Some people think that referring to our U.S. migrant detention centers as “concentration camps” only trivializes the horrible things that victims of the Holocaust had to endure—and sure enough, some survivors have criticized the comparison for this reason. Yet there are also Jewish writers—not to mention more than 430 Holocaust scholars and historians—who find the comparison disturbingly accurate.
When I published my tirade against Pastor Paula White on July 19, 2018, I unabashedly referred to these facilities as concentration camps—and my opinion on this has not changed. (Just in case anyone out there wants to accuse me of “parroting” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.) Referring to them as anything else only minimizes what is happening. For Duat’s sake, the government has been trying to weasel its way out of providing toothpaste and soap to the children who are being held in these camps. If you can’t even provide the kids with such basic living necessities as these (and if you refuse to even accept any donations from concerned citizens), then I think we are already well beyond the point of arguing semantics. Any place where people are detained indefinitely and are being subjected to hazardous living conditions that result in disease, starvation, or death might as well be a concentration camp as far as I’m concerned. And let’s not forget the government-sanctioned psychological abuse these people are being subjected to via family separations, or the utter toxicity of the Border Patrol agents in their secret Facebook group (which reportedly has roughly 9,500 members).
While I’m glad our freshman Democrats are finally discussing this matter publicly, it is completely inexcusable that it took an entire fucking year for someone to finally come out and state the obvious. We’ve been seeing pictures and hearing reports about the poor conditions of these camps for quite some time now, and no one—neither Democrat nor Republican—has done very much to remedy the situation so far. Trump has deliberately exacerbated the situation to suit his political purposes, but he is not the only one at fault. Pretty much the entire U.S. legislature from before the November 2018 election has been complicit in allowing this situation to fester and grow. And it’s probably going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better.
If you’re like me and you want to help the kids who are being held in these camps, please note that if you bring any donations to your local Border Patrol facility, they will not accept them. But here is a great article that discusses some useful ways of circumventing this issue. Included is a list of secular charities and advocacy organizations to which you can make donations, as well as some additional pieces of advice. Please consider making a donation to one or more of these programs today; even just a one-time $5 gift could make a difference in saving some poor kid’s life.
- Pueblo Sin Fronteras
- Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)
- Justice in Motion
- Texas Civil Rights Project
- Border Angels
- South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project
- Fronterizo Fianza Fund
- National Immigrant Justice Center
- Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center