By now everyone has heard that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber has decided to end DACA because Obama, amirite? He’s done it in true Pussy Grabber fashion by delegating the announcement to the Rascally Racist, AG Sessions, and delaying the actual end for six months and then immediately blaming Congress for it on Twitter and threatens to “revisit” the issue should Congress fail at legislating it like a common Obama. That thar, friends and neighbors, is real leadership by crackery!
Most of us, as the LA Times notes, recognize it as an act of cruelty. It will expel people from the country who have lived their whole lives here some of them upwards of thirty or more years, some of them with children who are legitimate citizens. It will send people to countries that they are no more familiar with than the average tourist, but this vacation will be rather more permanent, and decidedly less fun. Do these people even have family left in their country of nationality? Do they know anyone there? It’s not like they could’ve visited since returning would’ve been made considerably more complicated by the lack of visas and passports and stuff.
Ending DACA will disrupt the lives of 800,000 people. That’s a good-sized city’s worth of people right there. Not to mention that the Dreamers are not evenly distributed in the population; they tend to be concentrated in areas, you know, certain cities, counties, states, regions. Sure there are people in all parts of the country without proper documentation, but it’s not an even distribution. This exodus will hit some neighborhoods harder than others.
There will be neighborhoods and possibly even entire segments of the economy that will be significantly hurt by this decision. It is of note that many captains of industry are begging the Ol’ Pussy Grabber not to be taking their labor away. It all falls on deaf ears as far as the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is concerned. He’ll Mutt and Jeff us and play Good Cop-Bad Cop with us all day long talking tough and swaggering about like some puffed up caricature of a peacock then doing his best to imitate what he imagines is human empathy and sorrow for the plight of the Dreamers and beg Congress to legalize DACA – he doesn’t realize that Obama’s executive order is a legal act.
Ending DACA as an Act of Violence
But what people have not talked about much is how the ending of DACA and the toying with the Dreamers – isn’t Dreamers a lot nicer name for this group than some of the others that people use? – by threatening to end the program, use their freely given data against them, rounding them up at jobs and schools and courthouses and immigration offices that once used to be safe places is an act of violence.
Social scientists have tried their damndest to define violence, but it has been hard. The problem is satisfying Goldilocks. You know, she don’t like it when it’s too cold, and she don’t like it when it’s too hot; she only likes it when it is just right. And, with violence, that’s the issue. You either define it too narrowly limiting it to only physical harms or too broadly expanding it to include even the slightest upsets.
We can even do violence to a text through a damaging act of editing or exert violence by use of vehement language. You see what I mean. If you include language like fucking idiot son of an idiot as violence, what do you exclude? If we describe the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s ineptitude with the English language as him doing violence to the language, is that the same as one of his supporters sucker punching one of his protesters at one of his rallies?
Violence is like art: You know it when you see it, and most certainly when you feel it.
How would we rate the action of wrenching 800,000 people from their daily lives and tossing them into a situation where they have no means of providing for themselves? Is it fair to describe that as a violence?
Perhaps, it is a princess and a pea-type of problem. Maybe it depends, in part, on how it affects the recipient of the action. Tearing these people from the moorings of their lives that they have built for themselves over the past few years or decades — if you were a Dreamer, would you be capable of surviving in a random country on the globe — and pitching them into a mysterious land where you might not even know the language and only be vaguely familiar with the customs?
That is a traumatizing experience.
Anticipating that possibility is traumatizing.
By actually rounding up people and sending them off to their parent’s country of origin — it would be like taking George Romney (father of Mitt, ex-governor of Michigan and former presidential candidate himself) and shipping him back to Mexico where he was born! Of course, George would have a few million — if he could get access to it — to help him get established. Well, if George weren’t dead and didn’t establish a clear claim to American citizenship through his parents, he could’ve been uprooted from the bleeding Michigan’s governor’s mansion and deported back to Mexico! Ha ha! Such FUN! Such delicious irony, if it only could be…
Categories of Violence
People who study violence have categories of violence, of course they do, you can obfuscate your meaning much more effectively if you have categories and that’s when you make the big bucks as an academic when you obfuscate your meaning. That’s a pro-tip right there, kids, if you aspire to academia.
Those categories are the obvious ones, though: interpersonal, institutional, and structural. It’s funny how institutions and structure induce interpersonal violence. You know like when we gin up a lot of fear and hate because of jihadi terrorist types, and young Muslim college students get gunned down in the streets by a man claiming a parking dispute but always coming at them with a gun down his pants. Or some peaceful turban-wearing Sikhs at their temple gunned down as they hung about the front door by some guy who was ascart of Muslim terrorists… and, we all know, all Muslims are terrorists, like my favorite drunk uncle, Uncle Ingus says.
But, institutional and structural violence don’t even have to be that directly related. Institutional violence include acts that cause harm while occurring in the auspices of social institutions. Hunh? You know like a husband beating the wife and kids in his castle. Or, a man grabbing a woman by the pussy because he’s rich and famous and they’re in his mansion. You know, things that we all say, Yeah, that’s terrible and everything, but what are you going to do? It’s his right to do those things because a house is a man’s castle and everything.
It can also include religious-based terrorism, like the nice Colorado man who was only worried about lil’ poopy-diapered baby Jeebus and other unborned babies and kilt three and injured nine at a Planned Parenthood clinic.
It can also include workplace human rights violations like, you know, grabbing women by the pussy, or proposing sexual relations as a means of resolving workplace conflict, or telling a woman she would look better if she were on her knees. You know, those things are considered acts of violence because of the damage that they do to the psyches of their victims without ever doing any physical harm at all.
Structural violence are those acts that further inequality: policies that promote social ills like dying of disease and injuries that had the victim had full access to medical treatment like from a single healthcare provider, they would’nt’ve died. Or policies that deny old folks free fans in the summer months where old folks regularly die of heat exhaustion because they cannot afford air conditioning. Vote suppressing laws. You know, those laws and policies that help white people maintain their privilege, especially white men.
These are all considered violence of one kind or another because they cause such significant harm to individuals or identifiable groups regardless of physical injury.
It don’t take a drunk genius like my favorite drunk uncle to realize that ending DACA is not only an act of violence, it is an act of savagery. It will inflict such pain and trauma no only onto the Dreamers, but also, onto those who love them and depend on them. I cannot for the life of me think of why anyone would want to do such a thing to a segment of society that contributes so much to the country. It can only be perpetrated by one of such a small mind and cruel heart that they would be described as sadistic and vindictive or a malignant narcissist.