Fascism’s worst abuses never happen in the full light of day, for all the citizens to see and endorse. Despite the complicity of many German citizens in seeing Hitler round-up the Jews, they were not complicit in the mass murders in concentration camps. Most had no idea it was occurring, most were shocked upon learning. The worst abuses always occur while hidden away.
Thus, it is extremely disturbing to hear that DHS – yesterday – moved to block the staff of the oversight committee set to tour the facilities. The committee majority tweeted its objection to the public:
BREAKING: After Committee inspections of #DHS immigration facilities found serious problems, #DHS abruptly blocked further staff visits.@RepCummings requests #DHS provide meaningful access to the identified #ICE and #CBP facilities. https://t.co/ScafwduCt0
— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) August 29, 2019
Most of the cynics among the Twitterverse mock such moves as “sternly worded letters,” citing the lack of follow-through, so far, demonstrated by Congress. Whatever the legitimacy of such criticism, the biggest service provided by the Committee in this particular situation is to fully notify us to the fact that the administration intends to hide what it is doing. That alone should send shivers down our spine. Fascism’s worst abuses always occur hidden away.
The news is even more troubling because it follows last month’s tour which resulted in immigrants telling the committee about toddlers getting age inappropriate food, the lack of sufficient clothing, cold rooms and other abuses. Of course, the stories of abuse have also included far more disturbing charges.
Yesterday, I wrote about Trump using $250 million to bribe the Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden’s son for business dealings. Congress already appropriated the money for Ukraine’s defense. Trump was “reviewing” how the money would be used. I noted that “this is what a dictatorship looks like from inside the country.”
So, too, with this story. This is what fascists do, they use every tool they have to hide the worst abuses from general society.
Sometimes we feel like hiding our own heads, because it is so hard to hear. It is extremely difficult to know that our country promotes babies suffering as a “deterrent.” But fascism’s abuses only grow in nations with a populace hiding its head. We have an obligation to learn of it, and oppose it.
Elijah Cummings has never hidden his head. We need to follow his lead and object to the abuses, even in our own social circles, make life uncomfortable for those still supporting Trump, those who think such treatment is justified.
It is not justified, and everything done by the United States’ government is done in our name, unless we object. When we object, we shed sunlight on the crimes committed, knowing that it only gets worse when left in the dark.