“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are – they are concentration camps – and if that doesn’t bother you…”Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Right off the top, people are disagreeing. Concentration camps are where the Jews were held by the Nazis during World War II. What we’re doing at the Southern Border doesn’t involve gas chambers pretending to be showers. We’re not murdering six million people. The language is inflammatory. It’s divisive. It’s offensive to Jewish people the world over.
Right… why, exactly, is that?
Frankly, I don’t care if you want to call them Concentration Camps, Detention Centers, Holding Facilities, or Holiday Fucking Inns. The fact is that they exist in The United States. Today. Right now. These aren’t the Japanese Internment Facilities of the past, before most of us were alive. These exist in America today. They are morally wrong.
“Well, you liberals want to blame Trump for everything. These were started under Obama, and where was your outrage then? You’re just a Trump Hater.”
Okay. Fair enough. We won’t blame President Trump. You may blame President Obama if you would like. You may blame Hillary Clinton. You may blame Nancy Pelosi. You may blame AOC, Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, or me personally. Whose fault it is doesn’t matter in the least. What matters is that it’s happening.
Let’s look at some facts. The following is from the Inspector General’s Report on one of the better facilities located in Newark, New Jersey. These are their recommendations from February, 2019.
Recommendation: We recommend ICE conduct an immediate, full review of the Essex County Correctional Facility and the Essex County Department of Corrections’ management of the facility to ensure compliance with ICE’s 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards. As part of this assessment, ICE must review and ensure compliance with those standards addressing: 1. Unreported security incidents; 2. Food safety; and 3. Facility conditions that include ceiling leaks, unsanitary shower stalls, bedding, and outdoor recreation areas.
Those are the conclusions of the Department of Homeland Security, not the conclusions of liberals, democrats, or socialists.
Facilities in Texas are worse. “Many of them are sleeping on concrete floors, including infants, toddlers, preschoolers. They are being given nothing but instant meals, Kool-Aid and cookies — many of them are sick. We are hearing that many of them are not sleeping. Almost all of them are incredibly sad and being traumatized. Many of them have not been given a shower for weeks. Many of them are not being allowed to brush their teeth except for maybe once every 10 days. They have no access to soap. It’s incredibly unsanitary conditions, and we’re very worried about the children’s health.” –A law professor who recently visited the facility, Warren Binford of Willamette University
These are children. They are no different from your son or daughter, or your niece or nephew, or you and your siblings. They cannot possibly be guilty of any crime.
If their parents didn’t want them in this situation, they should have stayed in their own countries. It’s the parents’ fault, not ours!
Again, I couldn’t care less about whose fault it is. It does nothing to excuse the atrocities of the way we are treating human beings. We’re kidnapping children from their parents’ arms. They can’t be traced later, so reunification is exceptionally difficult. The children are housed in areas intended for adults, and the overcrowding is such that children are sleeping on top of one another on cold cement floors.
“Gialluca and a slew of other lawyers have been meeting with children and young mothers at facilities across the state this month as pro bono attorneys. At the McAllen center, Gialluca said, everyone she spoke with said they sought out Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande so they could request asylum.
Gialluca said the migrants, all from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, told her they aren’t receiving proper medical care and children don’t have enough clean clothes. Unable to clean themselves, young mothers reported wiping their children’s runny noses or vomit with their own clothing, Gialluca said. There aren’t sufficient cups or baby bottles, so many are reused or shared.”
These are not conditions under which any human being ought to be living. We are experiencing this crisis in this country at this moment. It needs to end. It needs to end now.
Okay, Mr. Bleeding Heart Liberal, how would YOU end it? We have borders for a reason, or do you think we should throw open the door and let everyone in? Is that what you do at your house, or do you lock the door every night?
First, in my Ideal World, we would be done with Us and Them. We would recognize that every single one of us is a human being. We would recognize that all human beings should be allowed to live some form of decent life, and that one’s country of origin does nothing to tell me if one is a good person or a bad person. Neither does one’s race, gender, religion, appearance, economic security, or political ideas. To determine if one is a good person, I need to observe that person’s behavior.
Well, their behavior was to break the laws of the United States. That makes them criminals, and they deserve NOTHING from us!
I’m afraid adherence to laws does nothing to tell me about a person’s value. Harriet Tubman, for more than a decade, was breaking the law by guiding people along the Underground Railroad. She was breaking the law. She was also doing the right thing.
If an immigrant does something to hurt someone – if an immigrant assaults someone, kills or rapes someone, or steals from someone – that’s a reason to remove him or her. But stepping across a line does nothing to hurt me. It does nothing to hurt you, either.
The arguments against immigrants are generally an effort to dehumanize them. How could you do this to a child? Well… if they’re not really children… if they’re not my children… then it’s okay to treat them badly because they, you know, deserve it somehow.
But I think, deep down, we all know that’s not true. We have to find a way to make this normal so we don’t have to feel appalled. And when this becomes normal, Death Camps aren’t far behind. And, it won’t be just immigrants. They’re first, but others will join them in coming days.
We’ve been doing this for centuries. We did it with black people. They were obviously different. Their skin was a darker color. They were Them. Good people, white people, were Us. We have to subjugate those who are not Us.
We did it with women. We did it with those whose sexual orientations were different from the majority. We did it with those whose religious beliefs were different from the majority.
Who is better off for deciding that one group of people needs to be treated better or worse based on their membership in that group?
I’m a straight, white male. That makes me better than absolutely no one. Your membership in whatever groups have been assigned to you makes you no better than anyone else, either.
You’re better or worse than other people based upon your behaviors.
The behaviors of these immigrant children don’t earn them the hell we are giving them.
I’m not a politician. There are many very good reasons for that. I don’t have solutions to America’s problems. But I can certainly recognize a problem when it’s staring me in the face. We are moving down a road we should all be able to recognize by now. Let’s stop where we are and turn around and go back.
Can we afford to give these people the help they need? I submit, if we want to call ourselves human, we can’t afford not to.
In my Ideal World, there are no borders. No, we don’t let strangers in our houses, but my house is not the same as my country. My home contains my private property, and a stranger inside it may represent a danger to me.
The country, however, is made up of nothing but strangers and immigrants. I’m perfectly content for them to find the best life they can here. In my world, everyone has shelter, food, medicine, and sanitary conditions in which to live. We all have a fair chance to make our lives better. We’re all willing to give each other a helping hand. We all get a good education, and we find joy in our lives.
Why is that world impossible? Because you’ve been taught it is.
Let’s learn something new. Let’s learn Love for All Humans. Let’s learn what a friend taught me when I was 16 years old: “One planet, one people… please?”