Everything about this picture is a lie. The frame, the context, the substance. The girl was not separated from her mother. Her mother separated herself from her three other children in an attempt to regain illegal entry after being deported in 2013. Yelena was taken from her father without his permission to be used as a ticket to cross the border.
These children are not refugees, not in custody, and not confined to a dog kennel. This tableau is political theater, staged for a pro-immigration rally.
This photo was taken during the Obama administration.
Suddenly the Media Class are virgins. Until last week apparently no one knew how babies were made.
We now pretend we never had a Border Patrol. We wail as though the tangled web of immigration enforcement hasn’t been operating like this for decades. As though the particular wrinkle of separating minors from parents (the Flores agreement) wasn’t the consequence of ACLU litigation going back to Reagan.
In Brentwood no one wants to bend over and pick up their socks, but we are obsessed with detention centers. We are in ecstasies of sanctimony about them.
Cable TV is now nothing but people exhausting synonyms for atrocity, clicking their soundbites of outrage like castanets. Because the world began five minutes ago. Because Trump. Behold the horror™.
This is not a war over memory. This is a war over who gets to call whom an asshole. For there are now two American populations: The Anointed, who have a very big megaphone, and their basket of Deplorables, i.e., the Rest of US, who get to vote every couple years.
Here, in my beloved Van Nuys, peasants are locked into storage containers without plumbing until their families settle with the coyotes. Landlords exact tribute from women for the keys to a first apartment. Shift supervisors exact tribute from women as the gateway to a first paycheck. Brokers troll the Home Depot parking lot soliciting cash kickbacks from day laborers in exchange for a place on the truck, in scenes straight out of On The Waterfront. I have witnessed this.
Just behind the veneer of $600,000 single-family homes are second families living on the down low in converted garages without heat or ventilation. Tool sheds are pressed into use as casitas where laborers sleep in shifts. People sell their wares on the sidewalk. This is our new normal. Into these feral arrangements the Anointed propose to deposit a fresh stream of undocumented people of unlimited number.
In Marxist terms, who benefits? The people living in campers parked on Bessemer St.?
How about people living out of dumpsters?
Or utilizing baby strollers as pushcarts for can collecting?
Or the Off-Ramp Dispossessed?
On the other hand, how about the guy who owns the bungalow with a four unit add-on?
Or the local gentry?
Trump if nothing else has proven to be the Great Clarifier. In their zeal to denounce, people have revealed themselves. To quote the activist mob who hounded the DHS secretary out of a restaurant: “No borders! No walls! No one is legal!” Okay, then. Now we know.
We have on our hands a reverse election. The Anointed, having deemed les deplorables insensible to reason, has determined to dissolve the public and replace it with a fresh population. One which owes them.
All the Van Nuys pictures are true. They are taken within a mile of my house.
Except this one, from Boyle Heights, ground zero of the anti-gentrification movement. Los Angeles contains ironies within ironies. It is an animal like no other.