Dear Mike Pence,
I see you. You aren’t always at the forefront, but I still see you. Trump tends to dominate the spotlight, a massive supernova blinding everything in its vicinity. But you’re still there, the silent black hole lurking in the shadows. And just like celestial black holes, you have zero volume and infinite density.
Take this week, for example. You went on a tour of the “facilities” where hundreds (if not thousands) of children, women, and men are being held under the guise of “border protection.” It did not go well for you – and nor should it have.
Contrary to the talking points spewed by you and your overlords, I, like most freethinking non-automatons, am not in favor of open borders. I support appropriate controls to ensure the safety of our country. But that doesn’t mean we abandon our foundational principles: tolerance and compassion, asylum for the persecuted, assistance for those in need, and above all, acknowledging our common humanity. Your tour, which was supposed to refute the widely disseminated reports that your administration is violating every aspect of these principles, only served to confirm our worst fears.
The video speaks for itself:
Your stoniness, your blank, vacuous stare, your blinding callous indifference to the humanity of the men in front of you. You’re no man of God. You’re a wooden imitation of a man, whose strings are pulled by a racist, narcissist Geppetto – with no hope of becoming a real boy, since you’ve abandoned whatever conscience might be your guide, if you ever had one to begin with.
After the tour, you sat down for an interview in which you claimed:
“These families are receiving compassionate care in a proper environment. And I asked every one of those little children, ‘Are you being well taken care of?” and they all looked at me and said yes, ‘Sí.’ And that did my heart good. It made me proud of our Customs and Border Protection.”
I know you don’t believe that. But your disciples do. You staged your main photo op to include primarily unkempt men (who are only that way because of the deplorable — there’s that word again — conditions in which you’re keeping them), intentionally feeding your dogwhistle narrative that the people you’re caging are less-than, other, and, let’s call it for what is is, not white. You fooled no one except the fools who already believe everything you and your puppetmasters say. And they’ll continue to be fooled because they’re immune to facts and truth because those things contradict everything you’ve sold them. They’re in too deep and if they start tugging at the string that maybe, just maybe, the people you’re keeping in cages aren’t monsters and might just be real people with the audacity to strive for better lives for their families, their children, and themselves, then the whole fabric of the wool you’ve pulled over their eyes will unravel. And they’ll be just as horrified as the rest of us are.
We’re not supposed to draw parallels between what you’re doing to people on the border and what the Germans did during World War II. It instantly devolves into name-calling and hyperbole. Your supporters went insane when Representative Ocasio-Cortez called them concentration camps, but it’s impossible not to see echoes of those horrors in your so-called “detention centers.” No matter what you want to call them, they, like their functionally similar forebears (e.g., Japanese American internment camps, German concentration camps, Soviet Gulags, Cuban reconcentrados, British Boer War camps) strip people of their dignity. Each iteration has had vastly different intellectual, political, and philosophical underpinnings, but they all ultimately use the same tactics to destroy the humanity of the people they ensnare.
So yes, I see you, Mike Pence. You speak softly and earnestly and you almost sound genuine. Almost. Except I see you. And you’re a liar and a fraud. As George Orwell wrote in 1984, “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” But I refuse to obey this or any other command from you or those in your regime.
And I’m not alone – which you’ll find out in 2020.
This letter was submitted to the ‘Open Letters’ series. If you would like to contribute by writing a letter of your own, please contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org