the eve of july 4th: we hold these truths to be self evident

When is the last time any of you read the Declaration of Independence?

When is the last time you read the United States Constitution and brushed up on the First Amendment and the other ideals on which this country was founded contained within?

Why is it to be a good American or a good person these days you can’t express your opinion safely without fear of retribution, retaliation, verbal abuse, or more?

When did we as a nation become so ugly and regress a couple of centuries?

When did it become a crime to see something you find heinous and say so?

Sorry not sorry but on the eve of our nation’s birth do we all need reminding of what our forefathers fought, bled, and died for?

Want to see the ugliness in mankind? Share a major media outlet post about what amounts to inhumane human warehousing in border detention centers.

They did it in World War II as well – to Italian Americans and Japanese Americans.

It wasn’t OK then and it isn’t OK now.

You can read about it in the Smithsonian but I bet some of you will view our very inconvenient history as “fake news” too.

During World War II, the U.S. Saw Italian-Americans as a Threat to Homeland Security

The executive order that forced Japanese-Americans from their homes also put immigrants from Italy under the watchful eye of the government.

Smithsonian Magazine

By David A. Taylor

smithsonian.com

📌“The incarceration of Japanese-Americans is the best-known effect of Executive Order 9066, the rule signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. And for good reason. The suffering and punishment placed upon innocent Japanese-Americans was a dark chapter in American history. But the full extent of the government order is largely unknown.

In addition to forcibly evacuating 120,000 Americans of Japanese background from their homes on the West Coast to barbed-wire-encircled camps, EO 9066 called for the compulsory relocation of more than 10,000 Italian-Americans and restricted the movements of more than 600,000 Italian-Americans nationwide. Now, the order has resurfaced in the public conversation about immigration.”📌

This issue of detaining immigrants shouldn’t be about Democrat versus Republican, and I am shocked at how limited and ugly a lot of you are. This is an actual humanitarian crisis in my opinion and I am entitled to it.

I’m not saying that I think people should be in this country illegally, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances and it has been proven that some of the people that are in these detention centers don’t actually belong there.

We are a nation of immigrants. We are also at one of the ugliest times in our history at present.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Yeah. Those words. Remember them?

The latest report on the state of border detection centers as I saw it on NBC News turned my stomach. Human warehousing and the images yes I did say reminded me of images of concentration camp victims behind barbed wire. That is my opinion because of how graphic the images were, and right or wrong, how they struck me.

It was my opinion. Not an assault on Jewish people or the Jewish religion. Mankind is capable of great atrocities.

One of my readers on my blog’s Facebook page went absolutely cuckoo for Coca Puffs.

I was stupid. I didn’t know what concentration camps were. I was uneducated. I was a bad person.

I bet they don’t know the complete history of those camps either. Like I bet they don’t know the multitudes of people other than Jews who were killed. Gays, gypsies, and those who could not sign onto their polices and ideologies. My grandmother who was Pennsylvania German of German descent talked about this when I was very little. Apparently there were family cousins of her family’s who were persecuted. I never got all of the details and when I was little and truth be told I did not know if I should believe her because no one talked about that. Then when I was older, I learned more in history classes. I learned what she had said all those years ago was true.

And this person did not stop. They actually started posting black and white photos of bodies stacked up in concentration camps in World War II.

On and on and on.

It went from having their say to being and feeling verbally abused and accosted. My opinion = ignorance (their exact words). That I was ignorant because I deleted the photos of dead bodies they kept posting. That I was stupid and ignorant and didn’t have the decency to blog under my complete name and “create a false sense of authority with my page title.” That I should “crawl” back under my rock because I was stupid and had no “clue” of reality. Again, their words.

It was a barrage of ugliness…from someone who actually knows who I am and who was fine with me when I defended their business because I felt someone had been unfair once upon a time. Someone I used to respect from what little I knew of them.

So I decided since they weren’t stopping, I had to make a decision. I removed their comments and them as well from the page. I didn’t want to, I don’t like to do that, but sometimes I have to.

There are plenty of people who post opinions contrary to mine. But they’re not abusive about it. When people get abusive I remove them. And it’s not when they are just abusive to me whose page it is. It’s when they are abusive to others on the page or just abusive in general. Or when they post things that are truly fake news. I removed someone else for that on this same topic.

All of this vitriol and ugliness for expressing my opinion. Many people have many different opinions on this topic of immigrant detention and the detention centers. But they discuss it without dripping hatred from every word.

I am a descendent of immigrants like the rest of us. I am descended from Germans, Italians, and the Irish. All three nationalities that have been discriminated against in this country at one period of time or another. And yes, my ancestors did come here legally. They came here for a better life. And I think they would be deeply saddened to see how this country has regressed.

When I was little I remember my Irish grandfather telling me of the signs in Philadelphia shop windows when he was a little boy that said “Irish need not apply.”

When I was little I remember tales of my Italian grandfather and his brothers having to change the name of their business during World War II to sound more “American.”

This was the same grandfather who got stuck with his mother in Italy during World War I as a small child. They had sailed back to the “old country” so that my great grandmother could introduce her relatives to her American born son. When he came back with his mother after the war, he was treated differently by even the kids in his neighborhood. They viewed him as non-American. He was born an American citizen.

I’m not talking about giving illegal immigrants health insurance cards and sending them on their way. I am talking about basic humane treatment pending the outcome of their cases. I am not talking about ignoring the poverty of Americans and problems that we already face in every nook and cranny of this country. I’m talking about what I feel is an actual humanitarian crisis. And I think in this country today we are faced with more than one humanitarian crisis.

Then someone else took me to task because they said this immigration debacle was happening under the prior administration at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Was it? I don’t know. And that’s not the point. I was talking about something that I find morally reprehensible that if it did occur in the past as in three or four years ago I still would’ve found it morally reprehensible.

And then there was the guy who said if I had a page for my blog, I should take the abuse. That I am overreacting. That I am a “coward” for not taking the verbal accosting. That I have a poor character and that I should be neither judge or jury.

Essentially I should shut my mouth like a good little woman and take the abuse and allow the vitriol to pollute yet another social media page.

Whether or not I am overreacting is NOT their decision. It’s my decision and not so unusual. I don’t have to tough it out or suck it up, I can choose to stop feeling harassed and harangued. I can choose to have others not feel harassed and harangued. I can choose to erase some of the ugliness.

This whole thing about detention centers and other ugly things going on in this country is something that is not (or should not be) about political parties. To me it’s about right and wrong. It’s about we did something similar as a country during World War II and why are we doing this now? It’s about how our soldiers have gone to war for centuries over similar behaviors to fight for our rights and the rights of others. It’s also about these family separation policies where little babies are literally ripped from their parents’ arms and how is that OK? Why are adults punishing the children who are not responsible for what their parents chose to do? And what about the people who have proper paperwork and green cards and/or are new citizens of this country who live in terror of ICE raids?

Again, I remind people we are a nation of immigrants, founded by immigrants.

When did we become so ugly a country? Do you hear yourselves? Do you think it’s OK to attack every person you know or may not know because their opinion is not a cookie-cutter samey-same opinion you share?

Do you seriously think law enforcement is not tracking these vitriol loaded comments?

Why are we are losing ourselves and what makes us Americans? Why are we allowing this? We can’t even have conversations anymore where people are on different sides of an issue no matter what the issue is.

You don’t have to like my opinion but I am entitled to it until they repeal the First Amendment.

A friend of mine said something I will close with:

The ugliness of history comes back to us in this form because we’ve never actually acknowledged that ugliness. And we all know that saying that says “if we don’t learn from the past, we are bound to repeat it.”

Well here we are repeating the ugliness of American history and the saddest part is that this is only one part of the ugliness. Many a trifling uglies are happening right now in the US because of history. And it’s all as sad and disturbing as separating kids from their parents and putting them in cages without the basic necessities And it hurts. It hurts to know that America elected people who would allow it. We are in…distress and no one can save us but us. US.

Happy Independence Day!

We can do better and be better Americans. All of this divisiveness has never done our country any good. Look at our very history. Look at the ugliness of things like the American Civil War.

I don’t know what it will take for us to come together as a country and unite. But maybe on this Independence Day we can as individuals reflect on how and why this country was founded.

United we stand, divided we fall. And right now this country is pretty damn divided and it just breaks your heart.