I could spend a lot of time making statistical comparisons about the influx of immigrants at the border starting with the George W. Bush administration through the Trump administration. If that were the real issue, Joe Biden’s current border dilemma numbers would compare favorably. Now that human decency has become solely a political issue— children’s psyches, lives and health are being sacrificed for base voter brownie points. Immigration/xenophobia has always been rooted in either racial, ethnic or religious bias in this country but the ‘sophisticated’ Americans were polite enough not to say the rude parts out loud.
The lynching of Jews, Asians and even the Irish are a part of Americas past as was the scourge of racially motivated lynchings of blacks. The silent [majority] masses discovered their voices in the Reagan years and began yelling in the Trump years. The screams from the peanut gallery have always existed, the problem now is that the peanuts are being shelled in Congress. Sen. Ron Johnson, Reps. Chip Roy, Louis Gohmert and new entrant Lauren Boebert are shelling, selling and marketing society’s uncivil war.
The fact that sick, traumatized children were spiked like a football in the endzone during the Trump administration and President Biden is trying to choreograph an endzone dance instead, galls those who enjoyed the cruelty. The photo of baby girl Valeria drowned, clinging to her dad while trying to cross a border river into safety, will forever haunt me. What type of fear and desperation would lead a parent to risk the children of their dreamed immortality? I may be naïve but it did not occur to me that her dad may be taking away someone’s job or his daughter may be trafficked. I cried that day because two human beings died inhumanely and needlessly—and the irony was because they wanted to live.
Wanton cruelty has been so intricate to American history that one story of cruelty is what replaces another. Slavery and Native genocide were replaced by Jim Crow, Jim Crow stepped aside for Japanese internment camps. Voter suppression, violently enforced with beatings and murders was next. John Kennedy, who was heralded in the black community was assassinated; Dr. King’s murder soon followed.
In what activist Van Jones labeled “white-lash” the first black President was succeeded by a man using racism as a selling point. On the heels of jurors being selected in the trial of officer Derek Chauvin, for what can only be described as the public lynching of George Floyd, the story was replaced by the vile murders of eight people, six of Asian descent. The unfortunate and circumstance- forced messaging of the Biden administration as articulated by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of “don’t come” to the many families who are facing certain death makes me want to vomit. I do not blame the Biden administration, but the fact that it has become solely polemics and not humanity says more about where we have failed, than how we have progressed. Conservative political orthodoxy swears by the sanctity of life, but apparently that only counts for white American lives, in utero.
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