We’re a week into the GOP derived immigrant/refugee children issue/maelstrom. Long story short, the US ICE (immigration cops) have been arresting families seeking asylum. and taking the children away from the families. Kids as young as a year have been separated and are now being incarcerated at mass facilities, with their parents unable to contact them. One ‘center’ in Texas (a former Walmart superstore) holds around 1,400 boys age 10 to 17. Assuming you’re emerging from a coma, you’ve seen the pictures. You’ve seen the memes. This was among the first.
And Sunday’s NY Times put a picture on their cover that melted all but the hardest hearts. A woman is being handcuffed as her toddler screams, unattended.
I’d started writing this post a few days ago. It got bogged down in the details–the back and forth about when such detentions started, and who could fix it. President Trump is purportedly holding the kids hostage as part of his dream to build a wall between the US and Mexico–he already held poor American kids enrolled in CHIP hostage last year (more to follow).
Meanwhile, the stories keep getting worse. Apparently the Obama administration had been less than careful with children detained after crossing the border, a practice that goes back to 2013. Defenders of Obama point out that the situation wasn’t involved with thousands of kids at one facility.
Btw, nice touch that ICE/DHS is taking over empty Walmart stores and converting them into prisons for these kids. It calls up the wingnut theories from the Glenn Beck wing in the early years of the Obama administration that the Government was getting ready for mass detention, and their proof of that was … abandoned Walmart stores. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, you’re a coincidence theorist…
I truly hope with all my heart that there will be a just result from all this–that finally the nation will rise up in righteous anger and dump Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle on their expensively-suited asses.
But let’s face it, folk. ‘Muricans don’t care about kids very much. Remember this?
The Flint water disaster of 2016 was also about children–American children who were drinking lead tainted water that will have permanent effects on their neurological development. It was a completely predictable disaster (as I wrote about here). And by golly, the graphics were perfect–little children having pictures taken standing next to stack upon stack of bottled water around them. And how did Americans respond?
Flint still doesn’t have drinkable water. The politicians who forced Flint to buy water from a corrosive river four years ago didn’t get perp-walked. If anything, things are worse–Michigan governor Mitch Snyder has ended the free water program and Flint homeowners are still paying for water that is unusable (Detroit won’t even wash off new cars with Flint’s water because of the corrosive substances in it). Where’s the outrage at the kids who’ve been poisoned? Oh look, Stormy Daniels’ attorney is on Rachel!.
But you don’t have to look at Flint to see how little we Americans care about children. The GOP killed CHIP, the childrens’ health program, for several months and took the program hostage when the Democrats wouldn’t go along with the GOP on immigration ‘reform’. Other programs for struggling children are on the chopping block. This is part of a larger issue where American Children experience more poverty than almost any other children in the G20. You can scream about education reform all you want–children who (due to poverty) go to school hungry will not succeed, and the other children who share classes with them will find the experience less than educational.
What’s going on with refugee children is appalling. It tugs at every heartstring of people who have a conscience. But nobody should be surprised. Americans don’t care about their own people, especially our children.
As a friend points out online, we don’t care about children much at all. There are all kinds of pictures of children starving in Yemen as a Saudi-backed war rages on. The US is supplying the weapons there. And children are starving elsewhere as a result of our indifference to their suffering. And they’re the ones not being hit by our bombs in our seven little wars.
The problems of children started before Trump took office.