Janie Seguí on separating families: This is happening now!“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for
Published on June 25, 2018
By Janie Segui
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
–Martin Niemöller, who spent the last 7 years of his life in a Nazi Concentration camp.
This is happening now! This is America! This is who we are! We said never again, after we put Japanese families in internment camps… We said never again… but this is our government! We are separating children from their parents. Inflicting the most treacherous form of violence against the most marginalized community among us, undocumented immigrants. We are kidnapping their children, ripping these poor little babies from their parents arms, and placing them in metal cages. Siblings are being ripped apart from one another. Children are not allowed to hug their own family members goodbye. Babies as young as 8 months have been reportedly taken! This is psychological warfare! This is a Human Rights violation. And yesterday our government decided it would be easier to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council than to stop ripping innocent children away from their mothers arms. We can not become desensitized to the violence and long term trauma we are causing. We need to stay outraged!
Throughout slavery in this country, African babies and children were sold at auctions. Ripped from their families, ripped from their mothers. Never to see them again! After all, they’re not really human, right? Isn’t that what they want you to think? Recently, Trump referred to immigrants as animals!
This type of rhetoric is an attempt to dehumanize our brothers and sisters!
In 1887 – “Kill the Indian, Save the man!” The federal government began to Americanize Native American children- sending them to boarding schools all over the country, “Kill the Indian, Save the man!” Strip them of their cultural identities. Forced assimilation! “Children were beaten, malnourished and forced to do heavy labor.”
This has always been America!
In 1960 – Through fear and propaganda the CIA, through Operation Peter Pan – flew 14,000 unsupervised Cuban children to the United States with the help of the Catholic Church. Some were adopted to loving homes, some were put in temporary living arrangements, and others suffered years of abuse and were left in the foster care system. They were completely cut off from having communication with their families.
This is America!
Come to terms with that and face it head on to change it, here and now!
The inaction and apathy of the majority is what allows fascist or colonial regimes to commit atrocities against our fellow humans. Ending the separation of families, in exchange for the detention of of families is simply not good enough!
So what are you going to do?
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All roads lead back to the AMOR Coalition!
First, make sure you are following the organizations at the front line with boots on the ground to help the most affected. You can find AMOR, FANG, DARE, Colectivo Sin Fronteras on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Follow them. Donate to them. Amplify them and uplift their work. We will share a post with the link to the social media pages of these important organizations that are doing the good work!
Second, educate yourself and your networks on the true history of this colonial empire and the consequences of your inaction. We must dismantle white supremacy in all the places it hides and ways it manifests.
On June 30th, there will be a march in DC! And there will be a march here in Providence. Make sure you are following RIWAI (Rhode Island Womxns Action Initiative) and M4RJRI on Facebook and Twitter.
Donate to AMOR by going to their Facebook page. If you are a mental health worker and want to plug in to lend support to the people of Rhode Island, they are looking for volunteers that are well versed in anti-racism to become a part of the mental health team.