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This is who we have always been

Guest Column

One of my most admired professors frequently ended his lectures with a quotation that his students would ponder. One quotation that has remained with me throughout my life has been: “Silence gives consent.”

In view of the recent discourse regarding the separation of children from caring adult illegal immigrants, the sheer terror in the eyes of these children as well as their screams of the separation is reminiscent for me of when the box cars were unlocked at Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Chelmno, Auschwitz and Majdanek. At these camps, Vernichtungslager/Todeslager, was the resplendent Schutztaffel (SS) Officer separating mothers and children immediately for gassing; those who could work; those who would be candidates for medical experimentation and so on.

I hear the same excuses as was prosaic then as now: “I am just doing my job. … It has to be done. … These individuals are undesirables. … I have my orders. … et cetera.”

Congressman Cummings, did we not use “concentration camps,” in our attempted total genocide of Native Born Americans? Did we not use concentration camps in the forced relocation and incarceration of American Japanese and to a lesser degree German Americans in whatever euphemistic term one would chose to describe concentration camps? The Japanese upon relocation were forced to build their own housing units.

Congressman Cummings, Israel is promulgating genocide in the Gaza Strip. Congressman, 15 of the 19 highjackers were Saudi. Women continue to be executed for sorcery in their kingdom. “There we go but for the grace of oil.” Sir, genocide is occurring all over the world. With genocide, the children are the first to go. Now pray tell, children are being torn from their mother’s arms in the United States of America?!!!! Has anyone, other than the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, considered the irreparable harm that is being done to these children and to the vicious and formidable assault upon their family unit? The family is the principal institution for the socialization of children.

Now let me get this straight. Elected extant United States Senators are refused admittance to these facilities. If not United States Senators, then who? For SHAME!!!

Ms. Gayle King, these illegal immigrants are being placed in “cages.” Please do not allow individuals to tell you otherwise.

Sixty-five years ago, Susan E. Kelley my great aunt babysat James and Barry Bryant, the latter being my late brother. Aunt Susan made the statement: “James and Barry, as soon as my grandmother had children, they were taken taken away from her.” My late mother replied tersely, “We do not want to talk about that.”

In growing up, only then did I realize Aunt Susan was attempting to inform her great nephews of our family history. Granma Kirkpatrick was a “breeding slave.” Even though these stolen children would “come back” and participate in family reunions, I can only imagine the terror and abuse they must have endured. Plantations (detention camps) facilitated masters, both black and white, selling their progeny to settle debts. How simplistic the reasoning given for separating these children: “Any individual arrested is separated from children at time of arrest.”

Why am I writing this?

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — necause I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemoller


James Bryant, Jr. is a resident of San Marcos