America’s New Normal: We Have Sprinted Across The Threshold To Fascism

By Mark L. Taylor
The Commoner Call (6/25/18)

Even by Donald Trump’s bottom-scraping standards, the past week has been a head-spinning, heartbreaking gut punch to the nation. As Trump, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions II and White House resident Hitler Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels look-a-like Stephen Miller ramped up the federal child kidnapping and imprisonment scheme any doubts about what we are facing should have gone up like an out-of-control dumpster fire. In case you haven’t noticed, we have spun far, far beyond the run-of-the-mill Republican vs Democrat, conservative vs liberal, right vs left paradigm of usual American politics. We have crossed the line — we are in a fascist state.

As suckling infants and toddlers were forcibly taken from their parents we had one of the usual right wing no-knowings on Fox News — now the official state news organ — dismiss the worries and outrage by blandly explaining, “Like it or not, these aren’t our kids. …These are people from another country.”

Anyone with even a basic familiarity of 20th Century fascism can recognize that all of this is straight out of the authoritarian fascist field manual.

Trump’s campaign of demonization and dehumanization of the Central American refugees rounded up and herded into holding cages was dutifully echoed by a right wing “Christian” Tee-Vee host who declared, “We’re getting criminals. I mean, total criminals that are so debased and their minds are just gone. They’re unclean, they’re murderers, they’re treacherous, they’re God-haters.”

Anyone with even a basic familiarity of 20th Century fascism can recognize that all of this is straight out of the authoritarian fascist field manual. Once you have debased and dehumanized a group of people based upon anything different than the majority then you have granted yourself the right to not treat them as humans; anything is fair game in the name of racial , ethnic, religious, national purity or personal grudge. That door has not just been kicked opened in America; we have now sprinted across the threshold.

As you read these words

You can bet — as you read these words — some of those refugee children are, right now, being physically and sexually abused. Others are being dealt with brutally by guards. Some of the most severely traumatized — many of them toddlers — are beginning the slow downward spiral to death and suicide. This is not speculation. This is what happens in fascist concentration camps. And it is all being done in our name and on our dime.

Collectively, he have responsibility for this crime. It happened on our watch.

In the midst of the protest and outrage much was made about a couple Trump White House apparatchiks being denied service at restaurants because of the Trump kidnappings. The bleating out of the rightwing echo helmet apparently drowned out any talk about the rights of a baker to not make a cake for a gay wedding.

Anyone who does not speak out against the human rights travesty that is now taking place within our borders is as guilty as Trump and his fever-headed minions. The evidence is in: Trump is a fascist at odds with our stated American ideals. Whether you are the attorney general of the United States or an ICE Agent in the desert scrublands outside El Paso or the loudmouth idiot at the end of the bar, you are complicit. You are as guilty as the perpetrators of this obscenity. The moral stain will not wash from your complicit hands and your treasonous mouth. There is no confusion about who you are and who you are loyal to.

Below is a collection of story clips from the past week or so. It is by no means a complete record of the government sponsored cruelty inflicted. You certainly don’t need to read them all, but scroll down through the list and really let it sink in where we are in this nation right now; this is the new American normal. Take it in and don’t for one moment think that the same cruelties won’t be inflicted on you and those you care for. The history of fascism shows that the circle of the demonized “other” always expands outward to include everyone but the tiny evil inbred band at the core of the crime.

For Godsake, Resist!


America’s New Fascism…

Elizabeth Warren: Immigration Facility A Disturbing Picture

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) describes what she saw after touring an immigration facility in McAllen, Texas.

5-Minute Video


Detained Immigrant Children Describe Being Beaten, Locked Up In Solitary Confinement, And Left Nude and Shivering In Concrete Cells

By Michael Biesecker, Jake Pearson & Garance Burke
Associated Press (6/21/18)

Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.

The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia, are detailed in federal court filings that include a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino teens jailed there for months or years. Multiple detainees say the guards stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads.

“Whenever they used to restrain me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me,” said a Honduran immigrant who was sent to the facility when he was 15 years old. “Strapped me down all the way, from your feet all the way to your chest, you couldn’t really move. … They have total control over you. They also put a bag over your head. It has little holes; you can see through it. But you feel suffocated with the bag on.”

