Trump’s policy of separating young children from their parents when they cross the border has galvanized Americans of all stripes to stand up and fight back.
Governors (Democrats and Republicans) are refusing to deploy their state’s National Guard to the border; television journalists are shedding tears on camera; mental health professionals are telling us about the long-term trauma these children will suffer; and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are telling the Administration to end this outrageous policy while proclaiming that “America is better than this!”
Protests were organized in many U.S. cities this week. I joined 500+ people in El Paso to March about 1.5 – 2 miles to the detention facility where many immigrants are being processed through the system after their children are removed and taken somewhere else. We chanted, yelled and some swore while the national and international media captured our stories.
By every measure, this action was successful, and Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso must be recognized for its effective organizing efforts. Within 24 hours, President Trump had signed an Executive Order ending the separation policy.
Was it the media attention, or the Governors’ actions, or Congress, or a combination of many actions that caused Trump to reverse course? We may never know. But I have no doubt that when Americans are aroused and angry, we can move mountains.
Then why aren’t Americans aroused and angry over our government’s funding and support for Israel’s systematic killing, maiming and traumatizing of Palestinian children in Gaza?
If “All People in All Countries have Value” — how do Americans not recognize and become incensed with our government’s complicity in Israel’s war crimes?
[This isn’t the blog post to explain or convince anyone about Israel’s war crimes, but I acknowledge that lack of education may be part of the answer to my question.]
If Rachel Maddow and other journalists started crying on camera when reporting about American-made (and American financed) bombs falling on Palestinian children in Gaza, would that move anyone?
If a few Governors proclaimed their distaste for U.S. priorities, such as allocating $3+ billion each year to Israel’s war machine while cutting social programs at home, would that move anyone?
If there were simultaneous demonstrations and marches in large U.S. cities protesting Israel’s willful and deliberate killing of Palestinian children, would that move anyone?
Most humans (not just Americans) have a finite wellspring of empathy which seems to be doled out sparingly, as though we’re fearful that the well might run dry. Immigrant families crossing the southern border with their children? That we can get our hearts and minds around. Palestinian families half way around the world, not so much, even though our government is directly responsible for the suffering of both.