This is who we are.
“Without even thinking about it, white Americans created compartments and erected boundaries that walled off their emotions from the emotions of enslaved people…Sometimes it took the desperate screams of a disconsolate mother to penetrate their consciousness, trigger their empathy, and break their silence. White people had the capacity but not always the will to care” is an excerpt from an article titled How White People Justified & Struggled with Separating Slave Families.
This short excerpt is a depiction on how slavery was able to flourish for over 250 years in a country that prided itself of love, liberty, and equality of all human beings. I stumbled on the article because I wanted to explore how there are still millions of Americans that support the recent policy of family separation by this Administration.
A policy that is not only cruel, it is inhumane.
Similar to how, many white observers casually viewed slavery and the separation of families during the period, there is still a substantial fraction of Americans that see nonwhites and foreigners as less human. They don’t share the empathy and compassion of a family escaping unfathomable violence only to be forcibly separated while seeking asylum, with no hope or knowledge of when they will see each other again.
This is Trump’s policy of persecution, and even his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions is using the same bible verse that was used to justify slavery to justify this vicious policy; Romans 13.
So, when we ask ourselves, how did we get here? Lest we not forget the past for history tends to repeat itself. America has a harsh history of separation, enslavement/internment, and the unjust treatment of ethnic groups.
This is who we are.
We like to paint a picture of a better, more moral, equal, and just world that we inhabit today from coast to coast. If we are truthful with ourselves, things are no different today than they were during Jim Crow, during Reconstruction, during WWII and the Japanese Internment Camps. Things will always be the same because this is America. The fabric of our country is built off of actions such as the ones that this Administration is taking.
Cruelty is a hallmark of this current Administration, but they didn’t write the book, they are only taking a page of the American playbook. While we may be morally outraged, it’s important to realize where the cause of our outrage is rooted in. Or more so, try to truly, figure out what is at the core of this policy of family separation.
I’ve spent the past few months avoiding writing about politics. Mainly for my own mental health as it is depressing constantly trying to fight against this Administration using my words as a weapon. However, I can’t stop writing about politics because my impediment only gives this Administration more power.
I constantly ask myself what I can do, how can I make this stop as I don’t want to be labeled as the ‘good’ American similar to how there were ‘good’ Germans that stood on the wayside during the concentration campaigns of Nazi Germany.
We can no longer be silent and watch the atrocities occur, day in and day out. We must all speak up, be vocal, and make your statement heard. Although this is the America that we used to know it isn’t the America that we are fighting for. It isn’t the America that we envision.
Our America doesn’t separate families.
Our America doesn’t build a wall.
Our America is full of American’s that care for each other, no matter what race, creed, or origin.
This is the America that we know and hopefully, will have the opportunity to turn in the right direction — again.