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Let's Call Racism What It Is

Women's March Instagram Picture

It is difficult for me to begin to write this as the news of the current presidential administrative disaster announcing, through Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department, that they will be eliminating DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is still raw. Most of those affected by the decision are of Hispanic/Latino origin. They are often referred to and refer to themselves as Dreamers.

These are our friends, family members, and people who we have grown up with. They have committed no crime. They came as children to what is propogized as the "the land of the free, and home of the brave." We certainly know that the "free" part of that hasn't been and isn't for everyone, but the part about "brave" is so ironic to me. The term should be replaced with "cowardly" because that is what is on display with this decision.

It is a cowardly move to not deal with the citizenship status of 800,000 human beings and outstanding members of this society. It is coawardly that the reasoning is steeped in "the law." It is cowardly (and the height of irony) because the disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona was pardoned by this administration after being guilty of civil rights violations (actual convicted of contempt of court for ignoring court order not to arrest people suspected to be undocumented) against Brown people! He targeted people because of their skin color, but he was pardoned! And finally, it is cowardly because this country still refuses to deal with the issue of race, and is becoming more and more unhinged because of it!

The decision is not surprising, as the current occupant of the White House did promise to take away DACA protections when he was campaigning for president. It is inevitable that people will bring up the fact that the administration's decision is right because legally those protected under DACA are not citizens of the United States. While these things are true, we cannot ignore the disgrace that it is. What this administration has done is inhumane and immoral. And anyone arguing with any sense of moral high ground based on the law needs to go sit down somewhere. Many things have been legal in this country: slavery, forced removal and genocide of Native Americans, Jim and Jane Crow, and internment of Japanese citizens. This is just to name a few things so that the overall point can be properly illustrated. What those things have in common is that they all affected non-white populations of people.

I want to state this unequivocally, so that there is no room for confusion. If the 800,000 DACA beneficiaries were white populations from a European country, DACA would not even be in harms way. This is without question. It is no secret whose desires this current administration serves.

When the current White House occupant began his campaign, he began by calling Mexicans "rapists" and "murderers." His big idea during said campaign was to build a wall along the border states with Mexico. He never suggested doing the same with Canada, but once again, there is a difference based on skin color. Canada is still a largely white country. By targeting the border wall with Mexico, the campaign and then administration's goal was to play to the racists elements still very present in American (U.S.) society.

This targeting of immigration and our immigrant brothers and sisters also played into their narrative about restoring jobs that had been taken away from the American worker. This played well in areas that have been hit hard economically by what is a rapidly changing world. Instead of acknowledging the vast changes that are occurring, which affect the type of jobs available to people, they look for scapegoats. And who always ends up the scapegoats when there is a problem or a perceived problem? Yes, racial minorities! In this case, our Hispanic and Latino sisters and brothers, especially of Mexican origin.

The bottom line is that the decision handed down today is morally reprehensible, it is devoid of empathy, lacks any semblance of humanity, and is downright racist in its origin and function.

This is not a Christian nation by any stretch of the imagination, but it would do some good to highlight what scripture says about the "foreigner" (I use that word apprehensively because I recognize Dreamers as fellow citizens, but too many do not and often claim Christian identity. That's what it boils down to, fear of the other/foreigner/stranger. "They're not like us.).

The following scripture passages talk about how someone considered a "foreigner" should be treated justly (or given justice), should be treated as a member of the community would be, and/or speaks pejoratively about how they are being treated unfairly in a given context:

Exodus 23:9

Exodus 22:21

Deuteronomy 10:19

Deuteronomy 24:17

Leviticus 19:33

Leviticus 19:34

Jeremiah 22:3

Ezekiel 22:29

Zechariah 7:10

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but it is a representative sampling size. It is not used much in the same way as the Old Testament in the New. Jesus, however, talks about the "stranger" being "invited in" in Matthew 25.

(Note: You can also look at how Moses was treated in Exodus when he fled Egypt.)

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