The St. Louis carrying German-Jewish refugees seeking asylum was turned away from our shores in 1939. A quarter later died in the camps. If confronted with this, Trump would have said, “They must have done OK because they didn’t try again.”
Asylum seekers are at our border once again, not people seeking better jobs, education, and living conditions. That’s understandable but not necessarily a guarantee of admission. The conditions in Central America are so dire that women are making the dangerous trek up through Central America and Mexico hoping to get asylum here. Legally, constitutionally, and morally they are supposed to at least get an interview. The Trump Administration has deliberately targeted asylum seekers for family separation to #1 deter them from coming (per John Kelly) and #2 provide bargaining chips for Trump’s wall.
Someone mentioned something awful the other day: this will blow up when one of these kids is harmed and reporters and others who have seen the camps have noted the absence of toddlers and girls. That is ominous. Where are they and why can’t even U.S. Congressmen know about them?
This can get worse. 27% of people surveyed support the policy that is the administration policy, not part of the law – the Obama administration faced the same problem due to a rumor of automatic entry and did not react in this way (they used ankle bracelets to track those released from custody). This 27% hovers right around that 33% of Americans who will support anything to make America White and Christian.
Let’s see how far this goes. I mentioned hanging in one of my posts and was told that that would make us like them. We already are; we hanged the German Nazis and Japanese militarists who implemented detention policies that resulted in deaths. Maybe we can hang members of this administration just a little bit.
Oh! And you know how people say if you are using Nazi analogies, you are losing the argument? Well, more and more people are using Nazi analogies, Japanese-American internment analogies, and others and they seem to be winning the argument with 2/3 of the American people. As Chris Hayes says, the U.S. government is now in competition with MS-13 for who is scariest.
June 19 update – Jon Meacham, the historian who appears almost daily on Morning Joe and other MSNBC programs, was asked how he saw this moment in our history as a nation. Is making Nazi comparisons really useful? He answered by giving us 3 universes, as he called them. #1 is the Emma Lazarus one where we are the shining city on a hill, Reagan’s pilgrim hurtling toward us, home, in the dark, finding refuge. Trump’s wall is between that America and his America, #2 It is the post-Pearl Harbor hysteria which resulted in the internment of American citizens for the duration of the war. Meacham believes that Trump, Sessions, and Nielsen are ginning up similar racial hysteria around MS-13, the border, etc. in order to get Trump his wall and they are using children as the pawns. #3 is what Meacham calls Dred Scott America, pre-Civil War America, in which African-Americans were considered less than human. After Lincoln, President Johnson opposed the 14th and 15th Amendments, and he tried to undo the natural verdict of the Civil War, becoming an architect of White Supremacy. He believed he had a connection to the common man and gave slightly disjointed speeches about how the world was against him. Does this sound familiar? Meacham asked.
But then I guess people who just don’t want to admit what’s happening will say, “Oh, that’s just a bunch of Liberals talking,” ignoring the history and context of who is saying these things, Laura Bush, a Liberal? Ignorance is a blessing for some people.
Oh yeah, what about the autistic kids among the throng? In order to understand the Trumpsters’ thinking on this, you have to go back to the things I heard about Black people in my youth. It boiled down to the common saying, “They [the Negroes] can handle things that would kill a White man.” That excused putting Black people in toxic conditions – it doesn’t bother them. So here, I would guess the response to my question would be, “Oh, those Indians down there in Central America don’t have conditions like autism. That’s something White kids suffer from.”
Here’s a good idea for a Democratic ad: a frazzled mom surrounded by 3-4 rambunctious kids. A strong masculine voice asks, “Kids too much for you? Join the Republican Party. We’ll take the kids and return them to you when we are good and ready….. if we can find them. Volunteer care-takers from caring organizations like Boy/Man Love, HotTeenSearch, and others available to take your little ones in.” A little too tough? Try being a mom calling about your kids and getting a busy signal.
Later in the evening. I just watched Rachel Maddow lose it in the last few seconds of her show when the news bulletin came in from the AP that the Administration had detention centers, 3 of them, for the babies. Still too soon for Nazi analogies? Jon Meacham this morning on Morning Joe was asked again about have we been here before and he replied that we say this is not us but in reality it is us. Well said. These people act like selling slave children away from their parents never happened (my wife’s great grandfather was a slave, as I never tire of reminding people, and he may have seen children sold away); nor from removing Native American children from their families and putting them in boarding schools far from home; nor from interning citizens along with their children in camps after Pearl Harbor; nor from funding municipal coffers via bogus traffic fines levied against Black citizens; and so on and on. Yeah, this is us.
What I wonder is what the next step is. Once the government finds out how much it is costing to house and feed these kids, may a Final Solution present itself? Too far a reach? Last night Kirstjen Nielsen went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Hecklers invaded and the customers applauded the hecklers. Cory Lewandowski was told about a 10 year old Downs Syndrome child separated from her mother and responded with “waw waw”. Do you really think these people would mind feeding children into ovens?