We Shot Tear Gas at Children at the Border Again and America Yawned

This is how quickly atrocity becomes mundane.
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SOURCE: Mohammed Salem/Reuters via CNN

SOURCE: Mohammed Salem/Reuters via CNN

Back in November, the country (rightfully) lost its collective mind over images of the United States border agents firing tear gas at children. The Trump regime had to go into full spin mode to do damage control and Fox News spent weeks justifying the use of chemical weapons against children.

But that kind of outrage was so 2018.

American border officers sent tear gas into Mexico early Tuesday to drive away about 150 migrants trying to cross the border into the United States, the authorities said.

That would be Tuesday of this week.

In its account, Customs and Border Protection said that “no agents witnessed any of the migrants at the fence line, including children, experiencing effects of the chemical agents, which were targeted at the rock throwers.”

Allegedly, the tear gas was not fired until after rocks were thrown but reporters at the scene say the rocks were launched in response to the tear gas. Considering the current lack of a relationship with the truth the Trump regime and CBP has, they no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt. If it hadn't been for the photographic evidence from the last time, it's guaranteed they'd be claiming no children were harmed in either instance. Just as an aside, this is why authoritarian governments hate a free press. It's much easier to commit crimes against humanity when there are no witnesses to tell the story.

Aside from the obvious cruelty of the Trump regime, look around you. Did you notice anyone freaking out over the fact that we are still using chemical weapons on children at the border? Did you even know this had happened? I write about the news for a living and I completely missed it and I've barely heard anything about it since then.

This is how quickly atrocity becomes mundane.

We all have our excuses. Maybe we were hungover from New Year's Eve. Maybe we were working. Maybe we were stressed out over the government shutdown (my excuse). I imagine a good number of people saw the headlines on social media and assumed that they were reposts from two months ago. I know I did at first. 

But, really, the harsh truth is that we don't care as much as we did the last time because we adapt to horror. It's both our greatest gift as humans and our greatest curse. It allows us to survive through the most trying of ordeals but it also allows us to accept nightmares as normal.

We are on a slippery road and the incline grows steeper with each passing day Trump enables the monsters under his command to act out their hate without consequence. If we're to pull back from the brink, one of the top priorities for the Democrat who replaces Trump in 2021 has to have is to root out the white nationalism and fascism in our government. ICE and CBP have been infested with the kind of hate that cannot be allowed to continue to grow unchecked. One of Obama's many mistakes was not addressing this when he had the chance and that's an error we cannot repeat or the next time a Republican manages to worm their way into power, it won't be tear gas they shoot at refugee children, it will be bullets. 

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