Cruel And Inhumane …

aoc.jpg“This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying. This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis. And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps. Concentration camps are considered by experts as “the mass detention of civilians without trial.” And that’s exactly what this administration is doing.”

Those are the words of freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on June 18th.  I fully agree with her words.  She has been taken to task by republicans, and even by Yad Vashem, of the Holocaust research center.  I have read the arguments, pro and con, and I still agree with Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.  The conditions under which we are holding people, particularly children, against their will and for no legitimate reason, is unconscionable, is a crime against humanity, and defies international law.  It is not much different from what the concentration camps in Germany were in the early days of Hitler’s regime, before the death camps.

What crime have these children committed?  None.  What crime have their parents, then, committed?  In most cases none, unless it is a crime to flee from violence and seek a safe haven for one’s family.

What, exactly, are ‘crimes against humanity’?  The United Nations Human Rights Council defines crimes against humanity as …

“… murder, extermination, torture, enslavement, persecution on political, racial, religious or ethnic grounds, institutionalized discrimination, arbitrary deportation or forcible transfer of population, arbitrary imprisonment, rape, enforced prostitution and other inhuman acts committed in a systematic manner or on a large scale and instigated or directed by a Government or by any organization or group.”

Warren Binford is a law professor at Willamette University in Oregon, and one of the few lawyers that visited a Customs and Border Patrol detention center in Clint, Texas, where 250 infants, children and teenagers are being held.  According to her report, these children are denied adequate food, water or sanitation.  Listen to what she said about the conditions in this facility …

There is a 1997 federal court ruling that came as a result of abuses dating to the 1980s, that strictly limits the government’s ability to keep children in immigration detention.  This is known as the Flores Settlement, and it requires the federal government to do two things: to place children with a close relative or family friend “without unnecessary delay,” rather than keeping them in custody; and to keep immigrant children who are in custody in the “least restrictive conditions” possible.

Trump has fought to overturn or circumvent the Flores Settlement, but it is one thing he cannot legally accomplish via executive order, so the republicans in Congress have proposed legislation that would effectively overrule the decree.  Last week, the government was in federal court to argue that it shouldn’t be required to give detained migrant children toothbrushes, soap, towels, showers or even half a night’s sleep inside Border Patrol detention facilities.  Yes, you read that right.

Arguing the government’s case was Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian who faced a three-judge panel.  Ms. Fabian was, as she should have been, shredded by the judges, for there can be no legitimate case for depriving children of the most basic necessities.  She hedged and deflected, lied and stuttered, and at the end of the day she looked like the fool that she is.  Take a look …

Her only real argument was that the Flores Settlement does not specifically list the items that must be provided in border facilities, and that it created a problem of “enumerating certain hygiene items”.  Circuit Judge William Fletcher responded …

“It wasn’t perfume soap. It was soap. It wasn’t high-class mild soap. It was soap. And that sounds like it [falls in the category] of safe and sanitary. Are you disagreeing with that?”

I wonder how Ms. Fabian would like to sleep in her clothes, on the floor, with only a piece of tin foil for a blanket, then wake the next morning unable to either shower or brush her teeth?  Or Donald Trump?  Perhaps they should have to spend a night or two in the conditions they have imposed on these children.

Six migrant children have died in the “protective” custody of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).  How many more … how many more must die before someone in the Department of Justice or the administration has the guts to stand up and say, “ENOUGH!!!”?  The federal government of the United States already has blood on its hands.  Donald Trump has blood on his hands and is as guilty of murder as if he had personally killed those six children.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is essentially correct, these are no better than concentration camps.  I hear my representative, republican Warren Davidson, referring to how “proud” we should be of our country.  His only concern these days is something or other to do with “cryptocurrency”.  I hear Trump say how he’s made this such a “great country”.  I disagree.  Right now, I am not proud of this nation … not one little bit.

64 thoughts on “Cruel And Inhumane …

  1. Pingback: Killing Children | Filosofa's Word

  2. There isn’t much one can say about any nation that has ‘concentration’ camps (for that is what these kids are in), except that their Governments do not care about humanity. Incidentally, Concentration camps were first instituted by the British, not the Germans, but many, many countries have decided that they are the best answer for dealing with unwanted ethic groups. It is racism on a grand scale that brings this behaviour to punish those unlucky enough to have the wrong skin colour, religion or ideology within National borders.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You hit the nail on the head when you say this nation’s government does not care about humanity. The House has passed an emergency spending bill to alleviate the conditions these kids are in … build additional facilities, provide better food and supplies, bedding and such, medical treatment. But, Trump is planning to veto it, or so he says anyway. Nice, huh? Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, I heard that. I really wish that the GOP would grow a set, and stop his manicidal tendencies. Your POTUS is not what America’s need… Why can’t the Republicans see that??? It is as though they have suddenly all lost any compassion at all!

