blog

It Could Never Happen

I too do not believe the majority of the population would agree to a sudden mass internment of any group of people today.

by Deedra Abboud in Political, Social Views
June 16, 2016 0 comments

While talking to my niece about the Orlando shooting, I mentioned the North Carolina bathroom law. My niece said she did not see why that was a big deal and that she did not want men using the bathroom with her.

I explained that the law was not really about bathrooms but was anti-gay sentiment wrapped in law.

I also told her transgendered people have been using the bathrooms for years without anyone noticing and without incident.

She agreed but again said she did not want men using the bathroom with her.

I asked her if she understood that the law required people to use the bathroom of their birth gender, which is a problem for those who have had surgery, and also forces people who are now men into women’s bathrooms.

She responded that when a person has surgery to change their gender they can have all their identifications changed.

I responded that changing identification may not include the birth certificate and that the law specifically states “birth gender” – meaning the gender listed on their birth certificates.

She responded that police were not going to be checking people’s birth certificates to go to the bathroom.

I agreed. It will be based on complaints of other bathroom users.

I described a long-term friend of mine who is female but is very tall, broad, deep-voiced, and could be mistaken for a man dressed as a woman – if someone was so inclined. That if my friend were to go to a bathroom in North Carolina, and another person were to “report” her to police, she could very well be required to satisfy the law by providing her birth certificate – something very few people carry around.

She again repeated that this was not likely to happen.

I asked her why was the law passed then?

For which she had no answer.

And there is the real problem.

I hear constantly, “That is not likely to happen.” “That would never happen here.”

A few months ago, my nephew started supporting the “temporary halt for all Muslims entering the United States until we figure things out.”

I reminded him that my husband, his uncle, was Muslim and currently out of the country on business. I pointed out to him that my husband, his uncle, would not be able to return home.

He responded that he was not talking about my husband.

Thanks.

Is that a promise?

I am not sure if people are ignorant of history, unable to make connections to larger consequences, lack empathy, are not paying attention, or are simply living in denial.
These things have already happened here.

Treaty of New Echota, 1835 to 1838 – confiscated all land of the Cherokee nation, then interned and eventually relocated them from Georgia via the Trail of Tears.

Dakota Indian War, 1862 – attempted extermination, internment, and eventual forced removal of Dakota and Sioux nations from Minnesota to other parts of the U.S. and Canada (just days before the Emancipation Proclamation); children were placed in boarding schools where they were forced to adopt European culture and religion.

Several 1854 Laws – included the mandatory daily reading of the King James Bible in public schools; disbanded Irish militia units and confiscating their weapons; dismissed Irish state workers; deported poor Irish as a drain on society; sought to deprive Roman Catholics of rights to vote or hold office.

The Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1882 – limiting Chinses immigration and access to citizenship for those already in the U.S., resulting in widespread discrimination.

American Protective League/National Security League/American Defense Society of 1917 – spied on German immigrants, but soon were investigating anyone with dissenting views; German-Americans were asked to gather in public meetings to adopt declarations against Imperial Germany, buy war bonds, sing the National Anthem, and pledge allegiance to the flag to prove their patriotism.

Japanese Exclusion Act/Alien Land Act/Immigration Act of 1924 – restricting and then ending all non-European immigration; made Japanese ownership of land in California illegal, even land already owned by Japanese.

Federal Bureau of Immigration Raids, 1930 to 1933 – more than 400,000 people of Mexican descent, including U.S. citizens, were rounded up and deported to Mexico.

Enemy Alien Control Unit/Alien Enemy Hearing Board/Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense, 1941 – Alaskan Natives, Germans, Italians, and Japanese (regardless of citizenship) were taken into custody and brought before the Board for inquiry and were either released, paroled, or interned for the duration of the war. Germans, Italians, and Japanese living in Latin American countries (regardless of citizenship) were also “deported” to the U.S. and held in internment camps until the end of the war.

Executive Order 9066, Internment Camps, 1942 – All Japanese, regardless of citizenship, from the eastern states of the United States, were removed to internment camps, and all their belongings were “redistributed.” The large-scale imprisonment of U.S. citizens solely on the basis of their ancestry was met with almost universal approval by the non-Japanese-American population and was accepted largely without question.

Even if you argue these incidents were all a result of war or national defense, which defies the Mexican example, isn’t that exactly what people are claiming now? “We are under attack!”

Doing the research for this writing, I came across again, and again, the same rhetoric prior to these government acts preparing the society to not only accept them but advocate for them.

I’m not being paranoid.

I too do not believe the majority of the population would agree to a sudden mass internment of any group of people today. I further do not believe a law could be passed that stops all Muslims, including U.S. citizens, from entering the country.

But that’s not how it starts. It starts by people buying into the hate and fear rhetoric.

It starts with family members advocating for policies that hurt their own family members – because they will not be affected themselves and they are not recognizing their family members will be hurt.

We can only hope that realization will occur, which is exactly what has helped the LGBTQ community – families and friends realizing their hateful and fear-based ideas were hurting the people they loved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *