At the foot of the Statue of Liberty, a few lines from Emma Lazarus’ 1883 poem The New Colossus are inscribed on a brass plaque…
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Like millions before me, I have read them in person, and been humbled by the majesty of honor and sentiment they represent. Yet in 2019, sentiment is about all they do represent.
Today I received yet more bile-inducing, promotional material for July 4th sales of pens and stationery celebrating Liberty and Justice for All since 1776.
Ask the children taken from their parents at the United States/Mexico border, and held in U.S., concentration camps by the federal government about those lines from Lazarus’ poem, or even about liberty and justice.
This is a government who thinks that depriving children of safe and sanitary conditions is not only justifiable, but necessary (Christophi, 2019; printable version available here):
“You’re really going to stand up and tell us that being able to sleep isn’t a question of safe and sanitary conditions?’” U.S. Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon asked the Justice Department’s Sarah Fabian Tuesday.
“Are you arguing seriously that you do not read the agreement as requiring you to do anything other than what I just described: cold all night long, lights on all night long, sleeping on concrete and you’ve got an aluminum foil blanket?” Fletcher asked. “I find that inconceivable that the government would say that that is safe and sanitary.”
And these are—and make no mistake about it, they are—concentration camps where, “once a month a child is dying in [federal] custody” (Christophi, 2019).
Ask Heather Heyer about liberty and justice for all since 1776—my apologies, you can’t. Heather Heyer was murdered by a white supremacist during a rally for equal human rights in 2017; an act tacitly supported by the “leader” of the United States. Someone elected in a manner that has been amply proven to bear little relationship to a legitimate democratic process, but stopped just short of being overtly criminal (Mueller, 2019, p. 9, 66, 173).
Ask Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, and Raymond Santana, five innocent black children (the eldest at the time, being 16 years of age); jailed for a vicious offense foisted upon them by law enforcement organizations, and for whom the current U.S., president publicly demanded the death penalty. Something which he steadfastly refuses to retract to this day.
Ask the surviving friends and families of the 4391 people shot dead by U.S., police from 2015 until now—306 of which were unarmed; and despite black and hispanic individuals representing a minority of the population of the U.S., 145 of those shot were black/hispanic vs. 120 white (Washington Post Database, 2019). Even that data is likely to be skewed, as the Washington Post does not track the “deaths of people in police custody, fatal shootings by off-duty officers or non-shooting deaths.” (Washington Post Database methodology, 2019).
Lastly, you could try asking any of the reported 200 friends and relatives who followed the hearse bearing the bodies of Oscar and Valeria Martinez.
Simply on the basis of solid, observable, verifiable evidence, the United States is far from a democracy—partisan rigging of elections has been given the clear go-ahead by none other than the Supreme Court of the United States (Rucho, et al., v. Common Cause et al., 2019). The U.S., is a long and painful journey from representing freedom and liberty for all, and all of the fourth of July celebrations of American Independence, won’t make that any better, or the road any less daunting.
I have featured one or two of the graphics used above in posts I have made before, and people I would like to call friends have asked me to take them down—on the grounds that they are distressing for many. Most Americans do not support the actions of the federal government as described above, and the only recourse they have is to vote in numbers too great to falsify in 2020. For them I offer nothing but support, and sincere, heartfelt grief. Yet even the election system is stacked against them (Mueller, 2019; Rucho v. Common Cause, 2019). So I would say that people should be distressed. The American people should be very distressed. I am very distressed because I know and love America, and many, many Americans, who abhor, even more so than I, what is happening in their name, and to their country.
Some people may even attack this post on the grounds of politics. I have made no secret of how left-wing my political stance is, but this is not about politics. This is about having a fascist, conscience-less regime, willing to watch children die in concentration camps of their own making, just for power, wealth, and the childish ego of a criminal president. This is about basic right and wrong, not political left and right. There have been people like this president on the world stage before, and it has never ended well. In fact, America once stood in proud opposition to such world powers, when some of the concentration camps I’ve mentioned were built—to house American citizens with a Japanese heritage. Now they are occupied once again… by children; what an obscene irony. We should all be worried about the creature that currently occupies The White House; his failures have far-reaching consequences.
