I saw a photo in the NY Times today of African immigrants who’d survived a Mediterranean crossing after being picked up by a humanitarian relief ship. The ship has been refused docking privileges in ports in Italy and Malta. No one wants these refugees from starvation, civil war, and tribal conflict. Shame on Europe. Shame on these amnesiacs who don’t remember what German Nazis did to ‘undesirables’ eighty years ago.
In 1939, a German ocean liner, the MS St. Louis, set sail from Hamburg with 937 German and European Jews aboard who sought refuge in the New World, away from the madness swamping Europe. The ship sailed for over a month without finding anyone who would take it. No Latin American countries would. It docked in Cuba in the hope of refuge. Appeals were made to U.S. government officials to help. Canada shut its doors too. All was in vain. No countries would open their borders or hearts. The refugees sailed back to Europe where 250 of them later died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust.
Thousands of African refugees are dying making the Mediterranean crossing. Hundreds of thousands are stranded in Europe, stateless and essentially homeless. Some countries like Germany have done more than their share. Others like Hungary and Poland are beset with rank nationalist fervor which sees foreigners are alien creatures who would pollute the national gene pool.
Nor are Europeans the sole offenders here. We have a president who, despite taking an oath to defend the constitution, appears hell-bent on throwing it onto the trash heap. Not only has he tweeted that all immigrants arriving at our borders should be summarily denied entry and sent back wherever they came, in the process he’s thrown due process and the rule of law, key pillars of our Constitution, to the wind. There isn’t even any recognition on his part that we have such safeguards and, at one time, honored them. Trump is devoid of memory, devoid of knowledge, devoid of conscience. Those are key elements of the diagnosis of sociopath: if the shoe fits…
Today, a member of the Oregon national guard defaced a Facebook page raising money to reunite immigrant children torn from their parents by Trump’s family separation policy. He wrote that they were lucky that we didn’t execute them at the border. In the land of the morally blind, a one-eyed man is king. Except that Trump has no moral sight and thus is blind himself. Somehow he fooled all the other blind into believing that he could see and lead them.