The first Europeans to arrive in the Americas had vigorous debates similar to today’s debates. The Spanish conquistador wanted to become wealthy by mining gold and silver. Because the natives were “soulless,” they were treated as beasts of burden. The Jesuit Priests said they had souls and deserved sympathy. But because of ruthless treatment, millions died from exploitation and smallpox.
In today’s news, we see a similar debate framed differently. Do refugees fleeing for their lives deserve our sympathy? Do families and children deserve sanitary living conditions, soup and mattresses? Our Administration says no, demonstrating a lack of sympathy for those in need.
A photo of a father with his 2-year-old daughter – dead, face down in the Rio Grande – illustrates the consequence of the administration’s position. This father and daughter are part of an untold number who now suffer a similar fate as a result of our administration.
Before World War II, Jews were denied entry into the United States. In 1939, the St. Louis, carrying 900 Jews fleeing from the holocaust, was forced to return to Europe. Millions died horrible deaths. They would have made a positive contribution to our country, just as today’s refugees can.
The America of the 1500s, Germany of the 1940s and the United States have different peoples and conditions. As illustrated by the following slogans, all are the same:
*Viva Espana (Long live Spain; the millions not in control are exploited and killed.)
*Ein reich, ein volk, ein furher (one country, one people, one leader; 2019 U.S. policy.)
*America first (Those in power deny the rights and humane treatment to the “undesirables.”)
The leaders and peoples may be different, but the message is the same. They have no sympathy for the powerless. Inhumane treatment and untold deaths have and will result from their beliefs.