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Welcome to Nazi Germany in the USA and the Trump concentration camps of 2018.
There is no other way to describe the camps being set up all around the country under the new draconian Stephen Miller-inspired Donald Trump immigration policy of dragging children away from the arms of their parents at the border and mentally and emotionally torturing them.
The definition of a concentration camp is clear—a place where large numbers of people, especially members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor.
The term of course is most strongly associated with the several hundred camps operated by the Nazis in Germany and occupied Europe from 1933 to 1945.
But the history of the U.S. is also dotted with instances of internment. Japanese-Americans in the United States were ordered interned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942 shortly after Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific coast, were forced to relocate and live in camps in the western interior of the U.S.
And who can forget President Andrew Jackson, the slave-master POTUS who ordered the Cherokee Nation off its Georgia homelands and marched them along the Trail of Tears to military forts that were transformed into prison, concentration and death camps in the 1800s.
Now, in 2018, we are back to a new Trail of Tears that runs all the way from the southern border of the U.S. to the detention centers in New Jersey and New York.
Like the camps that held Native-Americans and Japanese-Americans imprisoned because of their race, these new “concentration camps” are being used to imprison innocent Brown and Black immigrant children, heartlessly snatched away from their parents at the U.S. border as their parents are taken to jail-like private ICE detention facilities and made to work as forced labor in some instances, cleaning the facilities.
This treatment is racism and bigotry at its worst and a violation of every human right and civil right, displayed for all the world to see, by people who like the Nazis, use Christianity to endorse and promote their sick xenophobic agendas.
Consider Adolf Hitler’s own writings in “Mein Kampf,” a 1925 autobiographical book in which he stated, “Today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
And now consider Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ comment from Thursday, June 14, 2018: “Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite to you the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”
See any similarities there?
Of course, the Apostle Paul’s writings have nothing to do with how it was used here, as many Christian scholars, including Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, have stated. But that did not stop Sessions from just throwing in the old biblical quote to justify the Trump concentration camp policies against Brown and Black immigrants.
Regardless of your politics—left or right, red or blue—there is no justification for snatching children away from parents and placing them in camps with no timeline on when they would be reunited. This treatment is callous, cold-blooded, harsh and atrocious and would never have been put in place if the immigrants coming in seeking asylum were white.
Simply turning immigrants away at the border if you are so against them coming into the U.S. is enough. There is no need to mentally and emotionally waterboard them as well.
Republicans who embolden the racists must pay a huge political price come November. It is the only way to ensure racists emboldened by camp Trump, including the son of Jewish immigrants who has forgotten his family’s own horrific battle against the racist anti-immigrant pogroms of Russia, are checked and America can return to the humane immigration policies of history.
The writer is CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc., which owns the brands NewsAmericasNow, CaribPRWire and InvestCaribbeanNow.