The United States of Inhumanity

‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ – Benjamin Franklin

lady liberty criesHas the above quote lost all meaning in 21st century America?


The headline reads:

TENNESSEE LAWMAKERS SUBMIT BILL THAT WOULD GIVE CIVIL IMMUNITY TO DRIVERS WHO HIT PROTESTERS –

The bill states: “A person driving an automobile who is exercising due care and injures another person who is participating in a protest or demonstration and is blocking traffic in a public right-of-way is immune from civil liability for such injury.”

The bill was introduced to the state senate by Republican Senator Bill Ketron, and in the House by Republican Representative Matthew Hill. Need I say more?


Think Progress tracked hate crimes in the U.S. for the three-month period since Trump’s election.  While it is true that there have always been crimes against certain groups of people, notably Jews, African-Americans, LGBT, Muslims and Hispanics, the increase during this three-month period is eye-opening.  And sadly, predictable.

hate-crimes.png

The report is narrower in focus than that of Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC):

“Our standard for a hate incident was very specific, and the bar for inclusion on our list was high. We only tracked occurrences targeted against individuals or communities, which means that we did not cite the numerous instances of vague but unmistakably hateful speech scrawled in public places across the country. We also required accounts to be backed up by a news article, a police report, or an original investigation by ThinkProgress.”

An interactive map provides details by state.

I don’t have to wonder when it became acceptable for people to think they are better, more deserving, than others.  When the leadership of a nation utters hate speech, refers to human beings as “bad hombres” and “illegals”, it sends a signal to those who already feel a sense of entitlement.  This, my friends, is what this nation is becoming.

 

SPLC data


An excerpt from a Facebook post by a friend who teaches at a school in Arizona:

“Today, one my students asked me, “Mr. Bell, What am I to do if I go home and my mom is no longer there because she has been deported? You said he couldn’t deport all of us but I am afraid my parents will be next.” I had no answer for this student. I wanted to say everything is going to be ok, but I can’t say that any longer. I can’t guarantee anything for this student. This fear hasn’t been under just this president but the previous as well. But the talk and action is so real and so scary right now.

Its one thing to see this all play out, hear people say “Build The Wall” or refer to people as ‘illegal’ and not have any personal connection to someone impacted by it. But to experience it with students you love and care so much for makes it so real and frightening for me, as their teacher.”

Trump has pledged to deport as many as 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records, and last week the raids began in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, the Los Angeles area, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Kansas, Texas and Northern Virginia. Under President Obama, such raids also occurred, but targeted only immigrants with felony convictions. As noted last year by FiveThirtyEight, there aren’t 3 million immigrants with criminal records. Unless … one expands the definition of ‘criminal’.  According to a report by the Department of Homeland Security, there are roughly 1.9 million non-citizen immigrants who have been convicted of crimes.

On 25 January, Trump signed an ‘executive order’ to expand the definition of a criminal to include anyone the authorities believe has broken any type of law — regardless of whether that person has been charged with a crime. It is ambiguous and leaves much to individual interpretation. Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), says, “We’re talking about people who are threats to public safety or a threat to the integrity of the immigration system.” However, of the 160 people arrested in Los Angeles alone, 10 had no criminal record and several had only misdemeanors or traffic violations.

I will address this in more depth at a later date, as more firm information becomes available, but for now it is enough to say that for immigrants, even those who are here legally, this is a time of fear.

In Austin, Tex., undocumented women working in a laundromat cowered in the back of the room, petrified after seeing a video and a photograph of apprehensions outside a local grocery store and burger joint.

A day laborer and mechanic in Staten Island told his 17-year-old son where the list of emergency contacts were, including the name of the guardian who would take responsibility for him and his two younger siblings.

In Savannah, Ga., undocumented restaurant workers were asking for rides rather than walking home, afraid they might be stopped and questioned.New York Times, 10 February 2017

While I certainly do not support allowing convicted felons roaming free, whether immigrants or citizens, I find it abhorrent that in the interest of “keeping our country safe”, we are willing to arrest and deport the innocent, to sacrifice our humanity.


The three above stories all highlight the same thing:  that we are becoming a nation of people inured to the needs of our fellow humans.  Not all of us, to be sure, but enough.  Too many.  Too many are willing to live in a nation where one egomaniac can spread hate against human beings.  And let’s face it, folks … we are all members of one race:  the human race.  Those who forget that, who think they are somehow better or more deserving, have traded their humanity for something else … I know not what.

19 thoughts on “The United States of Inhumanity

  1. Jill, your post makes me want to step back and look at the larger picture, which starts with Benjamin Franklin’s quote. If DT’s goal is to make us safer, let’s focus on that mission versus his actions.

    – the travel ban has been ruled unconstitutional, but at its heart it makes us less safer so say foreign policy and security experts. It walks us away from our ideals and make us out to be a pariah. Singling our Muslims is is a recruiting tool for ISIS and disenfranchises American Muslims.And, does little to solve the problem as most terrorists were converted US citizens or are aligned with one of the 1,000 + domestic hate groups.

