This Is America

Remember a few weeks ago when the first news of families being separated at the border appeared? The stories and images were horrifying, and our repugnance toward Trump grew even greater.  

But some of the liberal voices in response were pretty repugnant, too — those who moaned that splitting up families like this “isn’t us, this isn’t who we are, this isn’t the American way.” I guess it’s good to be reminded that liberals can be just as historically ignorant as conservatives. Denial comes easy, and has many motivations.

But do those folks really know nothing of how slavery in America operated? The separation of families was central to that institution, and that institution was central to what America was.

And I guess even fewer know of what happened to millions of Native American families through the boarding-school systems, the Relocation Act of 1952, long-term cultural depredation and the destruction of traditional means of livelihood — and other elements of the systematic (and often policy-based) American holocaust.

So guess what, folks: That’s exactly who we are, and it always has been.

Jeff Harrison, Eugene

Comments are closed.