Some may say that a ridiculous little stationery blog is not the forum for such deep and heady discussion. I would normally agree, but what I just cannot understand, is why every single U.S., blog and opinion outlet is not exploding with outrage, at the monstrous nature of their current regime. When I am asked why do you care so much about what happens in the United States? I ask, why don’t you? If we all cared a whole lot more about our fellow human beings, children wouldn’t be dying in United States government concentration camps.
Buy a red, white and blue pen from an American supplier on Independence—or any other—day, while that abject failure of humanity is in power? I think not.
Christophi, H. (2019, June 18). Feds tell 9th circuit: Detained kids ‘safe and sanitary’ without soap. Courthouse News Service [Web-based news service for lawyers and news media]. Retrieved from https://www.courthousenews.com/feds-tell-9th-circuit-detained-kids-safe-and-sanitary-without-soap/.
Mueller, R. (2019). Report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, volume I of II. Submitted Pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III, Washington D.C. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qsHQrRydcBY8pwPrTB8xBlT79XNcecjl/view.
Rucho, et al., v. Common Cause et al., (2019). 588 U.S. 18-422 (2019). Retrieved from https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-422_9ol1.pdf.
6 thoughts on “The USA: Injustice and a Failure of Humanity on the 4th July”
I agree. I would far rather see people take a stand than pretend this isn’t happening.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thank you. I am baffled by the passivity of the American People in the face of all this sad horror, cruelty and injustice. Where are all the street marches, the visible protests, the gatherings of thousands to demonstrate against the Trump Tyranny and the reign of his thuggish supporters? Why are whistleblowers fired and jailed and corrupt ceos given bonuses? Why is it Ok with most Americans that families are destroyed, children jailed and traumatized for life, parks despoiled, water polluted and people are killed, jailed, or unable to earn a living or find a home because they weren’t born in the right place with the right skin color, the right gender and “sanctioned” set of genes? The damage goes on and on. Again, thank you for speaking out. I do believe all of those who care for human rights. planetary rights, should speak, demonstrate, write, and show up to help where help is needed. Silence is complcity. Its going to take more than a Tweet or two to turn back this Maga-hatted tide of destruction.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Sorry for the late response, your comment was placed in the spam folder by WordPress’ software.
I think it’s stretching the point to say that most Americans are OK with what’s happening; I honestly don’t think that at all. The 2016 election was influenced by the Electoral College system, and of course, by foreign powers. The official victor did not win the popular vote of the majority of the American public… nevertheless, he’s in The White House now isn’t he? I am definitely agreed though, silence is indeed complicity.
My hopes are pinned on 2020 voter turn-out being high enough to win the day, despite gerrymandering and foreign intervention… and of course, that the Democrats don’t manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory yet again.
LikeLiked by 1 person
LikeLiked by 2 people
I’m an American who is disgusted by what I’d call “un-American acts” committed in the name of what America should be.
That said, I won’t say that even the worst possible president is “not my president” as many do (mostly via bumper sticker.) It’s the most vile kind of ignorance to pretend that platitudes change policies. The political body of which I am a member elected the man who occupies our White House. I share responsibility for that no matter how I voted.
Now, I take action where I can. I work for social justice. I make public statements supporting my fundamental position that all human beings deserve dignity and freedom. I’m with Ben Franklin on the question of freedom vs. security, and will say so unabashedly.
Europe is slipping into nationalism, too. All thinking people must be vigilant. Where we can support each other in the service of freedom, we should.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Well said and completely agreed—what we’re talking about here transcends partisan politics, and seems to be an international trend. Canada is not immune, and we face populist ignorance, foisting semi-fascist notions on a public that doesn’t see it for what it is. Better minds than I have said this better, but you don’t just achieve a democracy, you have to turn up and fight for your democratic rights every day, or they are simply lost. Good luck in 2020.