Humiliation and comparison to animals, mass concentrations of groups forced into cities of homes, starving and ill children permanently separated from their parents.
Not 1940s Nazi Germany. The present-day United States.
We were the first extermination. We are a current one.
And like the over 70 million of us who inhabited this land prior to the mistreatment of them by savage colonizers, we’re under attack again.
Stage 1: Classification
Since the beginning of his reign of terror on this country, Donald J. Trump has been demonizing Latinx immigrants.
“Bringing drugs and crime, rapists”, anyone care to remember the millions of Natives killed and raped by white colonizers, only for their sophisticated cities to be pillaged and plundered.
Why is it that when thousands of brown people come to a country, it’s an “invasion”, but when whites do it, it’s called “settling”?
Stage 2: Symbolization
They stick us in ghettos, prevent us from achieving by having racist and classist hurdles to jump through, stick up quotas on college admissions, and racially profile us daily. Any black or brown person in The United States could tell you that.
Stage 3: Dehumanization
A group of people with little social power, hardly any political representation, navigating a new country or language makes them especially easy targets. The fact that many Latinxs aren’t “white-passing” only makes this attempt on our success easier. Additionally, without many of us having a great understanding of our rights as citizens for a multitude of reasons, it's easy to exploit our weaknesses and carry out oftentimes unconstitutional behavior.
And in case you haven’t heard, children as young as two, separated from their parents, without a lawyer or deep understanding of English, are being forced to represent themselves at their own immigration hearings. Why? Because there’s no one able to tell them no.
Stage 4: Organization
Over the past century, immigration in The United States has been moved from the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice, and now to post-9/11 Homeland Security. Our classification alone for immigrant issues should raise red flags, especially in a land of immigrants.
I.C.E. and Customs and Border Patrol are more financed and militarized than ever. In fact, the division of I.C.E. that handles detention and deportation has gone so far that the two other divisions no longer wish to be a part of the organization, and now multiple counts of Latinx CITIZENS being held wrongly in I.C.E. custody have come about. Even local police officers in cities such as Los Angeles and New York have grown tired with I.C.E. agents impersonating them for the sake of detaining undocumented people.
One of the first steps we could take to dismantling this system is dismantling I.C.E. itself.
Stage 5: Polarization
Not through totalitarianism or Aryan nations, at least not on their own. Through propaganda channels and tweetstorms. Outlets such as Fox News, Breitbart, and PragerU have disguised their hatred for people of color and new immigrants as law-oriented practices. Those same outlets neglect to mention the millions of undocumented whites in this country or those who work illegally here, such as First Lady Melania Trump.
Note also the surprising lack of coverage of the refugee caravan on our southern border following the midterms. The pain and suffering of brown people has become nothing but a political ploy for Trump’s administration
Stage 6: Preparation
They're not going after “bad hombres” alone. Since Trump took office, the amount of non-criminal arrests (read that again if you have to) has increased by 334%.
You do not strip the citizenship of people unless what you plan to do to them would be prevented by their legal rights.
Both naturalized and native-born Latinx citizens are also under attack.
And let us not forget the horrendous mismanagement of our military in border deployments.
Women and children are being gassed as we speak, simply for seeking safety, for asylum.
So where does that leave us?
Stage 7: Extermination
Hate crimes against Latinxs in California alone have increased by over 50% since 2016. The hateful rhetoric and allowance for venom spat at us perhaps being the greatest cause.
Don’t neglect the ethnic and politically-charged mass-shooting in Pittsburg last month, or the thousands of white U.S. citizens who have formed their own militias to murder people along our southern border. Couple that with the hundreds of migrants killed by Border Patrol agents or the eight migrants who died in I.C.E. custody in October 2018 alone.
Complete and utter neglect of Puerto Rico while slyly moving $10 Million from FEMA to Customs and Border Protection was no accident. They were left to die purposefully and with political meaning. The essential same meaning as to why Puerto Rico hasn’t been granted statehood, either. Keyword: Latinx.
Taking jobs? Yeah, that was the same thing the United States government said in the 1930s, before deporting and lynching native-born people of Latin ancestry. Not only did the border cross us, but they made us cross the border again.
This rhetoric has, and will, allow for genocide in The United States if we do not stand up and fight back.
Stage 8: Denial
And as for denial, the final stage, if many of the historical facts I’ve presented today have been new to you, it’s safe to say that the erasure of my people has already been erased itself. Just as the fall of great indigenous empires and their subsequent erasure have been attributed to conquest rather than blatant extermination, generations will look back on this time and hear excuses of "border security". No humanity, no true stories of those seeking asylum.
We’ve fought and survived for thousands of years. And we’re not going anywhere.
Make no mistake. This is genocide in action.