Opinion

On immigration and children, have we lost our heart? Soul? Mind?

In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, sit in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP) (AP)

Human beings are not illegal. It also is not illegal or criminal to be black, brown, yellow, red — or poor. It’s not illegal to seek asylum from violence, or try to find a way out of despair. It is not illegal to be human. But any person who supports the horrific, immoral, evil and cruel actions of this president and his administration is inhumane.

This country has a long and disgraceful history of traumatizing children and families of color and then generations later telling their descendants to “get over it.”

Between 9 million and 11 million people are believed to have been kidnapped from the continent of Africa and forced into slavery, here, in Europe, England and in South America. That is as if the entire citizenry of New York City and Chicago disappeared. Or all of Massachusetts, and then some.

When Europeans came here to “discover” America, they invaded and moved the native people off their lands, forced them into unfamiliar territories and broke treaty after treaty.

When the Japanese military attacked Pearl Harbor, which ushered the United States into World War II, between 110,000 and 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent were forced out of their homes and businesses and into concentration camps. There were no such “relocation” places for Americans of German descent, however.

And now, they’re coming for the brown children. They’re tearing them away — in at least one case literally — from their mother’s breast, and dumping them into cages in warehouses.

This country has a cottage industry of traumatizing children. They have been sold as chattel and treated like farm animals; they were sent to boarding schools to tame the “savage” out of them, robbing them of family and culture; they were forced into concentration camps with armed guards, while their families’ homes and businesses were taken away. This is who we are.

Decades ago I spent a day watching the 9-plus-hour movie, “Shoah.” It was the most heartrending account of the Holocaust I had seen before or since, outside visiting the Holocaust museum in the nation’s capital. But the accounts from witnesses, survivors, and guards filled me with such a feeling of helplessness. I remember thinking, why couldn’t someone call the police, the authorities? Then, a split second later realizing that the authorities were the ones perpetrating that evil.

The authorities are perpetrating this evil.

The authorities are perpetrating this evil.

The cowards who were elected to represent all the people in this country, not just their hateful, racist, xenophobic base, are perpetuating this evil, by either defending it, or remaining silent, and as such, being complicit.

And where are all the pro-lifers in this travesty? The ones who believe that women shouldn’t make decisions about their own reproductive rights, because the unborn have rights? Do they lose their rights once they’re born? Does their right to life end at the birth canal, or at the border? Why aren’t these strident anti-choice voices taking a break from yelling at women on their way to their health clinic to advocate for the children already here?

There are so many awful parts to this story, it’s difficult to say which is the worst. There was Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Jeff Sessions defending the policy by saying it’s based on biblical law. One, the Bible was also used to defend slavery, using the same passages about obeying the law, as white preachers told slaves to obey their masters and their reward would be in heaven. Two, we’re not a theocracy. Ever hear of the separation of church and state? Sanders kept repeating herself even as a reporter shouted at her about being a parent of young children herself.

Sessions is a United Methodist, as am I, but he must be using a different New Testament, because in mine Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Apparently his version adds “And lock them up!”

I don’t want to hear about border walls, MS-13, job stealers, or any other racist nonsense. This is about children being ripped away from their parents, who came to this country asking for help.

When I was in Sunday School, and later, as a Sunday School teacher, we used to sing, “Jesus loves the little children, all the little children of the world, red, brown, yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

Sound at all familiar, Sarah, Jeff, and other cowards in the government?

This isn’t politics. This isn’t government. This is extortion for the money to build a stupid border wall to keep brown people out, because of racism and xenophobia. The authorities are perpetuating this evil. Are we going to let them destroy more families, more children? This is history repeating itself. This is Godless, soulless, and inhuman.

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