        Liked by 3 people

        • There are many theories why the republicans can’t see that. I suspect some do, but are not about to admit it. His ardent followers, the ones that show up at his rallies and chant “Lock her up!”, are largely the un-and under-educated who are content to listen to what he says, rather than looking at what he actually does. Else they listen to Fox News and hang on Sean Hannity’s every word. Their compassion on a large scale has always been limited, for they are much against spending on humanitarian causes, and for reduced taxes on the wealthy, limited government, etc.

          Liked by 2 people

      • As nice as evil incarnate. I don’t believe in supernatural entities like demons and angels, but he’s got me wondering a bit. Like any day now in the middle of a press conference a reporter will say the wrong thing and Big Orange’s head will split open and a flaming winged horned lizard pops out. I heard the Secret Service keeps a dozen fire extinguishers in the press room. Or, he’ll just have the reporter hauled away. Same evil, different manifestation.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Oh what an image that plants in my head! I have often wondered what keeps him from imploding when he is angered, for his face turns a mottled red, and one can, even through the computer screen, feel the vitriol when somebody from the media tries to force him to answer a question he doesn’t want to answer, for example. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t physically assault one of them someday, like Greg Gianforte, whom Trump applauded for his physical attack on a reporter from The Guardian. We have a madman in the Oval, and one of these days, I think he will lose what little control he has. Your vision of a flaming winged horned lizard may not be far off!

          Liked by 3 people

          • Yeah, call me a visionary! Ha-ha. It’s just a caricature like we might find graphically in a political cartoon, with just as serious intent, as an interpretation of the same evil that would just have the reporter locked up. I cringe in the mirror with some shame at my demonizing “the other side,” but it’s hard to avoid when I see the reincarnation of Hitlerism as Trumpism right before my eyes, especially being convinced that it is a product of the culture … my country’s culture … who we are. That’s another kind of shame. If I don’t go off to the woods to recharge and reground myself often enough, I’ll be the one transmogrified into a flaming-out mythical creature, like a Pheonix crashing into a plastic ocean covered in oil.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. Jill, the big question we must ask ourselves is “what kind of country do we want to be?” Without our ideals, our relationships, our freedoms, we are just another country. I keep looking for that definition of great that includes the word “unwelcoming.” I know my former party likes to paint AOC as the bogeyperson, but she is pushes back with data.

    As I told a Trump supporting friend yesterday as he bashed her “Green New Deal,” it is at least a plan to discuss. It is not perfect, but let’s talk about what is good about it. Right now, twelve GOP legislators in Oregon have left the capitol to protest a cap and trade bill. Ironically, cap and trade used to be a Republican idea. The GOP climate change is has gone from it is hoax, to it is not as bad as it seems, to it is real but not man-influenced.

    I have seen Mitch McConnell and John Boehner say on camera about eleven years ago “global warming is real and man-influenced.” Now, the fossil fuel industry won’t let them say it. At least AOC has a plan. As for whether these children are concentration camps or not, the term is am intended GOP distraction from the fact we are treating kids like animals.

    Keith

    Liked by 5 people

        • Well, thing is … the kids of their own are far more human, ya see. Sadly, it’s ain’t all that hard for humans to dehumanize other humans, especially ones from other tribes. It’s an amazing faculty in our DNA that is overdeveloped among some people with underdeveloped consciences. Now with a baboon in charge … oy. I honestly believe that we are on the cusp of an evolutionary turning point in human nature and culture, and I don’t know which way it’s going to turn. Conscience may end up taking a back seat to tribalism for a few thousand years. Or (and I have not lost hope) we may see a brilliant period of enlightenment, maybe in part because of what Trumpism has shown us about ourselves as a People, at painful cost.

          Liked by 2 people

          • You hit that nail squarely on the head … dehumanizing people from other tribes. Throughout history this has been the case. Look how white people treated the slaves … they weren’t considered, and in some cases still aren’t considered to be intellectual equals. Look how so many throughout history have treated Jews. The commandants of the extermination camps had kids of their own, too, but it didn’t stop them from killing Jew kids.

