|Workers in a cotton mill, Newberry, South Carolina, 1908.|
“We are better than this”?
I’ve heard a lot of wistful liberal catch phrases in my day. From “The whole world is watching” (the whole world is living under a tarp hoping there’s dinner and couldn’t care less if the police bust your head) to “Not in my name” (funny, because your name was on the tax bill paying for it) and I have to say, the current indignation over immigrants, particularly children, being kept on the border in hellish conditions, is, well, cute.
“We are better than this.”
Since when? Leave it to Americans to turn our intentional abuse of refugees into an occasion for pride. Our government greets those turning to us for asylum by dividing their families and torturing their children, while our citizens start preening about how our supposed values are being violated by this freakish aberration.
Pretty to think so, as Jake Barnes said.
This isn’t the exception. It’s the rule. We are NOT better than this. We have NEVER been better than this. We are exactly this, and always have been.
Cherokees had children too, you know.
”The bugle sounded and the wagon started rolling,” wrote John G. Burnett, a Tennessee soldier who saw Native Americans “loaded like cattle” as they set out on the “Trail of Tears” in 1838.
”Many of the children rose to their feet and waved their little hands goodbye to their mountain home, knowing they were leaving them forever,” Burnett wrote. “Many of these helpless people did not have blankets and many of them had been driven from home barefooted. ... The sufferings of the Cherokees were awful. The trail was a trail of death.”
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