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No, we aren’t better than this

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I wanted to start this with the statement, “we are better than this,” but alas, we are not. At the El Paso Del Norte Border Patrol processing facility, 900 or more human beings have been stuffed into holding cells designed for 125 people. Regardless of if you want to call them non-resident aliens, refugees, asylum seekers, illegal aliens, criminals, or scum of the earth, they are human beings. They bleed red blood cells; they have frontal lobes, are bipedal, their liver is the lower right, they have two kidneys (mostly), two eyes, two ears, a mouth, they even have an anus.

The conditions are so bad that there is no space to sit or lie down. Some of the detainees (let’s call them detainees) end up standing on the open toilets to get some extra space from the overcrowding. But wait, there is more. Sixty-six percent of the detainees held have been in holding for more than 72 hours – that violates U.S. law.  Four percent have been held for two or more weeks, which spits on U.S. law. Who reported and documented this overcrowding? Fake news? The liberal left? George Soros? Russian trolls? No, it is documented by the Department of Homeland Security – our government – We the People.

This treatment of detainees isn’t the first time in our history as a country where we have treated human beings worse than farm animals. Let us remember, “free range” chickens are all the rage these days, and the people in these holding cells are packed like chickens in factory farms. Human beings are being treated by We the People worse than farm animals in an industrial setting. Sleep well tonight with that thought running through your head.

During the Gulf War, there was the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners of war. During World War II there was internment of Japanese nationals while members of the German-American Bund got a free pass. Those German-Americans were white, but those sneaky Japanese, well they were brown and easy to spot.

Both sides of the United States Civil War committed atrocities to prisoners of war, with the Confederacy providing particularly horrific treatment to Union prisoners. Then there were the indigenous peoples of North America, stuffed onto reservations with no resources; their children were taken away for cultural education, all under the banner of manifest destiny. If we go even further back, there was the gathering up of indigenous people living in New England praying towns and abandoned on Deer Island in Boston Harbor with no food, water, clothing or shelter. Over 300 froze to death in the name of colonial security.

The sad reality is, we’re not better than this. We as a nation have a long history of, “you look and act differently from me, so you must be bad.”

Ya, if you’re so smart, if they immigrated here legal as a real law-abiding person would, this wouldn’t be happening. These are mostly families, in the same watchdog report from Homeland Security, who are fleeing oppression, drug dealers, and dictators seeking asylum. United States policy helped put the leadership in place in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. That is a whole different topic for another time – our amazing foreign policy that does a tremendous job of putting brutal dictators and feckless cowards into power all around the world.

The number of Mexican illegal aliens has been declining in the United States for years when you look at government numbers. The point of declining numbers of Mexican illegal aliens was a subject of an entire South Park episode in 2011. Up to 2018, the number of detained illegal aliens has been at near historic lows, and that carried through the entire Obama Administration. By the numbers, it sure looks like the crisis at the border is being manufactured to drive a narrative. Further, I say back to you, “Even if these were armed invaders in a conflict, their treatment would violate the Geneva Convention.”

“Ya, so what.”

So what? Look what happened to our prisoners of war in Vietnam when the United States refused to issue a formal declaration of war against North Vietnam. They were treated like – criminals. The brutality of Hanoi Hilton and other prison camps, and the hundreds of POWs that, ehem, “disappeared,” in custody that we don’t seem to be looking that hard for anymore. If you don’t think our treatment of foreign nationals has an impact on United States citizens in foreign custody, think again.

On the other hand, it is easy to make a snap judgment and go all Godwin Law, but our brutal history and treatment of detainees stand up as an exhibit that when it comes to We the People, this is who we are. In 2019 in the United States of America, detainees are crammed together for days in dirty clothes, no bedding, no room to lie down, limited access to facilities, not enough breathing space, and no privacy. If one person arrives with influenza, chicken pox, scabies, or norovirus, it spreads like wildfire in the close contact.

We haven’t been better than this. Maybe it’s time we stand up and say, “enough.”

Think about it.

Malcontent, out.

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