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Letters to the Editor, June 22 - 25

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Speaking out

EDITOR: With sincere apologies to the late Rev. Martin Niemöller, a German pastor:

First they came for the Undocumented, and I did not speak out –

Because I was not Undocumented.

Then they imprisoned the Refugees, and I did not speak out –

Because I was not a Refugee.

Then they put the Children in the camps, and I did not speak out –

Because they were not my Children.

And then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

Incredibly it has begun again, this time on American soil by order of an American President. As the Confederacy once justified slavery, his Attorney General cites the Bible to justify a policy of deliberately terrorizing desperate asylum-seekers fleeing persecution by imprisoning them and taking away their children.

The Republican Party, which controls both houses of Congress and the impeachment process, refuses to lift a finger to stop it. Apparently — as was infamously claimed at Nuremberg by those who carried out the Holocaust — they are “just following orders.”

For every Republican seeking elective office — be it the presidency, Congress, governor, board of supervisors, school board, city council or dogcatcher — may this November and every November loom like the specter of Nuremberg.

Bob Edwards

Sonoma

Childhood memories of bayonets in the sun

EDITOR: Watching the separation of children from families by the Trump Administration brings memories from my childhood.

In 1938 and ‘39 newsreels at San Francisco’s Irving Theater on Saturday afternoons, adults and children were shown on the screen being taken to camps where they were separated.

Seated in the back of my parents’ car in 1942, as we passed Tanforan Racetrack on El Camino Real (now a shopping center) I shall never forget seeing helmeted American soldiers guarding the racetrack with fixed bayonets that reflected in the sun. They were guarding American citizens of Japanese ancestry who had been involuntarily removed from their homes and herded into the horse stables. They were waiting to be transported to camps for the duration of WWII.

Those images have never left me. Later a program titled, “It Can’t Happen Here,” raised questions about whether the U.S. could become a totalitarian nation. Well, yes, it is happening here!

What are we going to do about it?

Tom Martin

Sonoma

America, the land of ‘just about anything’

EDITOR: What does it take to vibrate the American attention waveband? Does wresting babies and toddlers away from their mothers not do it? What then, incarceration camps for asylum seekers and jails for their kids? Mandatory labor while in custody? Why not? If we can take and confine their children, we can do just about anything.

This should not stand. I don’t believe any American parent would subject their children to this, despite political differences. Only a depraved and soulless being would separate children from parents or support this very deliberate and calculated cruelty. Congrats Trump and Sessions, you’ve joined the ranks of Stalin, the Khmer Rouge, Saddam Hussein and Hitler.

The judgment at Nuremberg was the condemnation of the world for atrocities committed in the name of “we were only following orders.” This evil still exists and we’ve only to look to our borders to see its reality. Is this the country we want for our children? Is this what we’ll celebrate on July 4?

Will Shonbrun

Boyes Springs