For those of us who advocate discretion and compassion when dealing with families with an undocumented member, the emphasis on “enforcing the law” rings hollow.
In this “country of laws”, there will always be a law to enforce. Yet historically our laws have often been a way to codify some form of white supremacist dogma.
Donald Trump has long channeled the white supremacy of staunch supporter U.S. Representative Steve King. In his racial slurs against Hispanics, Trump sees only bad hombres –drug dealers and rapists.
In his opposition to the DREAM Act, King falsely stated in 2013 that:
For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another hundred out there who weigh a hundred and thirty pounds—and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling seventy-five pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act.
In March, 2017, he communicated both his anti-immigrant stance and his advocacy of white superiority (which he calls “Western Civilization”) in a tweet, stating:
We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.
To the Iowan Representative, it is painful to ascribe any value whatsoever to a non-white, whether black or brown.
In 2016, when Charles P. Pierce, a writer for Esquire magazine, expressed hope that the Republican Party might cease being the party of “old white people”, King was offended.
“This whole ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie. I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other [non-white] categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, wasn’t finished:
…than Western civilization itself that’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.
So, according to Iowa Representative King, Christianity is a white European contribution which created Western civilization.
However, an ancient Greek Empire gave the first century a nearly universal language. Then an Imperial Rome built roads to access much of the known world. And it was the Jewish Paul (born in Cilicia –modern day Turkey) who would carry the message of Jesus of Nazareth — a Middle Eastern Jewish Rabbi — throughout the known world, using Roman Roads and the Greek Language!
For Rep. King, it is only people who look like him who are the truly civilized and truly Christian – those European white people who have made the only significant contributions to civilization . Definitely not people who looked like Paul or Jesus or even the Ethiopian (Acts, chapter 8) who carried Jesus’ message back to North Africa.
To Steve King, “the footprint of civilization” is clearly from a white Christian foot.
April Ryan, American journalist serving as White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, wasn’t having it. A descendant of forced laborers who were kidnapped and enslaved, then bought by the good Christian white folk, journalist Ryan inquired, “What about Africans? What about Asians?”
In her recently published At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White, veteran journalist Ryan recalled:
My mother wanted me to live in a world of equality, yet understand the realities of the present day. The reality is that we are Black. She offered historical notes about what our Blackness has encountered, but she also offered pride in our contributions, the contributions that so many Black people have given to the world.
When we were in the car, she would remind us that Garrett Morgan, an African American inventor, is credited with creating the traffic light . . . and the gas mask.
She also told us about Charles Drew who helped shape our current blood donation system, and George Washington Carver and his agricultural advance with the peanut.
She and my father worked hard to give me and my brother a life that was more diverse and afforded more opportunities than what they were afforded. However, she also wanted her children to be mindful and aware of who we are.
My mother spoke of race with the facts, and it always came straight from the heart.
An unapologetic advocate of white supremacy, Representative King clearly was speaking from his heart, a heart unfortunately misinformed by an ignorance about race and Christianity that is truly appalling.