Monthly Archives: May 2018

Living in Weimar 8: Stark Days

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Laurie and Debbie say:

Valencia St, San Francisco 5/16/18

Since the very beginning of our Weimar series, we have stressed that Trump is not Hitler and the Republicans are not Nazis. The shameful things being done by our government have their own repulsive flavor.

And yet, the parallels are hard to escape. Right now, two pieces of news have made our blood boil.

U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions has announced a new immigration policy: if a family with children is apprehended trying to enter the U.S. “illegally,” the children will not be permitted to stay with their parents. The children may be kept on military bases.  The parents will, presumably, be placed in the current horrible immigration detention centers.

Let us be clear: There is no distinction between this policy and creating child-only concentration camps, as long as we understand that a concentration camp is not necessarily a Nazi-style genocidal death camp. Some children will die in these military camps, and virtually all of them will experience unnecessary trauma and suffering. Others will be “lost”(as more than 1500 have already been “lost” by this administration and the Obama administration) and some of them will wind up destitute on the streets, or victims of human trafficking operations, or both.

This is inexcusable cruelty. Sessions’ “justification” that it will act as a deterrent to illegal immigration is whitewash, which fails to cover his and his colleagues’ racism and complete lack of compassion.

At the same time that the U.S. government is planning on shamelessly warehousing children, the Israeli government is shamelessly slaughtering protesters at the Gaza/Israel boundary fence.  At least 60 people have died and another 2700 (no, that is not a typo) have been injured. We are completely appalled by Israel’s actions: we bring them up because the Trump administration is more or less alone in the world defending Israel’s actions.

What are they defending atrocities? First of all, the inhabitant of the White House probably thinks it’s a pretty cool reality TV show. Second, as American Jewish support for Israel decreases, evangelical Christian support for Israel holds strong, so Trump’s base is right there with him. Third, we’ve written here before about David Friedman, the Trump administration’s ambassador to Israel, and how repulsive he is. And finally, you never know when you might want to open fire on protesters in your own country, so you might as well have an example that you’ve already lauded to back you up.

Thomas Jefferson famously said,

Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events …

Unfortunately, we don’t even have to be theists to agree with Jefferson on this one.