Rosa Maria Hernandez is 10 years old. She has cerebral palsy. Her parents brought her to Laredo when she was 3 months old, so she could have the best chance of health care. This past October 24th she was being transferred from a clinic in Laredo to a children’s hospital in Corpus Christi for a gall bladder operation, when the ambulance was stopped at 2:00 A.M. by a Customs & Border Patrol checkpoint. What? We have checkpoints now? Oh yeah, and you’d better damned well have your papers in order. Rosa was accompanied by her cousin, Aurora Cantu, who is a U.S. citizen. The CPB followed the ambulance to the hospital. Rosa was released the next day. Hospital officials recommended she be released to family members who ware aware of her medical condition, but she was taken into custody and sent to a detention center in San Antonio, 125 miles from her “illegal” family.
The CPB defended their actions, saying agents were just enforcing immigration law. “The agent is wrong if he lets her go,” said a spokesman. “We don’t have the discretion. It’s not a traffic ticket.” No, it’s an abomination. This is who we are now — the jerks of the world. The agents, to paraphrase the pleas of defendants at the Nuremberg trials, were just following orders. There are supposed to be what are called “sensitive areas” like churches, schools, courthouses, or hospitals, where people are left alone. Not with Trump and Sessions’ reign of terror. ICE agents are lurking everywhere, ready to deport. This is what life in America is like for illegal; immigrants (who contribute $12 billion annually to the economy). They’re afraid to go to school, to the store, afraid to leave their homes. Make AmeriKKKa great again. And to those who say “They’re here illegally!” I say, go to hell! It’ll be hard to break Obama’s deportation record, 2.5 million from 2009 to 2015. Then they went to a policy of singling out only felons, but Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice has turned the clock back. The way they figure it, being in the country at all is a crime (It’s a civil infraction, not a felony), so they’re rounding people up.
All over the country, people of color, Muslims, and LGBTQ people are rightfully apprehensive about going anywhere, school, court, or even the grocery store for fear of being harasses or attacked. Hate crimes are way up since Emperor Orange Julius took office. Oh, and there’s a mass shooting on the average of once a day, thanks mostly to the nation’s largest terrorist organization, the NRA. How do you like your America now? Well, you can have it. We’re about two pubic hairs away from a full-blown, fascist police state. Lots of people toss that word around without knowing what it means. The original definition was from Mussolini, and meant the merger of business or industry with government. When the Cabinet heads are industry people with antipathy to the agencies they lead, that’s fascism.
There are some other key characteristics found in nearly all fascist states:
— A belligerent nationalism. I need say no more.
— An obsession with crime and punishment. Rich white guys are exempt, as they are above the law.
— Scapegoating other groups, and blaming them for all our problems. Again, I need say no more.
— Hypermasculine and brutal police. Again, rich white men are exempted.
— Massive surveillance of the population.
— Constant wars and threatening war.
— Rampant misogyny and sexism. Have you seen the news headlines lately? And by the way, as a man, let me apologize to all women for our vulgar behavior.
— Fraudulent elections. This one is key, because Republicans own the election system now. The easily-hackable voting machines and tabulators, mass voter purges from registration rolls, and voter ID laws specifically designed to keep out the rabble — that is, anyone likely to vote Democrat. I don’t see Democrats winning any major elections soon, even if they figure out what the hell they stand for. We can no longer vote the bastards out.
There was a time when I was proud of America (before I’d learned about its unsavory history). Later I was embarrassed. Now I’m ashamed. This country is finished, wrote Chris Hedges a couple years back, “and the descent is going to be truly horrifying.” Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger. The Founders said democracy could only work as long as the populace is educated and informed, and we are neither. In fact, we get my vote for the dumbest country in history. It takes a country of dumb-asses to elect an admitted sex predator, pathological liar, and malignant narcissist who has been an abject failure all his life. And is himself a dumb-ass. H.L. Mencken said people get the government they deserve, and they deserve to get it good and hard. And while the fascists are busy destroying every social safety net, dumb-ass Americans shamble around like zombies, lost in their hand-held devices. This country deserves everything it gets. We let ourselves get fat, intellectually lazy, and complacent. Yes, yes, there are demonstrations and protests, part of some nebulous “resistance.” These will continue to be allowed as long as they remain ineffectual, but if they look like they could bring about change, they will be stepped on, as we saw with the Occupy movement.
All the above is just one reason this is the last Wryly Coyote post. The people I reach aren’t the ones who need to read, so I’m basically preaching to the choir. I’ve got other things I need to do. Another reason is the limitations of junkyard computer technology. It’s nearly impossible to get certain texts to appear the way they do on my Word document. Sometimes that’s important; so important that if I can’t get them to look the way I need them to, I’m not interested. Yet another reason is that I’ve somehow misplaced my sense of humor. I’ve looked everywhere for it, to no avail. I may have inadvertently put it in the recycle bin.
I want to thank all of you who did read these posts, though you’d never tell by the amount of comments left. Outside of a close friend, maybe 4-5 comments in six years. Writers write because they want people to read them. I wasn’t looking for praise, just leave a suggestion, expand on one of my points, disagree with me — just give me something. Great appreciation goes to my long-suffering webmaster, Obi John Kenobi, who is also my nonsensei. This was his idea, and it only took me a nanosecond to agree. I’ve put him through hell a few times
So thanks again, everybody. And I have a final word for all you white men out there (of which I am one): I want you all to go forth, be fruitful and multiply with yourselves.