who the hell cares?  It is simply inhumane.  Taking infants in the middle of breast-feeding?  This is what happens when you call all immigrants animals (or at least the non-white ones).  This is the outcome of electing a white supremacist president with a majority party that has been beholden to white supremacists.  The virulent xenophobia has had consequences--people are being hurt and the kids will be scarred.  Those who survived American concentration camps during WWII are still affected by that experience 70 years later.

No, this is not the first time that we have people of color being separated from their parents.  Watching the reboot of Roots reminded me that perhaps the most painful scenes were when slaves were separated from their families, often capriciously.

Sure, it could get worse--right now, the policies are not aimed at deliberately killing these people.  So far, only immigrants that the US has sent back to the desperate situations from which they have fled have been killed.  But when you start telling parents that their kids are going to the showers so that you can separate them without violence or resistance, we are already far, far down the road to doing even more abhorrent things.

I haven't blogged for the past several days partly because I was at a conference and partly because I had no words for this.  My attempt of #kiddieconcentrationcamp showed me that any shorthand for this is awful, just like the set of policies that are producing mass child incarceration.  Call it whatever you want, but be clear that it is perhaps not unprecedented (slavery, Japanese internment) but it is inhumane, it is the product of white supremacy, it is the deliberate policy of this government, and it should be unacceptable.  Maybe attacks on pre-existing conditions coverage will help more next fall, but I do hope the Democrats take a stand on this because they need to be on the right side of this, whether it is politically convenient or not.

As for the pro-family party, well, we know that they have no values except tax cuts and supreme court seats.

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