            As to conscience taking a back seat to tribalism … you said for a few thousand years. I think that in light of the fact that we are not taking steps to address climate change and the other environmental issues, such as a sea of plastic, toxic chemicals in food, disappearing water supplies, the reduction of the bee population … there won’t be a thousand years left for humans to mend their ways. I have doubts that there will be another hundred.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Whatever comes next, or whenever it comes, it will be as different as year 2020 is from 20, but far more rapidly. Sea rise alone will drive unbelievable changes. We’ll adapt, but I don’t want to be here for it.

              Liked by 2 people

                  • Hello The Balsamean. The problem I can see is the growing population of science deniers. Our country is slashing funding for research in any technology that would help mitigate the climate change problem. That leaves all the work to smaller countries and even then many countries like the US have shown they wont cooperate with the goal. Hugs

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • I completely agree. Science may have been set back a long way on this. Our national investments in education are also pitifully small, and I think that’s a big part of the cultural insanity and science denial. Ignorance and lack of critical reading and critical thinking skills mounting for generations. The Republican Party mastered the Ignorant Vote a long time ago, with hyperfocused hotbutton issues like guns, abortion, creationism, socialism, their notion of educated elitism, and the Great Lie of Trickle Down Wealth Magically Creating Jobs. I heard a woman asked for comment recently on radio, a Trumpist, who said, “It’s these damn people with their college degrees!” with vitriol in her voice. I had to laugh, with my high school diploma, but it was really not funny.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • Hello The Balsamean. Well said, very well said. I totally agree. The right has demonized education so much that being uneducated and misinformed has become a virtue for them. tRump once said he loves stupid people. Hugs

                      Liked by 2 people

    • You are so right … AOC has given us a starting point, something we can debate, ponder, tweak and fine tune, but the republicans led by Mitchie only want to denigrate and put down. What a great bunch, eh? So dedicated to saving the planet, showing their humanitarian side by keeping kids in cages without so much as a blanket, and inviting the Russians in to hack our elections. Bah Humbug.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. what do you say to these two articles?

    https://nypost.com/2019/06/23/democrats-refuse-to-say-what-america-should-do-about-border-crisis/

    and this one which has a great quote which I’ll put here first.

    ” The fault lies not with any one administration or politician, but with the culture: the ICE and CBP culture that encourages the abuse, the culture of the

    legal apologists who defend it, and our culture—a largely indifferent America that hasn’t done a damn thing about it. This stain on America’s soul will

    not wash out with an election cycle. It will only change when Americans demand that the government treat the least of us as both the law and our values

    require—and firmly maintain that demand no matter how we feel about the party in power.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/why-sarah-fabian-argued-against-giving-kids-toothbrushes/592366/

    I think both of these articles raise some interesting points.

    Like

    • Hello sklawlor. I would say the idea the problem won’t be greatly decreased under a new president is false. There is two actions taken by this current administration that has made the problem of minors in custody much worse. First is the idea that every person entering the country for asylum is committing a criminal act so must be held and not released as was done in prior administrations. Crossing the border is not a criminal violation but a civil one. By holding the adults in custody the children have to be separated from the adults. The second thing the administration has done is to make releasing the children to family or sponsors onerous so that many families were afraid to come collect their children. This was done by demanding that all members of a family , even extended members must be reported and fingerprinted. As many of these families have undocumented family members this prevented them from getting the children out of custody. Also the lawyers noted in a recent report on the conditions they found the children at one facility many of the families were never contacted and told about the children being there. The children had not been allowed to place phone calls and no staff made them either. So yes, the presidential election could change a lot of this. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hello sklawlor. I think I understand why the candidates did not respond with more specifics when asked what to do at the border. I found the article rather bias in the reporting, but the truth is the House has put forth what they want to see at the border in the appropriations bill negotiations. The negotiations are extremely sensitive because of interference by several of tRump’s staff members and demands of tRump himself. The difference between the House version and the Senate is over two items. The Senate version simply gives the money to the department to spend and also includes money for the “wall”. The House version has very strict requirements on what the monies can be used for and no money for the “wall”. The reason the House has the conditions on the money allotments is because of tRump claiming he can just take money from one project or area and apply that money to something congress did not approve it for. The negotiations have been going a long time and are now under a very short time table. The House would prefer the candidates do not say anything that would upset the administration resulting in no agreement. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

