New Yorker: “Taking Children From Their Parents is a Form of State Terror”

Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 8.51.04 AMMy family was once on the rough end of America’s immigration law, when faced with the threat of my same-sex spouse having to go back to her country of origin.  Because of DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) LGBT people could not marry with federal immigration rights to sponsor a same-sex spouse to remain in the United Sates. The possibility that I could be separated from my spouse and toddler daughter was simply terrifying. I lived with a feeling of terror – the unknown – as we sloughed through looking for solutions.  We did everything we could to hold our lives together, but it debilitated us at every level of our existence. It was costly and cruel.  That is true persecution!

Since the Obama era, we had attained marriage equality and our federal right to equality in immigration.  I had hoped America had moved forward. I had hoped we were headed for pro-family immigration reform. Yet the pro-life and pro-family platform of the Republican party is a smokescreen, especially when it comes to people of color, who have been targeted for immigration demolition through devolution.

The New Yorker’s Masha Gessen,  a renowned LGBTQ Russian American journalist and activist, compares the Trump administration’s policy of ripping children from the arms of their parents to tactics employed by Putin.

In her latest column she notes, “Hostage-taking is an instrument of terror. Capturing family members, especially children, is a tried-and-true instrument of totalitarian terror. Memoirs of Stalinist terror are full of stories of strong men and women disintegrating when their loved ones are threatened: this is the moment when a person will confess to anything.”

Read excerpts from the column by Masha Gessen below and find the entire piece here:

When my kids were fifteen and twelve, we lived through a period during which the Russian government was threatening to take children away from queer parents, and, specifically, threatening to go after my kids. I sent my son, who is adopted, to boarding school in the United States while the rest of us got ready to emigrate. My biological daughter was less at risk, perhaps even at no risk, and yet the question of whether social services would come knocking sent me into a panic.

One day, about a month and a half before we left Moscow, as I was about to go on a short book trip, my daughter asked what would happen if social services came while I was away. “Will you go crazy?” she asked. I reassured her that a small army of lawyers, activists, and embassy officials stood at the ready and would protect her.

“I know I’ll survive,” she responded dismissively. “I mean, Will you go crazy? Will you lose your mind?”

A twelve-year-old was asking me if I had the mental capacity to survive having my child taken hostage. It was the right question.

Hostage-taking is an instrument of terror. Capturing family members, especially children, is a tried-and-true instrument of totalitarian terror. Memoirs of Stalinist terror are full of stories of strong men and women disintegrating when their loved ones are threatened: this is the moment when a person will confess to anything. The single most searing literary document of Stalinist terror is “Requiem,” a cycle of poems written by Anna Akhmatova while her son, Lev Gumilev, was in prison. But, in the official Soviet imagination, it was the Nazis who tortured adults by torturing children. In “Seventeen Moments of Spring,” a fantastically popular miniseries about a Soviet spy in Nazi Germany, a German officer carries a newborn out into the cold of winter in an effort to compel a confession out of his mother, who is forced to listen to her baby cry.

When my kids were fifteen and twelve, we lived through a period during which the Russian government was threatening to take children away from queer parents, and, specifically, threatening to go after my kids. I sent my son, who is adopted, to boarding school in the United States while the rest of us got ready to emigrate. My biological daughter was less at risk, perhaps even at no risk, and yet the question of whether social services would come knocking sent me into a panic.

One day, about a month and a half before we left Moscow, as I was about to go on a short book trip, my daughter asked what would happen if social services came while I was away. “Will you go crazy?” she asked. I reassured her that a small army of lawyers, activists, and embassy officials stood at the ready and would protect her.

“I know I’ll survive,” she responded dismissively. “I mean, Will you go crazy? Will you lose your mind?”

A twelve-year-old was asking me if I had the mental capacity to survive having my child taken hostage. It was the right question.

Hostage-taking is an instrument of terror. Capturing family members, especially children, is a tried-and-true instrument of totalitarian terror. Memoirs of Stalinist terror are full of stories of strong men and women disintegrating when their loved ones are threatened: this is the moment when a person will confess to anything. The single most searing literary document of Stalinist terror is “Requiem,” a cycle of poems written by Anna Akhmatova while her son, Lev Gumilev, was in prison. But, in the official Soviet imagination, it was the Nazis who tortured adults by torturing children. In “Seventeen Moments of Spring,” a fantastically popular miniseries about a Soviet spy in Nazi Germany, a German officer carries a newborn out into the cold of winter in an effort to compel a confession out of his mother, who is forced to listen to her baby cry.

Before reading Masha’s New Yorker Article I had posted this:

MY Article Here:

Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 8.26.22 AM
https://oblogdee.blog/2018/05/08/th-cruel-america-of-trump-and-sessions-where-children-are-torn-from-loving-parents/

 

AND THIS!

Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 8.35.31 AM
https://oblogdee.blog/2018/05/10/horrific-nazi-tactic-raid-nets-32-fathers-by-ice-agents-in-eastern-iowa/

AND THIS!

Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 8.35.36 AM
https://oblogdee.blog/2018/05/10/icymi-a-family-is-torn-apart-siblings-fight-to-save-their-home-after-their-parents-are-deported/

 

13537741_10209328713390171_8282725518331626905_nMelanie Nathan
My e-mail commissionermnathan@gmail.com
Support our work at African Human Rights Coalition
Check out my shenanigans on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter – @MelanieNathan1
Check out my Instagram: Commissionermelnathan
Visit my Family Law Mediation site: Private Courts
RESIST TRUMP on FACEBOOK
Ask me to Speak: SPEAKER

 


3 thoughts on “New Yorker: “Taking Children From Their Parents is a Form of State Terror”

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Masha Gessen has been sounding the alarm for a while! Let’s learn from her …
    ‘The New Yorker’s Masha Gessen, a renowned LGBTQ Russian American journalist and activist, compares the Drumpf administration’s policy of ripping children from the arms of their parents to tactics employed by Putin.’

  2. Melanie,

    You know there is some debate about whether parents in prison should be separate from their children or allowed to keep them in prison and both sides make equal claims to the higher moral ground.

    But the result you want is not for the parents to keep their children, but to go free and be allowed to break the law and come here – illegally – and be allowed to stay. No one gets to sneak into our country “without the consent of the governed” and be rewarddd for having a baby, likely at the public expense.

    The simplest solution is for the parents to admit their crime and voluntarily go home with their child.

    1. Here is where you are wrong. Most of the people who are undocumented are not breaking the law. There is no crime in outstaying your visa.

      These are people who are victim to a defunct immigration system and thus cannot be expected to get into what is in effect a NON existent l line.

      There is nothing to take the children back to for many because of hardship/ politics/ no life or family back in those countries.

      These people are contributing to America in a way many American born people do not! I could go on….

      What gives the foreign settler of the 1600’s any more rights than these new settlers to America. The only difference is the 1600’s settler already killed off the native population and made laws to preserve America for whites with slaves!

      And if you are speaking about to people who come here for asylum – it IS our law to GRANT asylum under very many circumstances.

      So Jim your idealistic premises are ill founded to my way of thinking and in fact quite immoral too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s