There is this comforting fiction that a lot of Americans have about the Holocaust, and it has to do with ignorance. It’s generally perceived that we simply didn’t know the true horrors of Nazi Germany until the camps were liberated. Of course, if we had known the evils being perpetuated we would have come sooner.

That is high bullshit meant to preserve our innocence and image of ourselves as the eternal good guys. Americans knew about the inhuman treatment of the Jews and other classes in Germany long before the attack on Pearl Harbor sent us to war. For example, there was a protest that brought out 20,000 people in New York regarding Jewish persecution in Hitler’s administration. Newspapers across the country frequently carried stories on the Holocaust, even on the front page. Our ignorance of the past is a construct of a guilty present bequeathed to our children as an alternate reality future.

Speaking of concentration camps…

The federal government is looking to lease a baby jail for detained immigrant children in EaDo (east downtown Houston for the out-of-towners). I’d give you more facts, but honestly the whole things sums up as well as it horrifies. All those children over border-crossers being heartbreakingly separated from their parents have to go somewhere. Apparently the feds think a city once nicknamed “The Big Heart” for our welcome of Hurricane Katrina refugees is the perfect spot for their grim gulag.

State Senator Sylvia Garcia issued the following statement in reaction:

“Now is the time to gather together to stop this baby jail before a single child seeking refuge is locked up in our city. The Trump administration has made it clear that it will rip children away from their parents despite legal and child development experts telling them that it is unnecessary and known to cause lifelong harm. No law requires this. Humanity demands compassion. We must say as a community with one voice that jailing children away from their parents is wrong, it should not happen anywhere, and we as Houstonians will not allow it to happen here. Not now. Not ever.”

And Mayor Sylvester Turner added…

“You can’t hurt them to try to make some grander statement, to say ‘if you get here we are going to strip your kids away.’ That’s not who we are. I don’t want a facility in the city housing these kids that have been separated.”

That last one was covered by KTRK, and their Facebook page has been harder to look at than an infected wound. It seems to be an endless stream of well-coifed, middle-aged white ladies with Jesus-themed profile pics insisting that this is all just a matter of law. There is an intractable certainty in these commenters about how everything that is happening now is unworthy of outrage or concern. It is the same soil that a previous generation planted their poison tree in that kept us from interfering in the greatest atrocity of the last century.

I’m not here to argue with those people. They did not arrive at their opinions from a place of knowledge. Pointing out hypocrisies or factual inaccuracies is like trying to measure length with a scale. The fault is in the application, not the tool.

What drives them is fear, complacency and entitlement. Those are the catalysts that allow them to see photos of young children ripped from their parents’ and hear them wail as an agent jokingly refers to it as an orchestra and call it something good to be. It’s an unholy trinity that makes a barbed-wire crib in our city seem like at least something worth considering and definitely worth chiding liberals for being upset over.

Fear. Complacency. Entitlement. That’s how evil gets its big girl panties on.

Those are the things that we have to fight. Conversion is not birthed by knowledge; otherwise there would be no addicts. Conversion comes only from a place of surrender, and true surrender comes only from a place where life is unmanageable.

Hating on immigrants, even small children who have done nothing wrong or even of their own volition, doesn’t make very many people uncomfortable. Heck, it was a core position of the current president as a campaign slogan. The hate that makes Das Kinder Kamp seem reasonable costs them nothing.

Make it cost. Do not let friends, family, employees or even strangers express their support for this baby jail freely. Condemn them, and do it loud so that others can hear you. Do not suffer the persecution, theft and miscare of children within the reach of your arm. Every passing comment or remark that celebrates or even excuses the current policy of separating children from their parents needs to be met with acidic scorn and condemnation.

Make them uncomfortable. Remove their entitlement to their opinion without consequences. If possible, make them afraid to speak. It is the only language they understand. They have no data on their side because if they did they could not possibly see good in what is happening. Their ideas include a freakin’ baby jail. They have forfeited their right to be taken in good faith. Entertaining this as a debate between equal sides is the road to Hell.

I don’t want to look back on 2018 and the images that will be part of future documentaries and say, “shutting down bigots made me too anxious.” Neither should any decent person. Let’s stop this before we have to lie about why we didn’t do something.

If you want to help in other ways, here is a handy list of organizations taking donations: https://www.today.com/parents/how-help-immigrant-children-separated-families-t129923