This post is not about winning or losing an election. This is not about political beliefs. This post is about treating all people, regardless of where they come from, with decency and respect.
As a history student in college, I was always studying World War 2. I worry that the rhetoric and policies we are enforcing are pushing us back to the dark times of our country’s history.
For those who may not know about how we treated Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor, I implore you to read George Takei’s article on his experience as a Japanese American during this very dark time in our nation’s history: http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/06/19/at-least-during-the-internment-are-words-i-thought-id-never-utter-family-separation-children-border/
In addition to George’s story, there are thousands more. My Grandfather had a very close friend, Roy Yamahiro, who he served with in the Marines during WW2. Not only did Roy enlist to serve his country but he did so while his family was in an interment camp. Because of their internment, they lost many of their belongings and their home as they were unable to work and pay for their mortgage or rent.
Now you maybe saying, yea ok, but that was war… or these are not American citizens we are talking about today… and I would argue that it doesn’t matter.
By treating people less than equals we walk a dangerous path toward arrogance and hate.
The United States commissioned a study on genocide and the eight stages or markers of how one starts. We need to halt our path down these stages and actively work to reverse our course. To read about the stages, check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_stages_of_genocide
I would say that we have obtained stage 3 on that list, Dehumanization. The description of state 3 is as follows: “One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects, or diseases.” This can be seen by the latest statements from our government. Using words like “infest” makes groups of people sound like rodents, insects, or other animals that you would kill to get rid of and thus creating a dehumanizing event in people’s minds.
I know several folks who are immigrants, dreamers, green card workers… and they are some of the most caring, thoughtful, and helpful people in my life. They are not animals, vermin, insects, or diseases, they are just like you and me. They want to do right by their family. Raise their kids in a safe place. And simply be happy.
As my last request in this post, I hope you will stand for treating people like people. I will be taking my family and joining other families to show my support in not breaking families apart and treating others as I wish to be treated.