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Terrorizing the Vulnerable


Terrorizing the Vulnerable

Chris Hedges

ELIZABETH, N.J.—Edison, 50, an undocumented man from Uruguay, wraps his knuckles against the basement wall of the row house as if it is a front door.

“Who is it?” a 44-year-old Salvadoran immigrant named Antonio asks in Spanish.

La migra,” Edison says, using the Spanish slang for the Border Patrol and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “Is Antonio inside?”

“What do you want?” Antonio asks.

“We want to speak with you,” says Edison, who like everyone else in the basement asked me not to use his or her last name. “Open the door.”


Many people do not know what to do in such situations. Hedges hits a high journalistic note by penning a 'How to'. Felt good to read it.


FEAR--DT's fast ball, curve ball, sinker--that's his entire game.


As Thinking Citizens, we must ask ourselves : "Who's next?" and "Where does this stop?"


I can see wanting to leave El Salvador after US ruined it, but Uruguay after Pepe Mujica? We wish...

Direct Democracy


Huddling the masses


The culture of fear fostered by DJT and GWB served (and continues to serve) to exert total control over the American public...keep them fearful, tell them that they (the "leaders") have the solutions and will protect them from that which the fear is based on (WMD, Islamist immigrants invading our country, undocumented workers being rapists and criminals taking away jobs from Americans, e.g.) and the protection will be given by THEIR (the "leaders") if THEIR instructions are followed. Not unlike herding cattle, "Head 'em up, Move 'em Out" (Gil Favor, trail boss on TV western, "Rawhide")

DJT's life is so out of control that he is compelled to exert control everywhere and in every possible way he deems he can. His flying monkeys will coddle and mollify him and do his bidding regardless of the adverse consequences that will follow...just to keep the peace and the mad megalomaniacal monster with narcissistic personality disorder relatively happy and calm. (Speaking of fear...many changes of underwear in the WH bathrooms...)

When I worked for a major airline in the 1970's - 1980's, we transported hundreds of Vietnamese refugees from SFO, SEA, and LAX to destinations in the West (Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho primarily) and Midwest (So and No Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and Kansas). We also had many refugees fleeing El Salvador and Nicaragua that boarded our flights out of Guadalajara and Mexico City to Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. This was a time when our arms were wide open and welcoming people fleeing war-torn (civil or national) countries/cities/villages seeking to live peaceful and hopefully prosperous lives without FEAR of torture, harm, death, and famine. These refugees were almost all sponsored by entire communities, churches, and philanthropic/humanitarian groups and their transition to life in the US was not without difficulties (language, culture, currency, etc.) but overall for the most part EVERYONE benefited from them being among us. It was mutual, loving, and enriching.

What a concept!


I thought the same thing after reading that, but then considered that maybe he arrived pre-Mujica. Point taken, though--we should be so lucky to have someone like him to vote for.


Mujica - a man with humility, compassion, intellect, and wisdom who deeply cares about his people and his country. Imagine...he legalized marijuana and made it a state entity thus putting the drug cartels out of business in Uruguay...being pro-choice in a predominantly Catholic country. A man for the ages...and a person far more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than someone else we all know about...not bashing the recipient, just sayin'


Damned if you do, damned if you don't. And that's the point, turning humans into dollar signs for other humans' profit. At home, it's for private prison corporations. Abroad, the U.S. creates or backs every right wing elitist government in Central and South America that result in destruction of public commonwealth and creation of lawlessness and paramilitaries and gang proxies, in service of rapacious wealth extraction. Terrorized here and at home.


Unfortunately, outside of forums such as this, I doubt that fully 90% of Americans even know who
Mujica is, and most couldn't find Uruguay on an unmarked map. Such is the state of the most over-entertained, least-informed populace on Earth, which partially explains the sorry state of our "leadership".


Don't just blame Trump. He's savvy enough to have picked up on the fact that for millions in the West, immigration is the issue on which they will vote. Liberals arguing that the fear of incomers is natural and needs to be taken seriously concede far too much. Rationally and morally, anti immigration attitudes are wrong. But the millions who see this differently claim that it affects their jobs and incomes - despite obvious evidence that the people responsible for employment and working conditions aren't the vulnerable newly arrived, nor they themselves, but the employers and the financiers, who have the real power. Disempowered, partly because the sort of working class solidarity which used to arise naturally from labouring together in large numbers has disappeared, those now suffering from the degradation of their security and income are lashing out - ironically at the most vulnerable and least responsible of all. But if you are feeling bad because you've lost control of your life to the free market, then lashing out at someone who can't fight back is at least empowering at a very basic level. And Trump understands that.


"The New Colossus"

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

"The New Colossus" is a sonnet that American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) wrote in 1883 to raise money for the construction of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.


There has to be a better "solution" that we have now. We can't address the laws and the "illegals" without treating with our foreign policies, here and in the EU (or anywhere else in the world)
"Illegals" and quasi-illegals have been part an parcel of America's work force for generations. It has always been part of the "worker underground". It has benefited both the general workforce, the political environments, and businesses. "Illegals" have made billions for the business class in America. Those same businesses have used low cost immigration labor or pressure, in many cases very violently organized labor.
Until we as a country stop disrupting and overthrowing elected governments, forcing thru economic treaties such as NAFTA that crush the lowest classes of struggling occupants in our hemisphere (an other places in the world) we will not begin to "solve the immigration problem". And, our political leaders (most of them) use the issue to divide us on all other issues.
Yes, we have immigration laws; stop our violence in other countries and maybe we will begin to address this "problem".
We are a part of that problem.


A sad reminder of how low we've sunk from what we once were!


Remarkable how in Emma Lazarus's day America didn't create the conditions for the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free", but welcomed them just the same- The immigrants of today are in many cases A direct result of our questionable actions in their regions of the World....
We have sunk far below what we once were as A Nation....


Excellent insight, stubones49.


I would suggest that's true only if you are speaking of solely of some Europeans and excepting Native Americans, migrant workers from Asia, Mexicans, African-Americans who are still yearning, Cubans, Haitian, Philippinos and all the others that Manifest Destiny unleashed the US Army on. Smedley Butler wasn't writing about post-WW2.


Good points all- I suppose I spoke too soon without considering the plight of all you speak of here-
I stand corrected......