I don’t think I’ve ever been more ashamed of my country than right now. And the question posed today is: How much lower do we descend before we mount a national strike or some truly revolutionary act? And what can we actually do?
For Actions and Opportunities for the coming week, click here.
Destroying Families the American Way
In one of the two best sentences I have read in the New Mexican, the June 13th’s editorial began: “One day — soon, we hope — our children and grandchildren will look back on the current era and wonder what happened to make the United States lose its way. They will ask those of us alive now what we did to stop this downward slide, just as we have asked our parents and grandparents how they stood by while Japanese citizens were placed in camps or black citizens were denied their voting rights.” I will return to the question our children and grandchildren will ask in a moment, but for now some background on the current policy. Click here to read the full Santa Fe New Mexican Editorial. Tremendous.
This blog outlines just how horrid the situation is and closes with a 20-minute excerpt from the June 14 Democracy Now! news hour.
At least 600 immigrant children were removed from their parents last month, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new
rule. On Wednesday, 10 members of Congress protested by blocking the entrance to the headquarters of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency tasked with carrying out the forced removal of children from their parents. More protests in at least 60 cities are planned today by the group Families Belong Together, which formed in response to the new policy. We go to the epicenter of this “zero tolerance” crackdown, the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, where more than half of all migrant families and children have been apprehended by Border Patrol agents since mid-May.
The video below provides a tremendous report on the implementation of Jeff Session’s Zero Tolerance policy at border crossings, a policy designed to send a clear message to families living south of us: come here and we will take your children.
But what kind of message is that? Could it be a deterrent? Perhaps, but I’d ask you why the wealthiest country in the world would force a Sophie’s Choice dilemma on anyone. Recall, the Nazis asked Sophie to pick one of her two children to survive. Dwell on that false choice for a moment and understand that this is now US policy. No, we are not killing the children we steal from their parents, but tearing toddlers from the arms of their parents to send a message to famllies who are fleeing the terror of gangs, drug cartels and political violence where their children and themselves live in constant fear or heading to the border in the hopes that the Statue of Liberty is not a false narrative, that we do welcome the tired and the hungry.
That really is their choice: living in constant fear of immanent death OR maybe getting through the border to the US, finding jobs and sending their kids to school. And those courageous families cross a very perilous Mexico, children in tow, in the hope that they can find something they may never have experienced: peace and hope for the future. And we are not just slamming the door on them, we are tearing children as young as 18 months from the arms of their mothers. The child would likely only understand blind terror, but the mother who will understand what is being done: What kind of moment must that be?
I keep asking the same question, what kind of Nation have we become, not just to perform these acts, but to tolerate them. And yes, as I wrote this blog and now as you read it we are complicit, we are all tolerating it. So my closing question: What can be done? What can we do? What will you do? I’d actually like your thoughts on this as I am done with petitions and frankly marches seem just as trivial.
In a kind of shared shame and grief,
Paul & Roxanne