You probably have a list of blogs you read regularly, like I do. Sometimes, a blog makes your list because you know the person, and care about what they think and feel. Sometimes, you just agree with author so much it feels good to just know someone else shares your viewpoint. You might even visit some blogs you where you vehemently disagree with almost everything they write, I call that opposition research. I started reading Tiny Cat Pants because Aunt B made me laugh, and sometimes, she challenged my most cherished male beliefs. I got to meet her, and like Ginger from GingerSnaps, (who also makes me laugh) Sarcastro, John H, Sean B and others, we have become friends and I am richer for it. Anyway, what I wanted to say today is that every once in a while, you might read a thread or comment that really hits home, says everything you want to say, and just completely captures your perspective. That happened today, over at this thread at TCP. I’ve admired the Church Secretary for quite some time, he has a writing style that makes me 20 shades of green in envy. I hope I’m not violating any sort of blog etiquette here, but I wanted to reprint what he said in the comments, so here it is:
Aunt B., I have to say I’m with you on this one. As in the “war on drugs,” we continue create a web of legal fictions that segregate human beings by class, skin color, and (in the case of immigration) where they were born.
The behavior of the federal agents is very telling. As the woman said at the end, “They treated us like as if we were murderers.” This was more than just satisfaction for having protected the sanctity of the law. This was an expression of the kind of in-your-face, “fuck you” politics that are the bread and butter of the post-Nixon conservative movement. Brown-skinned south-of-the-border migrants are perennial scapegoats of this movement, so it only fits that there would be such glee at the point of the migrants’ debasement. (Don’t bullies always gloat over the vanquished weaklings, anyway?)
The migrants–including women and children– are here to make a living. You can carp all you want about laws and borders, but the fact remains that the motivations of the migrants are very clear, and in many ways very admirable.
It is easy to blame to poor mothers and the helpless, feverish babies for their own plight: They broke the law. It’s their own fault we didn’t bother to find a more constructive, compassionate way of dealing with this complex problem. (I would suggest that these draconian raids and their aftermath are the Bush administration’s retaliation for the pro-immigrant marches of a few months ago, but that would get me labelled a ‘conspiracy theorist.’ I digress…)
Attempting to dismiss or justify this cruel, inhumane treatment by hiding behind the fictional morality of unjust laws puts us in some very unwelcome historical company and we continue to countenance it at our own peril. When we see fit, as a society, to condone the brutal treatment of fellow human beings who mean us no harm– especially when we label such treatment ‘legal’– we invite a maelstrom of brutality upon ourselves.
As a nation we have apparently gotten away with and profited from so many massive atrocities (the Native American genocide, slavery, Jim Crow, the rape of the Philippines, our Latin American policies, etc.) that our cultural historical education– with its traditionally jingoistic, myopic, self-congratulatory bent– leaves us ill-prepared to face up to our contemporary transgressions against humanity.
With all our wealth and military power it is easy to imagine that we will never be held accountable for these crimes, so we let our cognitive dissonance run amok and continue to tell ourselves that we’re in the right, or that we’re doing the best we can, or that it’s the victims’ own fault. Or we just ignore it altogether.
I can only wonder how loudly we’ll cry “foul” when the apocalyptic shoe gets put on the other foot.
I’m no writer, but I am glad I can appreciate someone who is.