Wow, if you really want the wingnuts to show their colors, call them on their cultural war against the brown skinned. It's impolite, I guess, to point out what Tom Schaller has demonstrated through the research, that the GOP is now very clearly and distinctly the party of the old Secessionist South, and that the driving, deciding factor in Southern, conservative, white GOP voting patterns is racial animus.
Anyway, yesterday's post set off quite the firestorm among the Christmas cultural warrior orcs, principally howling over the application of the term "concentration camp." I appended a little helpful Cliff's Notes for them at the end of my post yesterday, but I'll let my good friend Lambert at Correntewire help them out some more:
Incidentally, if I’d meant “death camp,” I would have said “death camp.” See wikipedia (sorry, CD):
In the English-speaking world, the term “concentration camp” was first used to describe camps operated by the British in South Africa during the 1899-1902 Second Boer War. Allegedly conceived as a form of humanitarian aid to the families whose farms had been destroyed in the fighting, the camps were used to confine and control large numbers of civilians as part of a Scorched Earth tactic.
It took the Imperial Brits to invent the concentration camp; it took the Nazis to turn concentration camps into little hells; but it takes a Republican to privatize them. Sweet Jeebus…
Moreover (I can't make this up), something calling itself "Voice of Reason" came by our blog yesterday to say, "Second, concentration camps would be too good for these invaders. Yes they are invaders. If we can invade Iraq with 150,000 troops, the US can be invaded by 1 million or more illegal aliens per year. If that is not a invasion, I don’t know what is." Um, yeah. Thanks for making my point for me, there, "Voice of Reason." Please take your meds, then report to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
And what of Corrections Corporation of America? Latina Lista has the scoop on how big this 1.3 billion dollar in sales company is, so successful in Bush's post-habeas corpus America that it's been named by Forbes Magazine as one of "The 400 Best Big Companies in America." Nice work putting children and families behind barbed wire, eh? Sing it with me, "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free."
And speaking of the children, not everyone in America is unmoved by their plight. This article comes to me from a reader in Kansas via email (emphasis added):
Meatpacking raids: Children left behind get help
By Tim Vandenack
The Hutchinson News DODGE CITY – When she first learned of the arrests last week of nearly 1,300 meatpackers suspected of being in the United States illegally, Norma Madrid-Gomez's thoughts immediately turned to the children of those workers.
"I couldn't sleep or anything," the Dodge City mother of three said.
Though the treatment of the workers – nabbed in a series of raids last week by immigration authorities – sparked her ire, foremost among her worries was what would become of the children whose parents had been detained.
That set off a fury of phone calls, culminating this week with the delivery of $21,274 in funds and a cattle truck full of aid – all of it from southwest Kansas donors – to help the children of those arrested in Cactus, Texas.
Cactus, a Panhandle city some 180 miles southwest of Dodge City, is home to one of six Swift & Co. meatpacking plants targeted in the Dec. 12 raids.
"They've generated more warmth in their hearts than the Texas Panhandle has," said Orlando Gajardo, spokesman for St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Dumas, Texas, which is spearheading efforts to help the affected Cactus children, who number around 160 and are overwhelmingly U.S. born.
"These kids are being saved because of the generosity of the southwest Kansas area," he said.
Still, that doesn't end the matter.
Some of the children potentially face legal separation from their detained parents if relatives, friends and others don't step in soon and formally take over guardianship, Gajardo says. St. Peter and Paul officials and others are scrambling to avoid such a development and Gajardo says they have until January.
"We do not want these kids to be split up. We don't want siblings split up. We want them to be back with their parents," Gajardo said.
Accordingly, when those leading the southwest Kansas fundraising drive sought donors – largely from the Hispanic community – they had little trouble generating assistance. The effort, which also involved the Catholic parishes in Dodge City, Garden City and Liberal, started late last week and lasted over the weekend.
One tearful 7-year-old girl visited the Garden City studios of La Nueva, a Spanish-language radio station that made calls for donations, to give up a few toys for the Catcus kids.
"She was crying because they didn't have their parents," said Ernesto Hinojosa, a La Nueva deejay.
Father Ted Skalsky of Dodge City's Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe said none of the monetary donations exceeded $100 and many were just $5 or $10, a testament to the mass of people who pitched in. Among the other donations were clothes, diapers, food, blankets and Christmas presents – enough to fill a 24-foot cattle trailer.
Note to the wingnuts: these people helping the families you've put in your concentration camps are living the spirit of Christmas. Why are you waging a racist cultural war on Christmas? If you believe God came to earth in the form of a child as a gift to the world, what does that make you, when you put swaddling babes and their mothers in Christmas concentration camps?
Finally, I had missed these other excellent links on the story. Here's a couple from our good friend Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report, one from yesterday and one from last week. Digby weighed in on this yesterday as well. Common Dreams has more.
UPDATE on Relief Efforts: They all appear to be very grassroots and local. Here's one, via ck in the comments:
Info from a Square State diary –
How you can support workers and their families Coloradans that wish to support the SWIFT workers and families who have been separated and left without income can make a donation payable to:
“Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church” with “fund for families affected by ICE” in the memo-line.
Mail to: Our Lady of Peace; Att: Rev. Bernard Schmitz; 1311 Third Street Greeley, CO 80631. Phone: 970.353.1747. Your contribution will go towards emergency rent and food expenses.
Link to the Colorado for Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) Website