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Stand up to people who would make us jailers of children

Christopher Baker, 3, holds a sign that reads "Which baby deserves to sleep in a cage?" as he attends a Poor People's Campaign rally with his mother, Katie Baker (behind sign) Monday, at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Damn us all to hell if we don’t put a stop to this.

We will not allow children to be torn from their parents and placed in prisons. Not in our name. Not in the name of our country’s safety.

What is happening at the border between Mexico and the United States is wrong. We know it. And it is up to us to put a stop to it.

OPINION

We are told it is necessary. We are told it is the law. We are told by our government leaders that this must be done because illegal immigration is a threat to the security of the country.

This is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. No people have ever had a mightier army, more freedom, more property and a greater belief in liberty.

We are the people who announced to the world that “all men are created equal.”

And now here we are, telling the world that we need to lock children away because they are a threat to our way of life.

Damn the people who are doing this. Damn the people who would support it. Damn those of us who do nothing while it goes on.

History is full of moments like this. Moments where terrible things occurred to people in the name of all that is good, all that is holy, in the name of the law.

Even in this country.

Slavery was defended by men who knew better. Children were whipped in front of their parents to teach them a lesson. It had to be done.

Black children were lynched for looking at a white woman the wrong way. This was long after slavery had ended. “Those people” had to be reminded of their place, and those in power had to send a message to those who had none; to protect what they had.

Tens of thousands of Native Americans were forced off their land by our government and made to march hundreds of miles. The old, the weak and the very young died on the way. But our government said it had to be done because those people refused to obey the laws of the land.

Years later, we took their children and put them in “assimilation schools” hundreds of miles away from their families. Kill the Indian, save the man, a government official boasted.

During World War II we created incarceration camps for Japanese Americans.

This was done to protect them, the government said. Our government said the same thing about the relocation of Native Americans. Slavery was good for the slaves, they said.

Damn these people.

Someone has to say it. We all must say it. For this is our country and this is our doing.

I do not care what the law requires.

There is right and there is wrong, and this is simply wrong.

We are doing this to send a message to people that they are not welcome in this country. Do not come because we will steal your children and put them in prisons. No matter how badly you are treated in your native lands, no matter how much you suffer, no matter the torture you face, do not turn to the United States for help.

Once we held up the torch of liberty, offered a golden light of hope to those who had none. Today a darkness has overtaken the land, an evil has taken hold of our national soul. Light a candle. Start a fire.

Ignite a rebellion against those who would turn us into the jailers of little children.

Email: philkadner@gmail.com