Number 47 

toc-teaser.jpg

Let me introduce you to Number 47. He's the six-year-old boy pictured above. Some people claim he's being held in a cage-like facility by DHS agents in Texas. Others believe conservative pundits Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, who say he's a "child actor" who's living in a "summer camp."

If they're right, I just have to say, What a talent! I mean, look at him. You'd think he is a sad and confused and lost little boy. But, apparently, he's so good in his role, he can convince all of us bleeding-heart liberals that he really doesn't have any idea where he is or where his parents are. If you didn't know he was an actor, you could almost believe he is terrified and in a state of shock, and suffering a psychological trauma that may affect him for the rest of his life.

It's a good thing his wardens, er, camp counselors, aren't allowed to hug or comfort him or any of the other child actors in their custody. Otherwise, this kid might blow their cover.

How the bloody hell did we come to this? How did we get to a place as a country where the president and his administration's spokes-toadies, a major television news network, and millions of seemingly sentient Americans are defending taking kids away from their parents for the misdemeanor crime of illegal entry into the U.S?

How did we get to a place where we are literally tearing families apart for an offense that is punishable by, at most, a $250 fine or six months in jail? Why are we putting babies, children in diapers, and pre-teens in prison because their parents committed the sin of taking the verse at the foot of the Statue of Liberty seriously?

Even more horrific and indefensible, many of these families committed no crime whatsoever; they appeared at a border crossing and asked for asylum. We are sending poor and struggling people home to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador without their children — and in most cases, without even the knowledge of where their children are.

These aren't gang members. These are families fleeing gangs. These aren't rapists. These are women who are fleeing rapists and the culturally ingrained misogyny of their Central American home countries. These aren't crooks and thieves. They are people seeking to build a new life. These are the poor and huddled masses yearning to breathe free. So, let's destroy their lives. That'll show 'em.

It is wrong. It is sick. It is racist. It is un-Christian. I would say it's unAmerican, but I'm beginning to believe that it's not.

If another country split American families within their borders and imprisoned 2,000 American children because their parents committed a minor crime, we'd launch an invasion. Pictures of little tow-headed American kids in captivity would be all over Fox News. But terrified little brown kids in cages in Texas? Not so much.

I hear the Trumpists say that people who commit crimes get separated from their kids every day in America. That's such a stupid analogy. In America, if you commit a crime — let's say a misdemeanor, such as speeding — you get arrested and you get a court date. If, for some reason, you think you might go to jail, you make arrangements for someone to care for your children. If you go to jail, yes, you are separated from your children, but at least you know where they are.

We are taking children — as young as five months old — from their parents and putting them in prison-like camps. They don't know where their parents are. Their parents don't know where they are. Nobody knows how long the situation will last or if they will see each other again.

Why are we debasing ourselves and our "family values" in this way? Because the Trump administration purposefully instigated this policy. It is not a "law" created by Democrats, no matter how many times that lie is spewed by the president. It is a policy decision designed to provoke outrage and get Congress to fund Trump's ridiculous wall. You know, the one that Mexico was going to pay for.

The children are hostages. The wall is the ransom.

Unless, of course, you believe Number 47 and the other 2,000 children in American detention camps are actors. In which case, you are beyond hope. In which case, maybe we all are.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation