Back in 2015, This American Life did a story about school segregation. They played audio of a meeting about students from a majority black school transferring to a majority white school because the former school lost its accreditation. One white parent said this: “I want to know where the metal detectors are going to be, and I want to know whether your drug sniffing dogs are going to be [there].”
That’s my country. If you’re an American, that’s your country, too.
The audio deeply affected me. I knew some people thought like that, acted like that, were cruel and vindictive like that. But that people around my age would sound like the villains of 1960s America was still mostly an abstraction for me. It was pre-Trump as a serious candidate, and I was still in many ways lost in a noxious dream.
I like audio for some pretty silly and snarky reasons. But whether you’re like me or not, listen to those parents say those words about children trying to go to school because theirs was being shut down. That is America.
Also America: the Trump administration on May 7 implemented a policy where the Justice Department would prosecute everyone picked up by US Border Patrol and separate children from parents. Two thousand children have been separated from their parents since.
But I’d suggest listening to audio published by Pro Publica. That this audio exists has made a lot of news. Piece of shit Secretary of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen said she wasn’t aware of the audio or photos of children in cages. I’m inclined to say she’s lying, but who knows with the people who would continue to work for an administration that does this. It’s entirely possible she just doesn’t care.
We all should, though, and need to listen to Central American children crying for their parents because the United States government deliberately separated them from one another. Why anyone ever thought or pretended that a campaign built on racial resentment and cruelty would lead to any other outcome is beyond me.