On a daily basis, Gabe Ortiz produces heart-wrenching and infuriating news about racist immigration policies, the abuses of those who enforce them, and news about the struggles (and occasional victories) against them. These are some of the most highly recommended diaries and yet often the comment threads remain in single digits. It’s like there’s consensus here at Daily Kos about what is right and what is wrong, but hesitance to engage in the conversation, never mind to press our representatives and candidates to join the struggle.
I have heard some of the cautiousness on the subject from friends here and in real life:
The horror is mammoth, my heart can’t take it
I know that it’s awful but it’s an election loser
I have no idea what to do or say
Once we get Trump and Stephen Miller out of the White House, things will change
Some people even worry that language like ‘concentration camps’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ is offensive
I’m worried about the backlash
Now, imagine if you could take every one of the horror stories shared by Gabe Ortiz, and turn them on their head. Imagine if our party wholly embraced taking on one of the greatest moral challenges of our day, and was led by someone who refused to equivocate.
Newsweek republished the tweet above the same day they announced that Sanders has surged to a 29% — 22% lead over Biden in a New Hampshire poll conducted January 23rd-26th. The last time the same Boston Herald/NBC10 Boston/Franklin Pierce University poll was conducted he had trailed Biden 26% — 22%. Will his statement change the underlying horserace? Well, they shouldn’t. Sanders has long been among the most ardent critics of current immigration policies and the only candidate to make abolishing ICE part of his platform.
Immigration is one of many areas where the policies of Sanders stand in stark contrast to those of Trump. Proposals from Sanders include a moratorium on deportations pending a review of current practices, ending "the barbaric practice of ripping children from their parents and locking children in cages." He has also promised to reinstate and expand former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was cancelled by Trump, although subject to a pending U.S. Supreme Court case.
We know how the last election turned out. Trump won in large part by advancing the most vile nativist message and then converted his racist populism into policies of ethnic cleansing once in office. Presuming nothing has changed in the electorate, the fear is that confronting these policies head-on will reproduce the same result. However, Obama successfully campaigned against the “dumb” Bush wars that had gotten his predecessor reelected in 2004. He was audacious enough to demand change and did so without the baggage of having voted for the war.
We should embrace the same urgency to end the worst atrocities of this administration
- For the lives lost and medical care denied
- For the families separated
- For the children tortured and traumatized
- For the asylum-seekers and students turned away
- For the neighbors deported
- For the neighbors forced to live in fear, in the shadows
- For ourselves and for our future
“This is a Kitty Genovese Moment”