    • I agree wholeheartedly! I am also half-Jewish and was thoroughly disgusted this morning when I read that a spokesperson for the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. Call a spade a spade … the way those children are being treated is the point and they are being treated very much like children in Hitler’s camps were. Where is the humanity? Where is the compassion??? Sigh.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. You should tell Warren Davidson what someone outside the US now thinks of your country.The only thing to be proud of is the number of people fighting against these injustices.Great shame should be attached to those who are dragging your Countries name through the mud forgetting what being humane is all about.Not just these children and their parents, but those children taken from their parents before they were deported and now cannot be linked with their parents.And those black people shot by the police for no other reason than their colour. These are all committed by the same, like minded people and encouraged by the President, a man in a job he’s most unsuited for but supported by a criminal Senate.Those who forgot that their job is to care for the people, ALL the people and not just themselves. I hope this tyranny can be brought to an end peaceably before the world places the US in an outcast category.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • Every word you speak is true. The so-called ‘leaders’ of this nation think they owe their allegiance only to the wealthy who contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to their election campaigns, and who promise more to come. The rest of us are meaningless to them because … our vote is the only voice we have, and more and more they are finding ways to suppress or disenfranchise that. The most disturbing part is the number of average people who have been lied to and believed the lies, who are not thinking for themselves, but rather being spoon-fed hate-fueled rhetoric that they fall for. They are the ones who are enabling the destruction of this country and the death of humanity. Sigh. I share your hope that we can bring this reign of terror to an end, but … it will be an uphill battle.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

  6. If this was Russia or China you could only imagine the Republican outcry. It’s astonishing how far the leader of the free world has fallen. How much further can it go. Well unless the opposition doesn’t get its act together we will get to find out. Then you throw the mega morons Johnson and Hunt into the mix and we are in for some darker times.

    Liked by 5 people

    • On the geopolitical time line, Trump is the equivalent of a Mikhail Gorbachev, who’s sole purpose is the demolition of their respective countries. Russia rose from the ashes, let’s hope the US can do the same after Trump. And we have a lot further to fall… Trump is no Gorby, the man is pretty evil dude to do that to children. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Hello Jill. What have we become as a nation, as a people? To hold children in conditions that would have a caregiver charged with child abuse and neglect if it was not the US government? We the country who for decades preached human rights to the world, who claimed we wanted to spread democracy because that was best for people, do this to people and kids fleeing death and destruction. When will the Stephen Miller types in government realize that all we are doing is piling on more misery to a miserable situation, as these people can not go back because they face death, or worse. One trans person who came here for asylum said she would be killed, was told that on the night she escaped. Our government sent her back. She was found dead, she had been tortured and repeatedly raped. So treating these people like shit wont make them give up. They are desperate. I ask again, what has our nation become? Hugs

    Liked by 6 people

    • What have we become as a nation? I’ve asked that so many times, my friend. I keep coming up with the answer that we have mostly become a nation of people who no longer care very much for anybody that isn’t just like them, who doesn’t go to the same church, share the exact same beliefs, have the same colour skin, and live their lives just the same. Even many who aren’t so bigoted are willing to simply look the other way when they see these injustices. A few of us write, try to increase public awareness, some even hold rallies … but at the end of the day, have we made a difference? Not to the people in power, the people who could make the changes. And those people are supported by their bigoted base. Sigh. What have we become, indeed? A greedy, ignorant, dispassionate society for the most part. I am ashamed of this nation in a way that I have never been before. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Jill. I think we make a difference. I think you make a difference. By getting the information out there and telling the truth we are getting the news to people that would be totally without a counterpoint. We do push back on the lies and we do have readers from other viewpoints. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

          • Hello Jill. I have heard news that may make you happy. THere is an out cry from the people in the US angry over the conditions the children are being held in and it has forced the resignation of the Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders. Maybe us keeping this in the public eye had some good effect. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

            • Good news, indeed!!! I’m sure that attorney who spoke of the condition to the press has had a LOT to do with the public hue and cry, and maybe to a lesser extent, bloggers like us also. I hope so, anyway. Now, the House has passed a bill to alleviate the conditions by building additional facilities, providing more resources (food, clothing, bedding, medicine, etc.), and the Senate is poised to pass a similar bill, but Trump has vowed to veto. We really need to get rid of him sooner than later. Sigh. Thanks for the good news, Scottie! Hugs!

              Liked by 1 person

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