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In the days before Donad Trump “caved” and issued an executive order (which he previously claimed he couldn’t do) at least theoretically ending the forced separation of parents and children at the border, the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said of the policy, “This is not who we are and it must end now.” Former Vice President Joe Biden agreed. “This is not who we are,” he insisted. “America is better than this.” More than 20 state attorneys general called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the same forced separation policy, writing, “This is not who we are as a country, and our coalition of attorneys general will continue to act to protect the people we serve and the rule of law.” Michigan Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee issued a similar statement, saying in part, “It makes me sick to my stomach seeing children being torn away from their parents and being detained in cages. This is not who we are as a country.” Illinois candidate for attorney general, Kwame Raoul, the son of Haitian immigrants, responded to audio of children inside a detention facility this way: “This is almost too painful for me as a father to bear, but we can’t look away. We have a responsibility to stand up and declare firmly: This is wrong. This is not who we are, and it must stop.” At a protest in San Antonio, Texas, Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro said, “This is not who we are as Americans.” In an interview on a local Fox morning show, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo similarly said, “Who wants to treat people like this? We’re better than this. This is not who we are. And it is that simple.”

This is not who we are: it was a mantra, repeated endlessly by those who, in these last weeks, opposed the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” and forced-separation border policies. And it seems like such an obvious, on-target point to make. But perhaps it’s worth stopping for a second and asking whether another possibility exists in Donald Trump’s America. Perhaps this is who we are, or at least, to be a little more accurate, who we are becoming. TomDispatch regular Karen Greenberg, author of The Least Worst Place: Guantánamo’s First 100 Days, raises just that possibility. She points out that an American experiment in creating a Bermuda Triangle of injustice at a base in Cuba beyond the reach of American courts (and at various CIA “black sites” across the planet, as well as in U.S.-controlled prisons like Iraq’s Abu Ghraib) in the years of George W. Bush’s presidency only recently came home to roost along our southern border. If you are what you continue to do, then perhaps this is indeed just who we are becoming.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Immigration 
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  1. Tom Englehardt is such a whiny faggot useful idiot for the oligarch financial interests he believes he opposes. Why such an otherwise sane publication like this would sully itself by giving him a platform to spew his inane no-borders bullshit is beyond comprehension.

  2. Rational says:


    I think the liberals have no shame to go around using nonsensical buzz words like “this is not who we are.”

    Who gave you liberals permission to speak for me? How do you know who I am and what I stand for?

    By the way, I am a patriot and civilized I am against the alien invasion, but you never came and asked me, so libs, please stop speaking for me. You have no right to do that.

    Have some shame.

  3. “This is not who we are: it was a mantra, repeated endlessly by those who, in these last weeks, opposed the Trump administration…”

    “This is not who we are” is even more clichéd than “vibrant communities,” “problematic,” and “It’s the current year.” Better shag your ass on back to hasbara for some update training.

  4. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    Mr. Unz has also put up the Greenberg piñata under her own name, where it’s drawn about 100 comments.

  5. 700,000 children murdered last year — I cannot think of a single reason to take this seriously. Instead of chastising the country that encourages this kind of irresponsible parental behavior you re attaking what is the practice daily of cps workers , another liberal gambit to insure that child is not in any manner under coercive force, the actual parent, or any number of tactics used to bait and switch the us public.

    One comment is accurate, president trump caves and caves often —-
    an advocate for building the wall yesterday

  6. Who (((we))) are?

    Fake American Karen J .Greenberg spent a year in Israel studying at Midreshet Harova.

    Fake Americans, especially the ones with dual loyalties, have to go back.

    Because Jews are not who we Real Americans are.

  7. Svigor says:

    You’d think compassionate, leftist, open-borders Jews wouldn’t have the nerve to lecture White Americans on immigration policy until they had their own back yard squared away; Israel is a Jewish ethnostate that only allows Jewish immigration. The world is full of non-Jewish populations that pose no terrorist threat to Israel, yet Israel bars their immigration anyway. This, despite the fact that Jews clearly think there’s plenty of room in Israel for more people, what with Israeli Jews having the highest birthrate of any majority population in the developed world.

    It’s a shameful nightmare of cruelty and chutzpah, a real shanda fur de goyim – but Jews just let it sit there and fester, lecturing us on our supposed immorality. What an unpleasant picture.

    Shame on you, Jews. Shame.

  8. Well, she’s right. Instead of separating parents from their children, dump them right back over the border–together

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