Racism isn’t a bug; it’s a feature
While their children were settling in for their first day of school, 680 undocumented workers at food processing facilities in 6 Mississippi cities were swept up and whisked them away to Louisiana by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. When the last school bell of the day rang, the children returned to empty homes. Lost and confused, they were taken in by volunteers who set up a makeshift shelter in a gymnasium. While ICE had carefully coordinated their operation to make sure not one suspect slipped through their fingers, not a moment of consideration was given to the dozens of children left in their wake. This, despite months of criticism of their treatment of children in their detention facilities.
And where was the man responsible for this chaos? The president was in El Paso, Texas, of course, mocking the victims of white nationalist terrorism. After paying lip service to opposing racism and calling for unity on Monday, Trump flew to the border town a fortnight later to regale hospital staff with stories of his rallies. Typically, presidents will visit a community struck by such a tragedy to comfort families who had lost a loved one. Given the many racist statements the president made leading up to this massacre, it’s perfectly understandable why none of the survivors would meet with Trump on this day.
None, save one: an infant orphaned by a man who shares Trump’s fictional worldview. One in which they feel threatened by parents who would sacrifice their lives for their child. One in which problems are solved with brute force, not compromise. One in which a city that neither of them had ever visited before was somehow made safer by a wall. As the first lady cradled the baby, Trump leaned in, gave a big thumbs up and grinned from ear to ear like he’d just won a Kewpie doll in a shooting gallery.
Perhaps he had.
We at Michigan United believe the incidents in El Paso, Texas and across Mississippi served the same purpose, to keep immigrant families in constant terror of losing their loved ones. It has to end. We would like to see the Federal Bureau of Investigations treat white nationalists like any other terrorist group and protect everyone in America. In a perfect world, ICE would also stop going after “low hanging fruit”, easy to find, hard working people who are just trying to provide for their families. These flashy raids do little to protect the community and only serve to aid the president’s political goals. Alas, in the world we live in now, it has become apparent that the only one who could bring this madness to an end takes glee in our suffering. So what can we do instead?
We can demand that our elected representatives denounce white supremacy in a way that is clear and unequivocal. State and local law enforcement can investigate terrorists ignored by federal agencies while at the same time, not cooperating with terroristic federal agencies. But most importantly, we must support political candidates at the local, state and federal level who share our values of liberty, family and humanity. If we can not find such candidates, we must stand up and run for office ourselves.