Racism is nothing new in American culture. It has always been a pernicious part of the political landscape. Lip service may be given to the melting pot concept, but the harsh day to day reality is that every group of people immigrating to the United States has had the experience of being “the other” and experiencing ghetto-ization and discrimination to greater or lesser degree. Never forget the genocide of the Native American tribes, nor the once-thriving institution of slavery in the United States, upon which this nation was built.
It’s a paradox that while America claims to stand for the highest moral principles, in point of fact, man’s inhumanity to man has been the status quo far more than it has been the exception in American history. Donald Trump knows this instinctively. He’s far too dense and unlearned to have ever studied history, but he knows all too well the sentiment of his followers — as did Lyndon Johnson, who said, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Trump has demonized the brown people coming up from Central America and Mexico and now he’s got $4.5Billion passed by the House, ostensibly for humanitarian purposes. We’ll see about that. White supremacists purposes is more like it. Rolling Stone:
As for the money, though, the measure would allocate $4.5 billion that the Trump administration is supposed to spend on humanitarian aid. There are supposedly sufficient restrictions to ensure that, though not enough to convince the progressive bloc of four female, first-year representatives of color: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. Only they, and every Republican for different reasons, voted against the bill.
Those four women did the right thing. Mitch McConnell’s Senate Republicans will surely now attempt to pass their more obsequious bill, so I can’t say that House Democrats implicitly endorsed the continuing state of affairs with an imperfect bill. But there really is no reason to trust the Trump administration with a dime of border funds until it ends the abuse of children there. The president is showing himself to be above the law in an entirely new way, caging kids in conditions that would certainly have a poor mother or father brought up on charges right now had they treated their own offspring like this. Trump — with advisor Stephen Miller’s guidance and the endorsement of people like Mark Morgan, his newest acting Customs and Border Protection head — have turned undocumented people into political hostages, dangling the prospect of a potentially violent and certainly reckless nationwide siege of apprehensions. I’ll do it unless the Democrats do what I want, tweets the dastardly villain.
So even though the Republican-led Senate will try to pass an even more the Democrats endeavored to hand $4.5 billion to Trump for use in the U.S. immigration apparatus, which to date he has only sought to exploit almost solely for white supremacist goals, employing systemic torture and child abuse that have led to illness and deaths — on both sides of the border — that weren’t happening before Trump was elected. This is new and old at once, and that is why “exploit” is the correct term.
Trump’s evil actions with regard to immigration enforcement and the catastrophe that is resulting from it are borne from his preternatural talent for discovering where America is not quite so exceptional — and emphasizing that point even further.
Trump lies that he got the family-separation policy from Obama, which he did not and that’s beside the point. The point is that the door got opened for someone like Trump to do what he is doing, a very long time ago. Criminal proceedings for illegal entry spiked under the George W. Bush administration. Children were kept in hieleras or “iceboxes” until the ACLU of Arizona successfully sued in 2015 to stop the practice — which was then resumed by the Trump administration, causing the death of at least two migrants in 2018. Cruelty is not accidental and didn’t suddenly pop up when Trump got elected.
The visuals of the dead father and infant daughter floating face down in the Rio Grande are very compelling, and it’s good if they served to move this mis-administration forward to do some basic work, like giving the kids soap, water, clean clothes, toothbrushes and a bed. But don’t be fooled. Watch where the money gets spent very carefully. Trump is now crowing, “I was right! There is a humanitarian crisis at the border!” Yes, but not the one Trump spoke of when he was quoted. That was when the fantasy of “hundreds of thousands of migrants pouring over the border” was the narrative of the day, right before the 2018 midterms.
Make no mistake, there is a lot of humanitarian aid needed. The New York Times recently did a story, with a compelling graph, showing the 911 calls that had been made from the desert by migrants attempting to cross, and running out of food and water. The graph also showed the dead bodies that were found in the desert. So, there is a humanitarian need crying to be addressed, of that there is no question. But bear in mind that Stephen Miller is in charge and if he has his way, things will only get crueler, more twisted and perverse, and worse at the southern border. The watchword here is follow the money. Don’t be placated because Congress has acted, follow the money.