This is what it looks like to have sold your soul. Sarah Fabian, Senior Litigation Counsel with the Department of Justice stands up to defend the U.S. government's horrendous detention policies before three judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge William Fletcher asks "you're not seriously arguing that sleeping on the floor, in a freezing room, with the lights on all night, with only an aluminum foil blanket, and too crowded to lay down meets the standard of "safe and sanitary" conditions, are you? Indeed she was at minute 28. "Are you disagreeing that providing soap is part of safe and sanitary conditions?" Yes, she did at the 29th minute. "Do you agree that receiving a toothbrush, soap, or being able to sleep is not required as part of safe and secure conditions?" Yes, she agreed, they need not be provided at the 31st minute.
a World War II internment camp for detainees of Japanese descent
During the 1940s, a whole host of governmental officials, up to and including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, called the camps incarcerating Nikkei as concentration camps. Eight days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Congressman John Rankin clearly used the term in his following outburst. “I’m for catching every Japanese in America and putting them in concentrations camps...Damn them! Let’s get rid of them now!” In a press conference in November of 1944, President Roosevelt states the following as it relates to the Nisei of the time. “It is felt by a great many lawyers that under the Constitution they can’t be kept locked up in concentration camps.” In a 1961 interview, President Harry S. Truman gets right to the point saying “They were concentration camps. They called it relocation but they put them in concentration camps, and I was against it. We were in a period of emergency, but it was still wrong thing to do.” (It might be interesting to note here that very early in its history the War Relocation Authority leaders went out of their way to deny that they were running concentration camps.)
ICE officials have changed their minds multiple times in recent days about when to begin the operation to target families, according to one of the homeland security officials. The agency has long been hesitant about such raids because of the bad optics they generate.
Widespread raids of families could provoke a similar outcry, much of it directed against the gun-wielding agents making the arrests. That has left homeland security’s leadership nervous about the potential consequences of the operation.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT PARENTAL ATTITUDES?
Learning how to have adult-to-adult dialogue is part of the maturation process for any child-parent relationship. As we grow older, we sometimes develop different views than those of our parents, guardians or childhood caregivers. Navigating such conflicts often is complicated by a common cultural norm: respect your elders. How, then, can we cross these divides?
Speak up without “talking back.” Repeat information, removing unnecessary racial or ethnic descriptions: “What did the checkout clerk do next, Mom?” Or, “Yes, I like these mixed nuts, too.” Subtly model bias-free language.
Appeal to parental values. Call upon the principles that guided your childhood home. “Dad, when I was growing up, you taught me to treat others the way I wanted to be treated. And I just don’t think that term is very nice.”
Discuss actively. Ask clarifying questions: “Why do you feel that way?” “Are you saying everyone should feel this way?” Articulate your view: “You know, Dad, I see this differently. Here’s why.” Strive for common ground: “What can we agree on here?”
Anticipate and rehearse. When you know bias is likely to arise, practice possible responses in front of a mirror beforehand. Figure out what works best for you, what feels the most comfortable. Become confident in your responses, and use them.
[In 1990] Driven to Cape Town's City Hall through crowds, he gave a speech declaring his commitment to peace and reconciliation with the white minority, but made it clear that the ANC's armed struggle was not over, and would continue as "a purely defensive action against the violence of apartheid".
[O]n Wednesday, we received reports from children of a lice outbreak in one of the cells where there were about twenty-five children, and what they told us is that six of the children were found to have lice. And so they were given a lice shampoo, and the other children were given two combs and told to share those two combs, two lice combs, and brush their hair with the same combs, which is something you never do with a lice outbreak. And then what happened was one of the combs was lost, and Border Patrol agents got so mad that they took away the children’s blankets and mats. They weren’t allowed to sleep on the beds, and they had to sleep on the floor on Wednesday night as punishment for losing the comb. So you had a whole cell full of kids who had beds and mats at one point, not for everybody but for most of them, who were forced to sleep on the cement.
A reminder that Anne Frank didn’t die in gas chambers. She died from sickness due to unsanitary conditions, specifically typhus — a disease spread by lice.
Yet as horrifying as the conditions in these facilities are, this is not the Shoah, when the bureaucracy and industrial capacity of a modern state were marshaled to wipe the Jewish people from the Earth forever, and those who equate the two are mistaken. The Trump administration wants to preserve the political and cultural hegemony of white Americans, and by extension the Republican Party, over the United States, and is willing to break the law to do so. But the crime being committed is not genocide. America, though, has its own history with concentration camps, going back long before Hitler rose to power. And the malice, indifference, and deadly incompetence with which these facilities are run echoes that history.
In 1901, Colonel Jacob H. Smith was court-martialed for his use of “reconcentration,” among other brutal tactics, during the American occupation of the Philippines in 1901. The Supreme Court infamously upheld the internment of Japanese civilians during World War II, including at a site that the government now wants to use to detain migrant children. The precursor to what Americans are seeing at the border is not Auschwitz, but Fort Sill, Batangas, and Andersonville.
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