Saturday, February 11, 2017

Do We Love Them Not Because of Their Race, But in Spite of It?

Next will come the armbands, then the cattle cars.

It happened so fast.  We live in Trumpistan.

Here, less than 30 miles from where he says he will build his wall, nearly every other resident walks in fear, if not for herself, then for a close friend or relative.

The ICE blackshirts have been sweeping through the cities for a week now, rounding up deportees and shipping them off to Mexico.

“(T)he . . . executive order allows all undocumented immigrants to be categorized as criminals and requires increased enforcement in communities, rather than prioritizing dangerous criminals," California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said .  The blackshirts targeted low-priority undocumented immigrants, including family men and women.

Maria (not her real name) got a ticket the other day, for not wearing a seat belt while driving to her job cleaning the houses of rich Gringos.  Now she’s afraid to leave her room in her cousins’ house in a nearby colonia.  Some of her cousins, dreading a middle-of-the-night pounding on the door, want her to go back to Mexico.  Back to the poverty and the drug wars and the random killings.  Everyone in the overcrowded little house is weeping.  The children are afraid to go to school, afraid that when they come home Momma will be gone.

"ICE Fugitive Operations teams are out every day as part of routine, targeted enforcement operations," said acting press secretary Gillian Christensen of Homeland Security. "These are existing, established fugitive operations teams.”

Ja wol.

In 1936, in Berlin, SS Officer Werner Best, the new head of legal affairs for the Gestapo, said, “As long as the police carries out the will of the leadership, it is acting legally.”

Last Wednesday night, in Phoenix,  Guadalupe García de Rayos, 36, a decades-long resident and mother of two, was  arrested and hauled away in a deportation van while her kids, 12 and 14, wept and pleaded for justice.

But there is no justice in Trumpistan.  ”We're living in a new era now, an era of war on immigrants," said Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, Rayos's lawyer.

Her friends and neighbors and her two children tried to block the van.  One man even tied himself to a wheel.  With clubs and epithets, the blackshirts drove them away.

Jacqueline Rayos, 14, said: “It's not fair that my mom might be taken away for providing for my family. Working should not be a crime... I'm not scared of [Trump,] I'm going to keep fighting to have justice and my mom back."

Hers is a lonely quest.  “Liberal” America, such as it is, abjectly accepted the brutish stifling of Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor; it raised its voice for a brief shining moment in the women’s march, then went back to its rose garden to mutter “tsk tsk” while Rachel Maddow waxed wroth on the TV.  

In 1938, in her best-selling novella “Address Unknown,” Kressmann Taylor’s German character Schulse wrote to his former business partner in the United States:

A liberal is a man who does not believe in doing anything. He is a talker about the rights of man, but just a talker. He likes to make a big noise about freedom of speech, and what is freedom of speech? Just the chance to sit firmly on the backside and say that whatever is being done by the active men is wrong. What is so futile as the liberal? I know him well because I have been one. He condemns the passive government because it makes no change. But let a powerful man arise, let an active man start to make a change, then where is your liberal? He is against it. To the liberal any change is the wrong one.

Schulse describes Hitler as being "like an electric shock.”  He writes to his friend:

As for the stern measures that so distress you, I myself did not like them at first, but I have come to see their painful necessity. The Jewish race is a sore spot to any nation that harbors it. I have never hated the individual Jew — yourself I have always cherished as a friend, but you will know that I speak in all honesty when I say I have loved you, not because of your race but in spite of it.

Jewish?  Hispanic?  Muslim? Whatever.

We have ignored history.  Now we repeat it. Ja wol.

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