I waited around today to see if by quitting time, i.e. 5:00 pm Pacific Time where I’m located, the Mis-administration had managed to locate and begin reuniting families torn apart by its egregious, heinous, unthinkable, incomprehensible, immigration policy. It’s 5:02 pm and nothing.
As of two hours ago CNN reports the Orange Stink Blossom’s crew fell “short on first family reunification deadline. “Fell short?” How about failed miserably? How about only four — that’s four — children under five years of age have been reunified? They hope they will be able to reunify another 34 by the “end of the day.” And then, this:
“One child can’t be reunited with family because the government has not known their parent’s location for more than a year, according to the government. That child and his or her parent may be U.S. citizens, according to the filing.
It’s possible that some parents who have been deported may opt not to have their children rejoin them, since some might have a case for asylum or other relief ― or even another family member in the U.S.” [HuffPo] (emphasis added)
As several news outlets and commentators have pointed out, there was no plan to reunite families because the entire point of the pointless exercise in Zero Tolerance (meaning zero tolerance for any more non-lily-white-immigrants) was to create an unwelcoming atmosphere such that people from “sh*thole” countries wouldn’t want to become Americans. [CNN] [NewYorker] [Salon] [NYMag] [Politifact] How many of the 5,140,000 related items (some repeats) retrieved by Google in 0.49 seconds do I have to link before it’s perfectly obvious there was NO PLAN. Why wasn’t there a plan?
Because Orange Stink Blossom uses the language of exterminators when speaking of non-lily-white immigrants who “infest” our country. [NYMag] He conflates immigrants with gang members, asylum seekers with drug and human traffickers, and he tells us they are invading our country. [NYT] Two youngsters attending the Orange Stink Blossom’s rally in Montana observed that Mexicans were coming over here and overpopulating us. [Rawstory] Just for a quick reality check, the city of Great Falls, Montana is 84.9% white, 4.1% Hispanic. [Census] Hardly sounds like “overpopulation” to my ears.
What it does sound like within my cochlea is good old fashioned racism, xenophobia, and demagoguery. Children aren’t intrinsically racist or xenophobic, they must be carefully taught. Unfortunately, there are too many tutors.
There are women who hit nonagenarians with bricks whilst yelling “Go Back to Mexico.” There are neighbors who call the cops when African Americans go to swimming pools, have barbecues in the park, exit an Air B&B, deliver newspapers, sit at Starbucks, and canvass a neighborhood during an election campaign. There are ignoramuses who shout invective at a lady wearing a Puerto Rican flag decor shirt — unaware Puerto Ricans are American citizens. The good news is that there are a number of people of good will with cellular phones who upload video of these vile interactions for all the world to see. Some of the practitioners of hate, racism, and cruelty have discovered their employers wish not to be associated with them — they damage the brand.
It’s 5:45 PM, still nothing. There was no plan because MAGA only means “great” if by “great” the country was “great” during the long brutal life of the south’s Peculiar Institution. Or “great” when NINA signs appeared in shop keeper’s windows to keep the seanteach folk at bay. . Or “great” when Native American children were “acculture-ized” in boarding schools? Or “great” when Jim Crow laws allowed white people a comfortable separation from their browner skinned fellows so that they might not have to notice some POC were just as bright, just as hard working, just as religious, just as worthy, just as much children of an Almighty God as themselves? Sad that, should a person’s self worth be quantified and reassured by skin — an ectodermal tissue so thin it can be cut with a piece of paper.
However, it’s all too easy to transform discomfort into fear, fear into loathing, and loathing into hate. And, too easy to manipulate that hate into action by giving it permission to indulge its worst elements. Perhaps it’s time to return to Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address:
“I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
It’s 6:00 PM. Time to find the children, to reunite them with their mothers and fathers, to ease the strain on their bonds of affection, to give comfort at their hearthstones, and to listen to the better angels of our nature.