Monday, June 18, 2018

Families Torn Apart and Kids in Cages: Moral Outrage in the Comment Section

by Nomad

Today, the AP featured a story about the living conditions of the hundreds of immigrant children currently being warehoused in South Texas.
Nearly 2,000 children have been taken from their parents since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy, which directs Homeland Security officials to refer all cases of illegal entry into the United States for prosecution. Church groups and human rights advocates have sharply criticized the policy, calling it inhumane.
It goes on:
Stories have spread of children being torn from their parents’ arms, and parents not being able to find where their kids have gone. A group of congressional lawmakers visited the same facility Sunday and were set to visit a longer-term shelter holding around 1,500 children — many of whom were separated from their parents.
Here was one of the most eloquent responses to this news story, courtesy of Reddit.
In a sense, it is one American's awakening to reality.

I don't even recognize this country anymore. I was once proud to call myself American. I thought that we as a country could be looked up to, even if sometimes we did things that didn't really make much sense on the world stage. I never thought that my country, my home, could be so callous and just plain evil. I don't care if you don't like the fact that outsiders might want to come into this country- if you don't immediately condemn these actions of the Trump administration, I consider you un-American and a traitor to everything we value.

Not one single other "civilized" country cages up the children of people who are fleeing persecution and forces other children to care for them as their parents or guardians are dragged away screaming. That is some Nazi terrorist bullshit and if you don't think that's what it is, I don't want to hear your opinion on anything else because it's safe to assume that you're too far gone to have a civilized discussion with.

Any commenter notes that the moral imperative might be to protest but even moral outrage must take a back seat to real-world practicalities.

That's the worst part of it. Many of the people who look at this stuff in disgust are the working class poor/lower middle class. We can't AFFORD to protest because it means choosing between standing up for our democracy or having food on the table.

I've started doing canvassing on the weekends but it would be financial ruin for my family if I left even for three days to go protest somewhere. Travel+lost work time. And I'm not the only one in that boat. The best thing those of us without means can do is to vote and encourage others to do the same.

Another commenter names the people he thinks are responsible and the true ideology behind the so-called “zero tolerance” policy and resulting separation of families.

Ask John Kelley and Stephen Miller. Apparently, they are the champions of this crime against humanity. You know the same two guys who have been accused of being white nationalists and racists who are now showing their true colors by going ahead and issuing the internment of non-white kids.

Because they do not see non-whites as human. So they don't give a fuck. Sure they might try and cite the bible or some fucked up reasoning but that's just spin and an insult to everyone's intelligence.

Then there was this exchange between two non-US citizens:

I tell you what it is.
Speaking from the UK, I can tell you that this is one more in a long line of humiliating things America has done its misplaced, smug self-confidence about its role as 'the leader of the free world'.
Forty years ago, it was carpet bombing a non-combatant country. Thirty years ago, it was invading a tiny country because students were 'in danger'. Fifteen years ago, it was torturing people because some random anonymous person alleged that he or she was in al-Qaeda.
Now, it's separating children from their parents and caregivers in order to terrorize potential illegal immigrants.

Even when I heard about this policy a couple of days ago, it never occurred to me that children who were too young to deal with their own toiletry requirements would simply be shoved in cages with only other children to look after them.

America, I'm sorry to say this - there are so many, many things I love and admire about your country - but right now, you are a stench in the nostrils of decent people (decent people including, I know, many Americans; but what are you doing about this?)

An Australian points out:

I'm Australian and I get you. But let's not pretend that your nation or mine has clean hands. Every country has a dark heart and unscrupulous political operators ready to exploit that.
I'd rather encourage the outraged and honorable the US than shit on the entire nation.
Especially considering Trump didn't even win the popular vote.

But, fuck yes, they should take a good hard look at themselves. And definitely, I hope America gets motivated to overhauling the broken electoral systems that made the least popular candidate by vote the winner.

That provoked this interesting reply from a US citizen.

... My outrage has been expressed the following ways: voting, calling senators, writing senators, signing petitions, donating money, retweeting information, participating in protests, not being afraid to talk to people and stand up for whats right, educate my children, prayed, screamed, stay hyper-alert, try to forget all of it, and "been the fucking change I want to see".

And now I will participate in a General Strike- stay off work with no pay, and not make any purchases for three days. So, I ask you, what else should I/can I do?

Clearly, the image of children taken from parents and incarcerated like criminals has shaken the consciences of at least a few compassionate Americans.