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Column: The society of hatred

Revised on: 07.17.2018 at 10:44 a.m.

Posted on: 06.28.2018 at 11:00 a.m.

By Jefferson Weaver

jeffersonweaver@nrcolumbus.com

I wish there was an easy solution to the problems at the Mexican border.

I also wish the politicians on both sides of the issue would shut up and let normal folks figure out a solution.

There is no doubt that people who cross the borders of the United States without a passport or visa are breaking the law – Title 8 U.S. Code § 1325, titled “Improper entry by alien,” clearly defines that law. A few other federal laws dress 1325 up a little, and fill in some blanks. I suggest you read it yourself, at the library or online.

There’s no doubt that separating parents from children is a bad thing, a terrible thing. However, parents and children are split apart every single day because the parent breaks one law or another. Endangering a child will get a child snatched from a parent in a hot minute, as well such an act should. Those kids often end up in short- or longterm foster care, which isn’t always the best situation, but is better than what they were facing.

Most of us cannot fathom the love and dedication of foster parents who answer the phone at 3 a.m. to take in a traumatized toddler or a tempermental teenager because a stranger failed as a parent. The resources these foster parents have to offer is usually strained to the very max, but every one I have met is a prime example of a servant of God.

I am sure that most foster parents wish they could provide for their charges in the manner which the government cares for the children of illegal aliens. It’s not perfect, by any means, but the children being cared for in those converted Walmarts and other buildings receive immediate and quality medical care, counseling, healthy food, basic education classes geared to their level and culture, new clothing, and safe, climate-controlled shelter.

Before you condemn me, take note: I have not visited one of those shelters myself. Nor do I entirely trust government platitudes. Instead, I have looked to the coverage by the media that is most critical of the children’s shelters and the current administration. The old historian’s trick of using a critic’s reports to gain a balanced view seems to bear out the statements that the youth shelters are not, as some have specifically claimed, the equivalent of Nazi concentration camps.

I wish I could figure out a solution, but right now, our country is so caught up in a spirit of hatred that I am not sure anything anyone does is going to be the right thing. Meanwhile, the illegals and their families bypassed eight different U.S. embassies in Mexico where they could have claimed political asylum, all so they could pay out big bucks to the monsters called coyotes who sneaked them across the border.

Hidden in all the smoke and fire of this whole mess are little stories that the large and small media supply, but folks don’t seem to notice. For instance, the 10 children rescued from a Latin American child sex trafficking ring by Operation Underground Railroad a while back were being used to finance border crossings. Blogger Chuck Goolsby details the child sex trafficking in the San Diego area. National Public Radio, CBS, and CNN, among others, have run multiple stories about how children and teens are sold or rented to drug smugglers, who then claim the children are their own if they get caught – but have no idea how a 6-year-old little kid came to be carrying $200,000 worth of crystal methamphetamine.

And whether or not actual radical ISIS terrorists are crossing the border is anyone’s guess – the pro-border security crowd says yes, the open-borders crowd says no, Homeland Security says maybe, and the Border Patrol says certainly.

But illegal immigration is like race relations, gay marriage, gun control, abortion, tax cuts, and nigh onto anything else nowadays. There is no longer room for civil debate and discourse, just a rush to see who can make the most insulting statement faster than the other side. To disagree with anyone, especially someone who screams the loudest, is now “hatred.”

It’s also our own fault.

We as voters (for either party) and Americans have nurtured a society of hatred by tolerating politicians and celebrities constantly whip themselves into a rabid froth over anything “the other side” does or says. They then browbeat the general public into accepting their often altered, out-of-context view, whether it’s for personal political gain or a few minutes in the spotlight.

It truly amazes me to see this brand of for-profit hatred being so accepted, if not embraced. Peter Fonda’s remarks about the president’s son would have gotten a man beaten to a pulp if he made such a remark to an average father 10 years ago. Then a Canadian writer promised similar treatment for the president’s granddaughter. Another actor bragged about insulting the outgoing speaker of the House of Representatives in front of the speaker’s child. The profanity-laced tirade of a low-rated night time “comedienne” the other week was played over and over and over by both the media that obviously can’t stand the president, as well as the networks that support him.

Roseanne Barr – for whom I have never had any use – made a tasteless but non-threatening joke, but since she claims to be an avowed Trump-supporter, she was vilified and Trump was even blamed for her remark by one commentator.

That same commentator, by the way, said that anyone that supports the president or strong borders is “like the Nazis.” Those who blew back at him have been attacked for being hotheads and bigots.

If you tell a good dog that he’s bad long enough, he’s going to bite someone; it’s hardly fair to the dog to then punish him for the behavior you have taught him. Yet that’s exactly what we do – when people finally give in and instinctively defend themselves, those on the other side promptly crow the I-told-you-so’s.

The institutional hatred of the president has gotten so strong that even when Trump succeeded in sitting down with the North Korean dictator to talk about denuclearization, he was criticized for sitting down with the North Korean dictator. Of course, a few weeks before, the same critics were screaming that he was taking us into a new war with North Korea. The same thing happened when he gave in and announced plans to reunite illegal immigrants and their children.

Yet for all the hoopla and hullabaloo, no one has really offered a solution to dealing with people who, in their desperation for better lives, break American law.

For the record – I don’t support anyone breaking any law. I don’t think people who disregard our laws to get here will be good citizens, therefore they should be treated humanely and sent home. I’m not happy that parents and children are being separated, but when people break the law, bad things happen to them.

Also for the record, I don’t hate anyone.

I wish I could solve the problems at the border, the same way I wish I could solve the opioid crisis, unemployment, rogue countries that want to see America in ashes, the smoldering match of racism, and the rather profitable hatred of law enforcement.

I’m not even sure I can offer a solution – but I do know we’ll never get anywhere as long as we nurture a society of hatred.

We’re Americans, people. We’re better than this.

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