Remember when Colin Powell said that about Iraq? We've never adopted that sentiment in Central America, and now the chickens are coming home to roost, in the form of small children.
An immigrant is a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country. They migrate and settle.
A refugee is forced out of their country to escape violence, persecution, war, or natural disaster.
These words mean very different things. Since the flood of child refugees knocking on the US door began, the word “immigrant” is being used instead of the proper term, which would be refugee. It’s often preceded by the word “illegal.” The average age of these children is eleven.
The same people who are desperate to force white women to serve as involuntary incubators because they venerate “life” so much are the same crew who are now shrieking and name calling about these children. Apparently the lives of imaginary white fetuses are far more important than the lives of brown children fleeing violence, traffickers, and rape.
The reporting on this topic is dreadful. The response is dreadful. The commentary from the far right fringe is dreadful. What these children have experienced already is worse than anything the US xenophobes could possibly say.
Last week I spoke with Jen Smyers of Church World Service. CWS is a group of religious denominations that came together to help refugees after World War II. This is their mission. Jen told stories about the violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – the countries these children are fleeing. They aren’t leaving their families by choice. Their families are sending them away in order to save their lives. Their families have been targeted for violence, and the governments of their countries are either unable or unwilling to protect them. The average age of these children is 11.
Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. Since the military coup in 2009 the violence has gotten worse. The coup was brought about by military forces that trained at the School of the Americas in Georgia, where we’ve been training the future despots and dictators for Latin America since 1946. The US supported the 2009 coup, and we continue to send military aid to Honduras, even though they’re murdering and terrorizing their citizens. In the 1980’s in Guatemala, the US financed counterinsurgency campaigns with forces trained at the School of the Americas. Ronald Reagan supported the regime of Rios Montt, claiming he got a “bum rap” for his massacres of indigenous populations. Reagan also interfered in the civil war in El Salvador, providing exorbitant military aid to the nationalists, who used death squads to make people disappear. When Salvadorans attempted to flee to the US, we sent them back. Many of them were never seen again.
In short, we helped create this mess. Remember what Colin Powell told President Bush about Iraq, “you break it, you buy it?” We’ve never applied that standard to US interference in Central America. Now we have angry white people yelling at buses full of children in California. We have Rick Perry sending the Texas National Guard to the border. That should be a big help in dealing with traumatized children. And in NH, we recently had a group of yahoos on a highway overpass in Rochester, bellowing about illegal aliens.
They were headed up by Jerry DeLemus of Rochester, who most recently covered himself with glory out at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, where he defended the fraudulent claims of Cliven Bundy, welfare rancher. It was Jerry DeLemus who sent Jared and Amanda Miller away from the Bundy Ranch. After leaving, they headed for Las Vegas, where they killed 2 police officers and a civilian. DeLemus said he sensed something wrong with them, but naturally he didn’t bother to report that to law enforcement, seein’ as how he and the boys had their guns trained on the legal authorities.
DeLemus claims to be a Christian, and his wife wears a cross large enough to ward off even the most persistent vampires. Susan DeLemus distinguished herself while serving in the legislature by bellowing at an assistant AG during a ballot law hearing on whether Obama should be on the NH ballot. Mrs. DeLemus is a birther and one assumes that so is Mr. DeLemus. They’re both opposed to a woman’s right to medical privacy and bodily autonomy. Yet, there he was, on an overpass with Billy Baer, who most recently achieved renown for engineering his own “on camera” arrest over a book his daughter was reading at school. The daughter was at this protest. Apparently she was too delicate a flower to learn about date rape, but hardy enough for white supremacy.
Jason Margolis, writing about this for PRI, mentioned a protestor named Desiree Tumas. She believes that the gubmint is secretly bringing in “illegals” to the US and placing them in NH. The far right fringe thinks that Obama is bringing the children here to vote Democrat. The average age of the children is 11. Tumas also bemoaned the idea of bringing in children when “we can’t take care of the homeless people we have.” The rest of the year homeless folks are filthy moochers, but suddenly, Ms. Tumas and her ilk are feeling all warm and fuzzy toward them. I’m certain that warmth has a very short half-life.
The most disturbing aspect of the PRI story was the quote from a 12 year old that has already assimilated the lessons she has been taught. She told the reporter that these children (many younger than she is) should be sent back because otherwise little boys and girls in NH will be kidnapped or killed because of “the illegals.” The average age of these children is 11.
These people aren’t brave enough to call themselves white supremacists. Just as well. They have no reason to feel superior. Teaching intolerance, cruelty, and hatred for children is unfathomable.
In NY Harbor the Statue of Liberty hangs her head in shame.
published as an oped in the Conway Daily Sun newspaper, Conway NH