By now you’ve heard that the Federal government has officially rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Signed into law via Executive Order by President Barack Obama, and more commonly known as DACA, this program has protected some 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation. These young men and women, colloquially known as Dreamers, who were illegally brought here by their parents, are being threatened with the possibility of being sent “back home” to countries some have never stepped foot in. I know this is a hard concept for some of y’all to grasp so let me phrase this in terms you’ll understand.
You know when an angry, hateful white person tells a black person that if they don’t like (insert whatever thing said black person doesn’t like) they can “go back to Africa.” Well, imagine if that wasn’t an empty threat and black people were being sent to the continent of Africa. While this may be a Neo-Nazi wet dream, it would be a literal nightmare for 97 percent of the black people in the United States. Not because we think of Africa as some unbearable hellhole but because we literally don’t know anything about Africa.
I’ll use myself as an example. Ignoring the idiocy of going “back” to a place I’ve never actually been, where exactly the heck would I go? There are 54 countries in Africa; which one of them would I make my home? Oh, and like many of the Dreamers who are about to have their life rocked by this DACA decision, I only speak English. Which sucks because there are between 1,250 to 2,100 recognized languages spoken in Africa. My mind is melting just thinking about trying to learn one of 1,000 languages I’ve never heard. That hellish hypothetical situation is about to become the real life story for nearly one million people.
I’m heartbroken over this soon-to-be reality but, more than that, I’m pissed off because this did not have to happen. This could have been completely avoided if it weren’t for the inactions of moderates. In my opinion, this is as much their fault as it is Donald Trump’s.
More than enough warnings signs were evident during the presidential campaign cycle that indicated something like this could most definitely happen. Signs that tickled the Spidey senses of almost every person of color, gay person, and self-aware white person in this country. Yet, the moderate chose not to move. We told you that this dude was one bad hombre because we saw his discriminatory housing practices in New York. We said, aloud, “What would stop him from doing that if he became President of the United States?” The moderates shrugged, essentially saying, “not my problem.”
When Trump called Mexicans rapists and criminals in an effort to justify his desire to build a 2,000 mile wall on the border, we said that this man was super racist and that his rhetoric was going to embolden other racist people. Yet, the moderates were not compelled to move. We thought for sure that whole “grab ’em by the pussy” thing was going to get everyone’s attention, but nope, nothing happened. So now, here we are.
In all honesty, this article isn’t really about DACA. I mean, I stand by my assertion that what’s happening is a travesty, but what really bothers me is how this was allowed to become a thing in the first place. The appalling apathy from moderates (specifically white moderates) is what paved the way for DACA to get snipped in the first place. And their amazing ability to sit on the sidelines is what’s going to enable this administration to keep on trucking.
That lassitude, even when faced with the possibility of Donald Trump as President, happened because of two words: white privilege. What else could keep them from taking action, regardless of what has been going on around them for the last two years, other than the warm feeling of believing that even if Trump won, they’d be alright?
I’m sure white moderates believed that Trump’s tyranny would have no effect on them if they continued to keep their head down and mind their own business. But now? With each passing day, that comfortable seat of privilege, is getting increasingly uncomfortable. Losing their health insurance was a real possibility. A white woman, who would not stay silent in the face of Trump’s white supremacy dog-whistling, lost her life by getting run over by a car. Now, with DACA being removed, the seat just got 10 degrees hotter.
In my opinion, the reason why this DACA thing is going to make moderates’ inaction hard to stomach is because unlike the derping Donald fanboys who actually believe that illegal aliens are stealing jobs from “real Americans,” the moderate knows better. The moderate knows that their kid’s middle school teacher might get deported over this bullshit. They know their next door neighbor, their personal trainer, the landscaper, and the owner of that cute taco truck they hit up every Tuesday, are all now susceptible to a forced deportation that should have never had the opportunity to happen in the first place.
In any failed relationship, the day it ends isn’t the first day that trouble started. The day the relationship ends is just the day that the neglected party decided they couldn’t take any more mistreatment. The moderate has gleefully had their head in the clouds their entire lives, while cracking open a cold brew of Diet Obliviousness, believing that if (insert group) would just comply and work hard, they too could experience the great American lifestyle. But nine months into this administration, the moderate is finding out that everyone doesn’t have the sweet cover of whiteness to shield them from certain atrocities. Like being deported from the only home you’ve ever known.