This month cable news channels blasted Americans with pano shots of a Latin American “migrant caravan”, a.k.a. a group of human beings travelling to seek asylum in the US.
This story has stirred something very vile in many American hearts. For example, take a look at all the Trump supporters supporting Tijuanan anti-immigrant protests in the comments below this Vice News video:
Fake News Justifies Violence
Every time I see a Rightist campaigner saying “immigrants are bad. I want to punch them / shoot them / hurt them,” or even just something comparably mild-mannered like “they deserve to die by drowning or exposure”, I get a sickening feeling that the West has moved the moral baseline towards “exterminating humans is okay”.
I have seen violence against immigrants proposed as if it were “self defense” for people who feel threatened by immigrants living in the same country (oooo! scary), bearing national steriotypes like “violence” or “laziness,” daring to show their faces in public with naturally dark skin leading to “altering the cultural heritage of our country” (For you people, here’s a new word for you: Globalization. Say it with me.).
In a growing trend, immigrants are assigned completely made-up threatening qualities, for example: “Mexicans are criminals and rapists” (Donald Trump), or immigrants are swarming like insects (David Cameron). This falls in line with a favourite tactic of general nutjob of the first order, Alex Jones, who believes elites are illuminati. See, no facts required.
Human Rights: Y/N?
Every politics geek has heard of the “Overton window”. “The Overton window, also known as the window of discourse, describes the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse. ”
In normalizing dehumanizing words and actions against immigrants, Republicans choose to destroy the hard-won acceptance of universal egalitarianism and human rights – the only positive innovations of American democracy.
What have immigrants done to treat them as unhuman? Did Republicans (and others) have to call them bad people to properly enforce their own border laws? No, they didn’t
Why not discuss better and more humane laws? Some would even say it’s the US’s moral obligation, when US companies set up banana plantations and profit from Latin American misery every year?
If Rightists merely don’t want immigrants to come into the country, they can do this without stripping immigrants of their humanity, and while dealing with those at all stages in our immigration system in a humane way. The way you should treat a stranger, a guest, an emmissary or a person who has just lost everything.
To treat them in such a reckless and hateful way is so unnecessary and harmful to society’s most fundamental values.
Rightists know that dehumanizing immigrants is sowing future evil, that’s why anti-immigrant protesters wear shades in interviews.
They realize that someday, maybe even very soon, with inexorably lowering quantities of natural resources to share among a growing global population of humans, it could easily be in the global elite, or a government’s, or even a corporation’s interest to have fewer of us.
Won’t it be so convenient for the ruling power, not to need a reason to exterminate us, except for a threat they have made up?
On that day, the days we Westerners called our fellow humans “cockroaches”, justified excessive force, or allowed harm to come them in dire straits, will come back to haunt us.