Feathered Bastard

Casting Millstones: Ugliness and Hysteria Has Been the Response of Too Many Americans to the Plight of Migrant Kids

A sort of moral sickness has gripped this country in the face of the unprecedented number of minors crossing the border in Texas, one that manifests itself in panic, falsehoods, sheer stupidity, and knee-jerk nativist hatred.

In Lawrenceville, Virginia (population 1,300), residents recently pitched a fit when they found out the federal government contracted with a small, shuttered college there to house 500 of the more than 52,000 migrant kids who have been taken into custody by the feds since October.

Never mind that the plan would have pumped much-needed revenue into the town, the residents didn't want any of them dang "illegals" housed nearby their homesteads, so the feds nixed the plan.

I'll remember this should some disaster ever befall that burg so I have an excuse not to contribute to the relief effort.


Some militia crazies and other extremists are threatening to man the Texas-Mexican border to repel the, um, "invasion" of moms, dads, and children fleeing violence and disorder in places such as El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Another Bundy Ranch in the making? Who knows? Sometimes this online wingnut chest-thumping manifests itself in reality. I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before some wack-job hurts a migrant child with his constitutionally protected AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

I say that because I'm beginning to receive e-mails like I did during the height of the Arizona Senate Bill 1070 insanity in 2010, spinning the dark fantasies of their authors.

I debated one guy back and forth via e‑mail until he proffered that violence would be appropriate.

Even toward migrant children, I wondered?

"Yes, to defend my border, I will shoot everything in sight," said this troglodyte.

Hey, as long as you start with yourself . . .

Right-wing outlets traffic in wild conspiracy theories, maintaining that the surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the border was engineered by President Obama as a means to pass long-stalled immigration reform.

Which has got to be one of the singularly dumbest things I've ever read or heard. The current crisis has been no boon to the pro-immigrant movement, that's for sure.

It also did not take place overnight.