Human rights not suspended when crossing lines
7/5/2018, 6:12 p.m.
Lady Liberty, once a beacon of hope for the world’s desperate and persecuted, became a hollow symbol on June 11 when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announced “zero-tolerance” policies that deny relief to asylum seekers fleeing domestic or gang violence.
As if that were not enough, the Trump administration also decided to steal children from their parents, to cage them in order to send a message to other would-be asylum seekers living to our South. Sessions and Trump want those living in Central America not to brave the arduous trek to our border and decided to use innocent children to make a point.
What has ensued amounts to government-sanctioned terrorism aimed at the brown-skinned, so-called “outsider.” And Trump is not coy. In his speeches, he paints all dark-skinned immigrants with the same brush, describing them as “criminal gang members and rapists” and referring to them as “vermin.” This is scapegoating, which is not only detestable but also dangerous, particularly for the people who are being blamed for every social ill.
Trump’s rhetoric opens the door to cruelty and abuse, and his words are used to justify treating the people at detention centers as less than human. But, because they are men, women and children deserving of fairness, mercy, compassion, sympathy and care, we cannot turn our backs on any of them. And we should definitely not traumatize them. Human rights are not suspended as soon as a person steps over an arbitrary line of latitude.
The human rights abuses must stop.
Kortenay C. Gardiner
The writer is the owner of Pegasus Grant Writers LLC.