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congress layers

Incident

Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, ‘Nigger.’

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That’s all that I remember.

–Countee Cullen

Sometimes the smallest things speak out the loudest.

VOICE, or Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement, is an agency that President Trump proposes be established within the Department of Homeland Security.  Its purpose would be to detect, monitor, and prosecute immigrants who commit crimes in the US.  It is an expansion of the idea behind his recent directive that requires Attorney General to maintain a database of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.  It will provide, according to Trump, “a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.”

He is right about that.  It will provide a voice to white nationalists, mysogynists, xenophobics and other hate-mongers in Trump’s coalition of dispicables who have been shunted aside by what they derisively call “political correctness”, but which more respectfully, and accurately, be called simply “correctness.”

ice arrest

ICE descends in the darkness

This remarkable hate-based initiative, a policy with a vile constituency in search of a justification in fact, has not received the castigation it deserves.  This is a tribute to the President’s ability to promote his hateful brand in the face of opposing realities.  It is evidence of the destructive delusions that, through the president’s example is, eroding the moral character of our country.  It is exactly this high moral character which has been the source of our strength and exceptional nature.  It is what makes this country great.

illegal family

Ice took Mom away

In the terse description of the purpose of VOICE, the president managed casual verbal backhands to the free media he so despises and the ill-defined “special interests” that so irk the mobs that roil his rallies.  In the video of his speech to Congress, he seems genuinely confused by the scattered gasps and boos that rose from the chamber when he sprang this initiative to a joint session of Congress in his first major speech to that body.

Though they lasted only a few seconds, these same boos are the source of my hope.  Like a haughty maiden whose bodice accidentally slips but is quickly restored, Congress inadvertently let its vulnerable, human side show, if only for an instant.

illegal family 2

Dad has been taken by ICE

Make no mistake; this is a hate-based initiative, focused not on the crimes, but on pinning crimes on a pre-selected group: immigrants. (For immigrants, read Hispanics and Muslims.)  How far would he get if he proposed and agency to compile crimes committed by black men, or gun owners, or Jews.  This is not socioeconomic policy.  It is ideological propaganda.

The issue has already been studied thoroughly.  Time after time, the evidence has shown that immigrants, legal or otherwise, commit crimes at rates lower than native-born Americans do.  This makes sense, since conviction for a crime invites deportation.  These studies all have three inherent, fatal flaws: 1) they are science, 2) they rely on facts, and 3) they do not conform to the ideological truth that immigrants are an obstacle to America’s regaining her lost greatness.

crime chart

Trump and his posse have drawn a contrary conclusion, and set about to prove it.  They began by presenting anecdotal evidence in the form of victims of immigrant violence, including the tragic women who were invited to the speech to weep before the cameras.  This despicable exploitation of the pain of others proves nothing, yet it seems to have won over many people to his point of view.

  Now he wants an analysis of the crime rate among immigrants based on the preconceived conclusion that immigrants are a major source of crime.  Unleashing whirlwinds of biases (detection, observer, and reporting, among others), all pushing hard towards xenophobic blame.  He wants a second list compiled, too, of local authorities that refuse to deliver such biased data, such the so called sanctuary cities, so that they can be further ostracized, perhaps by withholding federal funds.

ice resistance

An Alternate Opinion

The first amendment forbids religious discrimination, the fifth amendment promises  due process of law to anyone accused under the law, and the fifteenth amendment clarifies that no constitutional right can be denied or restricted to anyone based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Taken together, these provisions render VOICE as illegal as it is hateful.  Perhaps the little groan of dismay that arose from Congress when Trump proposed it reflected recognition of this constitutional reality by its sworn guardians.  Perhaps it came from the shock of the casual, sweeping amorality of the proposal.  Perhaps the brief glimpse by the humans in the room of the writhing hate that underlies the VOICE proposal gave way to an involuntary gasp of horror. 

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t take a special investigator to tell us we should pay attention to that little sound.  It is the tip of a righteous iceberg. VOICE must not happen, ever.  As a country, as people, we are better than that.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

–Emma Lazarus

Outwitted

He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic , rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In !

–Edwin Markham

joint address

A Few Notable Immigrants:

Scientists

  • Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist known for Theory of Relativity (Germany)
  • Enrico Fermi, Experimental physicist who first achieved atomic fission (Italy)
  • Wernher von Braun, whose study of rockets led to the moon landing. (Prussia)

Athletes

  • David Ortiz, baseball (Dominican Republic)
  • Yao Ming, basketball (China)
  • Hakeem Olajuwan, basketball (Nigeria)

Entertainment

  • Michael J. Fox, actor (Canada)
  • John Lennon, musician (England)
  • Charlize Theron, actor (South Africa)

Business & Industry

  • Andrew Carnegie, industrialist-US Steel (Scotland)
  • Sergey Brin, computer entrepreneur-cofounder of Google (Russia)
  • Elon Musk, industrialist-PayPal, Space-X, Tesla, Solar City (South Africa)

Politics

  • Alexander Hamilton, politics & finance (Puerto Rico)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California (Austria)
  • Madeline Albright, Secretary of State (Czechoslovakia)
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor (Poland)

Trumps

  • Ivana Trump, wife of Donald, mother of Donald Jr, Eric & Ivanka (Czechoslovakia)
  • Melania Trump, wife of Donald, mother of Baron (Yugoslavia)
  • Fredrick Trumpf, barber, hotelier, and pimp (Grandfather of President Trump), deported from Germany for draft-dodging

Please note that both immigrant wives of Donald Trump both came from countries which, at the time of their births, were under Soviet hegemony.  Despite what you may think, this proves nothing, except that beautiful women can be found around the world.