I recently posted a Facebook criticism of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy and how it was separating children from their parents as leverage to force congress into building his fecking wall.
As of this writing the number of incarcerated immigrant children is approaching 3,000 and whatever federal agencies have a hand in this none seem to prepared to handle the numbers, offer appropriate housing, medical care, psychological counseling, or have any system to prevent parents from losing track of their children
This zero toleration policy and the separation of so many innocent children is almost without parallel in American History. It is the creation of extreme political ideology and supported by xenophobia and the inherent racism of too many Americans. To justify the separating of parents and children the administration has even resorted to inaccurately citing cherry picked passages from the Bible.
These were some the things being discussed on my Facebook page and most people seemed in agreement that what Trump and Sessions were doing was wrong. Suddenly a follower dumped in a pile of right-wing anti-immigration pro Trump bullshit where he seemed to be attempting to rationalize the imprisonment of innocent children. I responded by saying that immigration has long been a major issue in American politics but if he was trying to rationalize what the children were being subjected to, he was to exit the conversation stage right.
Of course he avoided my wishes and continued to stir the shit. Again I told him he wasn’t welcome and again he ignored my wishes. So, I took the action of unfriending him and deleting all his post that followed my uninviting him to the party.
This meant he could no longer contact me or see what I was writing. Being unsatisfied for not getting the last word he resorted to sending a private message of one of the people who had not blocked him yet. Without mentioning names, here’s what he wrote:
“Hey Larry…The dude you blocked John Doed a private messaged to me on messenger. Here’s what he wrote, the p.o.s. He must have stewed on this for a couple of days.”
“Ms. Jane Doe you don’t know me so you call yourself an American,?? Well until you go to war twice then you don’t deserve to call me trash. I just know one thing that if I had to go to a third war to protect your freedom to call me that I would have to decline to protect you and your buddy. If you don’t like what our president is doing then maybe you and Mr. Chapman could find a place in Guatemala I hear there are a few places for rent.”
While I am bothered by his views on the separation and immigrant problems what bothers me most is his invitation to love America or leave it. I don’t know who first said those words but I’ve heard it far too often in my life. Mr. John Doe and I have in common that we are both veterans. What separates us is that I would go to war to protect his right to invite me to leave America.
Americans love saying that our service people are defending our freedom. Okay, just what is this freedom they are defending? Is it more than just going along with what the crowd is doing? Is it blindly accepting the policies and dictates of those in power? Is it watching what you say and not offending Uncle Sam? No, it’s not any of that, it’s the equal application of the laws and principles guaranteed in the United States Constitution and the over two hundred years of case law that expands and explains it.
There is nothing in the Constitution that demands we all be of one mind. That we somehow act like robotic clones. The Constitution demands protection of diversity and protection of the weakest among us. Protection for the very word that is hated more than the word that is loved.
When I and John Doe raised our right hand and swore to uphold and defend, even at risk of our lives, the Constitution we were swearing that for the benefit of all, not just those who held the popular beliefs.
So John Doe, you rightly seem to take pride in that you fought for America. Just as I take pride that I went in harms way on several occasions during my years in the service. But that absolutely does not give either of us the right to tell our fellow Americans that they must agree or, go someplace else. That is about as un-American as a person can be. You can’t wrap yourself in the stars and stripes and claim that those you don’t agree with have no right to stay in America. One major goal of this nation has been the creation of a more perfect union. In case you don’t understand, that means a more perfect place in which all Americans can live.
Maybe that’s what you and the Trump crowd just don’t get! It’s never been, America, love it or leave it. Instead, it’s mostly tried to be, America, regardless of who you are enjoy the freedom we offer.