I watched a Facebook debate with interest about whether it’s a reasonable comparison to say the current administration is akin to the Nazis. I think it is not. Yet. I do believe this is how it starts. Exactly like this. When you can talk people into thinking other people’s children don’t deserve the same opportunity and protection as their own, I feel like you can talk them into pretty much any atrocity imaginable.
I’m not even referring to the refugee children by that statement. I’m talking about the children of the first Americans who were killed, given diseases, kidnapped, forcibly indoctrinated, and relegated to reservations with plenty of poverty and little opportunity. I’m thinking about the children of slaves who were treated as pets at best, and as commodities at worst. I’m remembering the children who labored in sweatshops and mines during the industrial revolution, and the migrant children welcomed into border communities as cheap labor during the day and sent back at night. I’m referring to the black children of the Jim Crow era who were spit on, threatened, assaulted, or even killed for daring to use a public beach or attend a school that the whites wanted to keep for themselves.
I’m talking about black and Hispanic children here in the North who were relegated to overpopulated, underserved communities through redlining, where it was impossible for their families to build financial security, where you couldn’t find a doctor’s office or a decent school but you could find plenty of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. I’m thinking of our disparate educational system that gives wealthy children advantages low income children wouldn’t even dream of. I am talking about the children of Flint who STILL wait for clean water. Four. Years. Later. I’m drawing your attention to the children of Standing Rock who had their land stolen by profiteers with the help of our government. Again. I’m talking about the children of Puerto Rico who are still waiting for restoration of the most basic infrastructure, and the children here in the system waiting for families. I’m pointing out we can’t even figure out how to keep mass murderers from shooting up our children at school.