A Penchant for Abuse

The big man with the guns now has the power. Enough is enough. 

A friend of mine recently expressed his complete shock when the US declared it was getting out of the UN Human Rights Council. I then asked him what he thought of the current administration but he didn’t answer, choosing either to ignore what I had asked or he had not heard the question at all. This was, of course, the day after the official announcement was made.

It was, therefore, an awkward situation, as, though shocking, with the current actions and federal government thinking, the decision is not very surprising, just numbing. My friend’s reaction was perhaps more shocking than the actual announcement.

Enough is enough.

The scandalous revelations of a broken federal system (broken because the system still does not understand the definitions of humane, human, or humanity) this past month show mostly how History always repeats itself sadly and how Man still cannot use reason and sense for  rationality and logical thinking, especially when it concerns wellbeing and questions of a future.

How on earth can a bunch of politicians in the 21st century bring up parallels to many authoritarian, atrocious, disturbing governance and actions, which happened throughout the contemporary era? It is easier than thought, given the number of human rights violations by states since 1945.  Police brutality and inhumane practices by government agencies enters this category of crime. Government officials speaking profanities against minorities, women, and anyone in particular constitutes that crime as well for the simple fact that words ultimately turn into laws enacted, violences, and, down the road, purges.

Enough is enough.

Today, many protesters are out in the American streets, firing up the social debate about the American way of life, in this case, immigration. Every country has its work-immigration problems, but the investigative reporting video, which brought on the attention from media and politics, continues the long “debate”. The US politics of logic has always highly complained about immigration, among other issues.  Whether legal or illegal, there is no difference really. At least, that was usually what was before the 20th century.

The important point is not illegality but rationality: immigration is a normal movement. However, this is not a conversation just about immigration. The protests today are about the entire soul of the US, as the NYTimes pointed out recently. Immigration is only one issue. Issue, as the soul of America has never really been whole; twisting ideologies, bending people to thy will (if we use the biblical phrase), settlers driving out the natives, slavery and racism.

The announcement to retreat from the UN Human Rights Council is unfortunately an accumulation of all these issues America has with itself. A sickness appropriately, an abuse of power strategically.

Enough is enough.

So the saying goes. As does the slogan, the cry, the protest, the demand. A country, who calls itself a democracy and the most powerful State, cannot be a legitimate State if its society has easy access to guns, racial divides four centuries old and counting, total broken infrastructure with fractures deepening year in year out, and half a political class insisting that their views are the only ones, meaning that only they count as people who care.

Everyone cares. They care that a group of narrow-minded politicians have officially invaded the public space. They care that the Trump administration wants out of climate change (because apparently it does not exist) and the Paris agreement. They care that the same administration is supporting the NRA and neo-extremism ideas such as neo-fascism. They care that families are not together.

Trump will never change and the outlook Republicans and his administration takes need a miracle from the most un-obvious source. However something good, which has preoccupied us in the past here, is happening thanks to this presidential term: the citizens are waking up to take arms. Not just any arms: the weapon of the voice and the use of civic duty. Freedom of press is being oppressed in a way, what with all the insults thrown at the press, but this is a freedom for all, on condition that we use it wisely. Getting out of the UNHRC only shows how deep in trouble US society is. What is shocking is that it is happening now, not that this administration made the decision. That is the shame.

Enough is enough.

The Episcopal and the other traditional Protestant Churches in addition to the Catholic Church are fighting against the political use of the Bible to justify the current detention center situation. As we wrote in an earlier piece (albeit in French), human rights are Christian values. If there are people claiming the Bible as reference for their acts of violations against these rights, how can we live with ourselves? The entire reason for immigration is built around the human need for peace and stability: economic, nature and climate, political, and social. We were all refugees and migrants at some point. We were all black at some point. We were all subjects at some point. Abuse is not tolerated as such.

Let the families be together. Leave that child or teenager or adult alone unless it is to help or reach out. Let us all breathe that wind of change and protest.

The small man with the weapon will have the power. Except it will be another type of weapon, that of the citizen’s voice.

Enough is enough.

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