In addition to the children’s first-hand, translated accounts in court filings, a former child-development specialist who worked inside the facility independently told The Associated Press this week that she saw kids there with bruises and broken bones they blamed on guards. … Read the Rest


Senator Reveals Conditions At Detention Facilities Caused ‘pregnant women have had miscarriages since they’ve been here’

By Sarah Burris
the Raw Story (6/24/18)

In an interview with MSNBC’s Kassie Hunt, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) revealed the horrors she saw at the detention facility that she visited in Southern California. … Read the Rest and 9-Minute Video


Audio Of Children Being Ripped From The Arms Of Their Parents At The Border

By Ginger Thompson
ProPublica (6/19/18)

The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard, they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know. … Read the Rest


Lawsuit Claims Detained Migrant Children Have Been Forcibly Injected With Powerful Psychiatric Drugs

Democracy Now! (6/21/18)

Shocking reports have revealed that immigrant children were subdued and incapacitated with powerful psychiatric drugs at a detention center in South Texas. Legal filings show that children held at Shiloh Treatment Center in southern Houston have been “forcibly injected with medications that make them dizzy, listless, obese and even incapacitated,” according to reports by Reveal. Meanwhile, according to another Reveal investigation, taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion over the past four years to companies operating immigration youth facilities despite facing accusations of rampant sexual and physical abuse. … Read the Rest, Transcript and 13-Minute Video


A Texas Sheriff’s Deputy Sexually Assaulted A 4-Year-Old & Threatened To Deport Her Mother, Police Say

Associated Press (6/18/18)

(SAN ANTONIO) — A sheriff’s deputy in South Texas is accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and threatening the child’s mother with deportation if she reported him, authorities said.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Sunday that investigators arrested 47-year-old Jose Nunez on suspicion of super aggravated sexual assault of a child, pending formal charges.

“The details of the case are quite frankly heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time,” Salazar said. … Read the Rest


Migrant Father Describes Moment His Daughter Was Taken Away

BBC (6/22/18)

Cisary Banz Reynaud-Villeda was detained along with his eight-year-old daughter when he entered the US illegally on 13 June.

The authorities then took her away to another migrant centre – and he has not spoken to her since.

“It’s felt like an empty void inside of me,” Cisary told the BBC in a phone interview from a jail in Texas. 2-Minute Video


Tug-of-Love: Immigrant Mom Loses Effort To Regain Son Given Away To US Parents

By Brian Ross & Angela M. Hill
ABC 96/18/18)

In a controversial case that involved the rights of illegal immigrants and their young children, a Guatemalan mother lost her effort today to get back the five-year old son who was taken away from her after her arrest on immigration charges and put up for adoption in Missouri despite her objections.

A Missouri judge ruled the boy should stay with the Missouri couple, Melinda and Seth Moser, who took him into their home five years ago while his mother was in federal custody, where she attempted in vain to oppose the adoption proceedings. …

Read the Rest


Watching ICE Terrorize Kids, A Flight Attendant Risks 29-Year Career—‘I will no longer be complicit’

By Leslie Salzillo 
Daily Kos (6/20/18)

On Tuesday [6/19] afternoon, a Texas flight attendant who works for a major airline posted a stunning statement on his Facebook page. The post was then picked up by the Houston Chronicle. Hunt Palmquist’s statement may very well have led to today’s historical decision within the airline industry.

On Wednesday, via individual public statements, major airline carriers including American Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest told the Trump Administration and federal government that they would not take part in the cruel and abhorrent Trump immigration policies that separated migrant children from their families. The airlines let Trump, his administration and his complicit Republican Congress members know that the government would no longer be allowed to use planes by these airlines to commit violations of human rights.

Palmquist, who’s been flying for 29 years, said what he saw on two Texas flights was more disturbing than anything he had witnessed on any flight—during his entire career. … Read the Rest


Immigrant Child Detention Center Hired Ex-Border Patrol Agent Busted For Child Porn

By Travis gettys
The Raw Story (6/20/18)

he nonprofit Southwest Key organization hired a former Border Patrol agent to work with immigrant children despite a previous arrest for child pornography.

 Ernesto Padron resigned from the government agency in 2010 after his arrest, but he was hired last year to work at the Casa Padre shelter where boys 10-17 are being held, reported Texas Monthly.
 He was arrested in 2008, after an undercover FBI sting, for alleged possession of child pornography, a second-degree felony, according to publicly available criminal court records in Cameron County. … Read the Rest


‘All I hear is my daughter, crying’: Salvadoran Father Yearns To See His Child Again After Being Separated At US Border

By Sarah Kinosian
The Guardian (6/24/18)

“Papa, when are you getting me out of here?” asks the small voice on the telephone.

