I was 15 when I visited the concentration camp at Dachau in Germany.
I knew about the Holocaust of course. As much as any kid does from simply sitting through history class.
But being there? Standing in the yard in front of the barracks with such cramped bunks, imagining them filled with starving, terrorized human beings who were being persecuted for no reason beyond hate and prejudice and white man’s power… it was a lot to take in. Reading the sanitized chapters in my high school history book, even looking at the pictures on the walls, didn’t prepare me for the experience of being there.
We swore as a world we would Never Forget.
How then can we explain what is happening here in the United States? How do we explain the persecution of non-whites on a constant and increasingly brutal basis? The Supreme Court just upheld Trump’s Muslim Ban. ICE is arresting brown people trying to come to this country legally, ripping their children from them, and sending them who knows where, with no records.
Strike that, reverse it. He found the line he was seeking. Walk it back.
We must not separate children! We must reunite families!
But with no system, little record-keeping, mass chaos, what are the chances of that happening?
How many of those little girls have been trafficked already?
Where are the little girls anyway?
I read things online about how white folks can stand up and disrupt ICE officers when they board a train asking for what amounts to papers.
Arrest. Imprison. Warehouse.
Tent cities for little kids.
And we sit by, shocked, heart-broken, and somehow powerless to stop it.
We hope and pray and mobilize and hope for a big enough voter turn out in November to stop this thing, whatever this thing is.
Our president calls them “Animals”.
Shades of Hitler.
How did we get here so quickly?
How is it that we seem to have forgotten?