So that Trump Chump has come to his senses and rolled back, however slightly, the whole “snatch a baby off its mother’s breast” thing, huh? Well let us not forget how quickly and horribly things can run amok when the populace is inflamed with the passion of prejudice against a population deemed “other.”
We like to think of this country as living by the laudable aims of its slave-holding forefathers, who eradicated the native population with smallpox in blankets and built the nation on the backs of stolen people – and indeed we are walking through time in their footsteps.
Even a cursory knowledge of this country’s history reveals a pattern of hostility, imprisonment, enslavement and attempted genocide of people who come from places other than Europe.
Start with the native population, and the woes bestowed on them are legendary, but for the moment recall that not so long ago in the scheme of things native children were forcibly removed from their parents and housed in institutions where they replaced melodic names like Golden Elk with Gordon and had the indigenous beaten out of them.
Next let’s recall my African ancestors, stolen from their families, their children bred and born of rape by their captors yet sold on the block like last week’s poultry. Children sold away from their parents to buy the master a new carriage, or coat, or pair of boots.
And of course, there were the Japanese citizens relegated to dog kennels at Santa Rita Racetrack, children sometimes torn from their families and families split asunder and housed in different camps. Curiously, despite the fact that Germans waged war on America with as much vigor as the Japanese, there was nary a whisper about concentration camps for German citizens – because they, like Trump’s forebearers, were white people, so perish the thought.
Spare me the hand-wringing and the lamentations that what we’re doing to children crossing our southern border is somehow un-American. It is quintessentially American, and left unchecked it will continue down the path that all empires with despotic tendencies follow.
This time Trump has inched back from the precipice of immorality, but his tendencies remain the same and left to his own devices and to the devices of those whose fear conveniently outweighs their sense of right and wrong, I fear that the atrocities are just getting started.
And when this administration’s minions are held accountable, are they going to do what the acting ICE guy did when pressed on whether separating children from parents was immoral? He said he was a law officer and was following the law. Sounds a lot like Nuremberg to me – and for those of you unfamiliar with that tidbit from history, German commanders called to explain why they massacred millions of citizens, lamented that they were just following orders.