Arnovis Guidos Portillo holds his mobile phone away from his face as he struggles to hold back tears, but his six-year old daughter, Meybelin, can still be heard on speakerphone, asking when she will be released from custody in an American detention centre.

Though he knows it’s a lie, he tells her that she can’t return to El Salvador  because the US government’s plane is broken; the truth is that he has no idea what will become of her.

“They’re going to bring you home soon,” he says. “They haven’t fixed the plane.”

Portillo, 26, was separated from Meybelin in McAllen, Texas, on 27 May – over three weeks after the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy”, mandating children of undocumented migrants would be removed from their parents. … Read the Rest


1 In 5 Immigrant Children Detained During ‘Zero Tolerance’ Border Policy Are Under 13

By Shefali Luthra & Marisa Taylor
The HuffPost (6/21/18)

The Trump administration has detained 2,322 children 12 years old or younger amid its border crackdown, a Department of Health and Human Services official told Kaiser Health News on Wednesday. They represent almost 20 percent of the immigrant children currently held by the U.S. government in the wake of its latest immigrant prosecution policy.

Their welfare is being overseen by a small division of the Department of Health and Human Services — the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) — which has little experience or expertise in handling very young children.

The number of children has exploded in the past six weeks since the Trump administration moved to stop parents and their children at the U.S. border and separate and detain them in different facilities. A total of 11,786 children under age 18 are currently detained, the official said. … Read the Rest


Separating Breastfeeding Babies From Moms Could Affect ‘Health For A Lifetime’: Doctors

By Eleanor Goldberg
HuffPost (6/22/18)

An international group of physicians condemned the Trump administration on Thursday for separating breastfeeding mothers from their babies, calling it a “human rights violation.”

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, an international physicians organization, urged the government to immediately reunite infants with their mothers to end what could cause particular emotional and physical trauma to this demographic.

“Separating children from their parents results in toxic stress that impacts breastfeeding and health for a lifetime,” Dr. Timothy Tobolic, president of the academy, said in a statement. “Furthermore, separating a mother from her breastfeeding child violates the human rights of both mother and child.” … Read the Rest


What Detention And Separation Mean For Kids’ Mental Health

By Rhitu Chatterjee
NPR (6/23/18)

Psychologists say that for migrant kids already in government facilities, a short separation from parents may be enough to cause lasting damage. Link to Audio


Rachel Maddow Breaks Down During Report On ‘tender age’ Shelters

The Guardian (6/19/18)

The MSNBC host struggles to get through a segment on her nightly show, describing babies being forcibly removed from their parents and taken to shelters under Trump’s hardline immigration laws. Maddow eventually crosses to another anchor, appearing too emotional to finish reading the report. Link to 1-Minute Video


Teenaged French Citizen Visiting Canada Accidentally Jogs Across Unmarked US Border — And Gets Detained For Two Weeks

By Bob Btigham
The Raw Story (6/22/18)

United States Customs and Border Protection caused an international incident after detaining a French citizen jogging on the beach in British Columbia, Canada.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that Cedella Roman, 19, was jogging along the beach in White Rock, just north of the border. After taking a photo, Roman had reportedly turned and started jogging north when two border patrol officers detained her.

The teenager, who was visiting her mother who lives in nearby North Delta, had not brought any ID with her for her jog, but still tried to explain the situation to the border patrol.

“I told him I had not done it on purpose, and that I didn’t understand what was happening,” Roman recalled, by saying she had not seen any warning signs.

Nevertheless, she was detained and transferred over 100 miles away to the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, run by the Department of Homeland Security. … Read the Rest


Immigrant Moms Still Have No Idea How To Find Their Kids After Trump Kidnapped Them

By Noor Al-Sibi
The Raw Story (6/21/18)

In spite of Donald Trump’s executive order ending the separation of families at the US-Mexico border, there remain mothers separated from their children who have no idea where their kids are.

 In interviews with The New Yorker, women detained Otero County Prison — a privately-run detention center housing migrants in New Mexico — said that after their children were taken away following their arrests at the border, they have had difficulty finding any information about where they are. … Read the Rest
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to )