When a Country is Perpetually At War It Views Everyone As Perpetual Enemies



Armando Vazquez

The United States of America has spent 32 million dollars per hour, or put another way, a total of 5.6 trillion dollars since 2001 in wars conducted all over the world. Domestically our government has declared war on drugs, gangs, people of color, Muslims, the homeless, the indigent, the LGBTQ community and has militarized our communities to conduct war against the indigent, homeless, youth, and the least among us. The immigrant community has come under grotesque and unrelenting attack from the Trump administration for three years.  Trump and his goons have decided that the immigrants are the greatest (and of course the easiest to vilify) enemy of the American people and almost half of the county, seems to agree. If you are not an immigrant today in America you have absolutely no idea how ominous, hopeless and painful our lives have become.

I am an immigrant from Mexico. My family obtained legal entry into the United States of America in 1957.  I became a citizen of the United States in 1995. I remember that monumental day like it was yesterday. I am forever thankful and grateful for the opportunity to live, work and contribute to this country, my home. I have worked hard in education, art and social justice movements all my life to “repay and pay forward” to our nations people my eternal gratitude.  

Make no mistake, my entire large nuclear family of twelve (12) family members, was blessed with celestial luck to legally enter this country. We were not rich; we were not highly educated, and we were not politically well placed. We had nothing when we entered this country. My father had a job. We knew, that is, my father, knew only one American; who happened to be a rich, eclectic orchid grower that saw in my father the super immigrant work habit and singular laser- like focus to succeed (feed his family, put a roof over their heads, pay his debts and put a few dollars away in the bank every pay check) that he could trust and bank on to help him grow his business. So he sponsored my father and his family for legal entry into this country.

I know a little something about the infinitely pain and gut wrenching trials and tribulations that every immigrant must go through before they make the forever life- altering decisions to leave everything and everyone behind that they have known. We migrants know that our ultimate journey to our destination will be wrought with pain, fear, loneliness, violence, extortion, rape, captivity and some of us will die and never reach our destination. Each one of us makes the ultimate decision to migrant because for far too many of us the only other option is death. For these reasons and many more, the migrants become one of the most vulnerable, desperate and defenseless species of humanity on earth. The bizarre and surreal image of shooting fish in a barrel with a machine gun comes to mind.

The America for which we immigrants are risking everything, including our lives, to come to is now becoming very much like the nations that we fled. This is not an ingrate spewing bitter grapes. Look around you America! It is reported that close to 5,000 immigrant children have been separated from their parents in the past few years, many will be lost, parentless, in this evil system forever. Under the Trump “zero-tolerance” policy unauthorized immigrant parents traveling with their children are now criminally prosecuted and in cold blood separated from their children.  Often immigrants are being imprisoned in private for profit concentration camps. In Andrea Pitzer’s, book entitled One Long Night: A History of Concentration Camps, he states, “We have (in America) what I would call a concentration camp system. And the definition of that in my book is, mass detention of civilians without trial”

Trump and his minions have demonized the desperate immigrants by calling them animals, terrorists, rapists and murderers. And of course, when you dehumanize entire ethnic groups it is easier to label, attack and subjugate them. Waitman Wade Beorn, professor at University of Virginia states that,” Concentration camps in general have always been designed to separate one group (the demonized immigrants) of people from another. Usually because the majority group, or the creators of the concentrations camps, deem the people they are putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way.” What kind of nation deliberately separates children from their parents, puts both child and parent in concentration camps without any semblance of due process? We do America; again blindly repeating one of the most despicable acts our government can commit by imprisoning an ethnic group (Japanese, Mexicans, Blacks and other ethnic groups in our sordid history) for shameful and vile political expediency, and nothing more.

Trump, his monstrous attack dog strategist Steven Miller, and his Republican acolytes know well the defenseless and desperate ordeal facing the immigrants that seek asylum in this country. These maniacal and obsessed politicians exploit this tragic immigration quandary to the hilt and tragically almost half of this country support these evil men and their policies! How have we gotten to such an inhumane and evil place as a divided American people?

It is soul- searching time again in America; it seems to me that we have two clear choices: first take a hard look around your country, your neighborhood, your home. Are you happy in what you see? Do we want to continue down our current path of hate, depravity and totalitarianism because this is where the current administration is leading us? Or do we want to go down the path of love, compassion, equal justice and inclusion for all? What kind of country do we want to leave for our kids? If you choose love then, it means that you must become active and fight the evil all around us every day. By doing nothing we become complicit participants in the evil being promulgated by Trump and his henchmen. As Rick Wilson a once staunch Republican turned Never-Trumper states in his new book entitled Running Against the Devil, “Do not, as my party did, underestimate the evil, desperate nature of evil, desperate people. There is no bottom. There is no shame. There are no limits.”

America racist, xenophobic evil hatred directed by madman is at our door threatening to tear us apart and destroy our county. Trump has no shame, he has no limits. Only the power of the people exercising their democratic voice by voting him out of office at end of this year can chase this devil back to hell.

Armando Vazquez, M.Ed.  is Executive Director of  Acuna Art Gallery/Café on A, Executive Director for The KEYS Leadership Academy and Chairman of the Oxnard Multicultural Mental Health/coalition


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

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One Response to When a Country is Perpetually At War It Views Everyone As Perpetual Enemies

  1. Mark Savalla April 21, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Try posting some positive things the Communist party has done throughout history. Like Stalin, Mau, Castro, China, etc. Tell us how many millions of people have been killed by the likes of your political beliefs.


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