    – Reducing funding to move the focus away from domestic hate groups makes us less safer. There are far more non-Muslim hate groups in the US.

    – Illegal immigration has been made so political that we don’t look at serious answers to the problem. The Senate passed a bill that was a bipartisan effort to address these issues. It was not perfect, but it was a very reasonable and solid attempt. Our new AG wrote a playbook for the House to stop it from passing there. Boehner had the votes to pass it, but the extreme parts of his party fought the up or down vote.

    Previous Republican presidents have been more humane in the pursuit of more reasonable immigration laws and addressing illegal immigrants. We need to step back from the posuturing and showmanship and address the issues in a humane and more reasonable fashion. I do not have confidence this President will enable such discussion.

    So, I worry that we are not safer under this President, nor is the planet. And, much of that is due to his lack of desire to do the homework and vetting necessary. He would rather build a wall and impose a travel ban, neither of which solve his stated problem.

    Keith

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    • All good points! Also, I read but failed to mention, Muslims are far more likely to be the victim than the perpetrator of attacks in this country. The immigration ban was a radical and bad idea, but my understanding is that he plans to sign another early this week. He is determined to have his way, even if it kills us!

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  2. On the day you have a positive story about Trump I shall swim over and deliver the cwtch in person. I suspect that may not be for some time as I doubt prayers by me will be answered. I seriously worry that assaults against certain groups will increase even more knowing there is a racist and white supremacist in the White House. I do wonder whether the Republicans are now going all out for what might be their last victory for a long time. Maybe their next move will be to try and break up the Union so some States will be living in the early 20th C with their hate and the rest can just make progress living under the umbrella of ‘One People’.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s one mighty long swim, and while I would love to get that cwtch in person, I suspect that day will never come. And yes, I try not to be too pessimistic, but I really do not see how any of this can have a good ending. If he lasts the full four years, I predict a civil war in this country. Sigh. Hugs, dear friend!

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  3. Ok, first off , the source is not reliable. Two, it has been proven that some were liberals, paid indirectly by Soros, to do some of these to make Trump and his supporters look bad. Notice that they don’t mention anything about arrests. So it’s purely speculation, without an arrest to affirm the reason that they did what they did. Sorry, but as soon as they cross the border , ILLEGALLY, they broke the law. So, in essence, they are criminals, at that point. Why is that so hard to understand?? They is a right way and a wrong way to immigrate to our country. Obviously other Presidents and Congress’ have thought that way or they would not have made the laws that are on the books, relating to immigration. Trump did not invent the laws, like you would like to make everyone believe. He’s just enforcing what has already been established, decades ago. While I’m not his biggest fan, and I am leery about some of his appointments, etc., I just think all of the rhetoric from the left is overblown and definitely not in tune to try to bring the country together. Just widens the divide even more. Sometimes it seems that the left is pushing for a Civil War. So keep pushing left…..Hillary may have won by 3 million “votes”, but I’d put my money on the people who voted for Trump in a Civil War.

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    • First, I cited at least three sources, Think Progress, the New York Times, and Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition, I actually used several others that I did not explicitly note in the post. I always get at least 2 confirmations for data before using it. Which source are you objecting to? And this comes from you, who cites Breitbart and Fox ??? As to the rest of your comment … Soros supports Hillary, but I am not aware of any reliable evidence that he is paying people to make Trump look bad. Again, my friend, stop listening to Breitbart. We could argue ’til the cows come home about whether desperate people coming to this country without the proper documentation should be allowed to stay or not … and we will still disagree. The process to enter the country in the manner you suggest takes approximately 2 years … many refugees would be dead long before then. Remember that thing you have called a conscience? Remember about caring for others simply because we are all humans? And you may be happy to entrust your safety, your life, to Trump, but the majority of us are not. He is a fool, and Bannon is an evil puppeteer. Mark my words … you will change your tune within a year. Now STOP reading Breitbart! Try BBC … WSJ … Reuters …

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  4. trump is acting like the kindergarten teacher who, when he hears one person disrupting the class, instead of picking out that one student, the whole class gets punished for the one. I clearly remember that happening in school, don’t you? Immigrants aren’t a classroom of people in a controlled environment and I agree with you that it’s a horrid practice to deport the innocent along with the guilty.

    Now, about this other law regarding cars and protesters holding up traffic, this is also a tremendously terrible idea. I agree that people who hold up traffic because of a protest should have consequences for their actions, especially if the traffic is of a medical emergency type, (I’ve read of cases where people have died because an ambulance couldn’t get to the hospital because of a group of selfish radical protesters who felt their cause was more important than the greater good of humanity and in those cases, the protesters should be arrested or fined heavily, or something more akin to fit the criminal activity of unnecessarily blocking traffic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly … he is punishing an entire group for the actions of a handful. Most terrorism in the U.S. in the past 15 years has actually been by U.S. citizens … so does that mean he should round up all citizens to pay for the actions of a few? Much hate crime is committed by ‘Christians’, but they aren’t rounding up all Christians for punishment. I agree that protestors should consider the public safety, but let the punishment fit the crime … being run down by a car seems a might extreme to me.

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