Trump and the Smallpox Blankets

UPDATED BELOW

Trump wants to drop off southern border detainees in “Sanctuary Cities.” And no one even blinks. Just another crazy news story in another crazy news cycle.  beg to differ. This is one of the most horrific and consequential acts of an already horrific and consequential presi-dfunce-y thus far. And we would do well to cultivate our outrage.

Trump’s plan to send migrant detainees to sanctuary cities draws concerns about cost, legality
Maria Sacchetti / Washington Post

—  Should President Trump follow through on a proposal to release migrants in U.S. “sanctuary cities,” it would be a major departure from the way federal agencies are handling detainees.

THERE’s some outrage, eh?

One of the most enthusiastically embraced and yet historically undocumented tropes in American history is the “smallpox blankets” tale of early biological warfare against Native Americans by the British, but, as is so often the case nowadays, the outrage is far more important than whether it actually happened or not, and, without rendering any historical verdict, the trope itself is valuable here.

Donald J. Trump has, from the very beginning, characterized those attempting to cross our southern border, whether to cross, or to seek LEGAL asylum as rapists, criminals, murderers, gang members, drug dealers, (Middle Eastern) terrorists, and criminals. He has even conflated the brown skin of ISIL with the brown skin of “Mexican Countries” — to quote Fox “News” — as no one ever notes that more than half of all illegal immigrants and stayovers in this country DON’T come from Mexico, Central America or South America.

Racism knows no reason, but it DOES know code, and the “illegal immigrants” code stands for hatred of “Messicans” and NOT unlawful immigration. You don’t see any attempts to build a border wall with Canada, do you?

So: let’s take Donald J. Trump at his word: All Latinos at the southern border are criminals and terrorists.

This is vitally important. Take a moment to adjust your thinking cap.

Got it? Good.

What Trump therefore proposes — in Trump’s own warped view of the world — is that we dump terrorists and drug dealers,  rapists and murderers, and criminals of all persuasions in American cities as a “punishment” for their “sanctuary” status.

No lip service is given to the fact that many police departments (as, for example Portland, Oregon) believe that CRIMES committed in their jurisdictions are better suppressed by a full community who feel safe in reporting crimes, rather than being deported for reporting or giving evidence to help curb them.  This seems entirely too practical a consideration for most journalists to deign to mention, so we return to smallp0x blankets.

Conflation of two entirely separate events, smallpox and Amherst’s
infamous letter suggesting the BRITISH use of blankets in 1763. 
via pinterest

Donald J. Trump proposes dumping smallpox blankets in any “sanctuary city” that has offended his delicate racist sensibilities.

Does that outrage you at all, or has the constant heating of the pot put poor froggy to sleep as froggie slowly boils to death — another trope without a lot of evidence, but with an equal amount of metaphorical belief?

The so-called ‘president’ of the United States of America has proposed homicidal revenge on his political opponents via mass punishment (a violati0n of the Geneva Conventions, as Israel regularly and cavalierly ignores). This may not be a war crime, but it is not only unprecedented, but an act of viciousness and barbarity seldom seen in American history. Much like smallpox blankets.

In this case, however, there is clear and compelling evidence of it, as Trump has, in reaction to Washington Post reporting that he had considered this barbaric, m0nstrous and yes, evil course of action, happily confirmed and even repeated the horrific proposal, acting as though he might follow through on it.

And the pundits shake their hoary heads and pooh-pooh it.  Because to accept the full gravity of what Trump is saying might seem unthinkable.

Really?

If there’s any lesson of history, it is that the unthinkable ofttimes becomes policy.

One step from suggesting that we throw Jews in ovens, but no one is outraged?

Personalize it: Trump wants you (pretending that you are NOT in favor of “sanctuary” status, a fictionalized generalization that covers a wide range of civic ordinances, please note) to experience:  the rape of your significant other, the murder of your children and friends, the destruction of great landmarks in your city with great loss of human life, the importation of Mexican gang activity and drugs, etc. etc. etc.  ALL BECAUSE your city council or county commission has — for, in many cases, eminently pragmatic reasons — failed to live up to the hatred of brown-skinned Latinos that Donald J. Trump exhibits with his every verbal flatulation, seemingly.

Where is America’s outrage? I know Trump has been wearying, but this?!??

This is, make no mistake, an attempt to introduce violent criminality and terrorism into any American city that disagrees with Our Leader (sounds better in the Original German). That is monstrous. And the lack of outrage over this monstrosity is frightening.

Trump wants to dump smallpox blankets on his opponents.

React as you will.

THIS is keeping Americans safe?

Remember: there WAS no crisis at the southern border. Illgal crossings were at a multi-decade low. Now there’s a crisis, almost entirely of Trump’s making. He has sent troops to the border. He has shut down the government for the longest period in US history and not achieved his tantrum’s aims. Increasingly his policy based on scapegoating and racial hatred is entirely conducted by tantrum. And therein lies the very real danger. There is, thus far, no restraint on his toddleresque tantrums.

You ought to be scared, else you’ve been in a coma –, and in the latter case, welcome back, I realize that this seems like a hallucination, but it is, alas, real.

And, while we’re on the subject, let me clarify what I opened this posting with, that you might, after expressing appropriate outrage, want to read up on “smallpox blankets” (via history dot com):

For all the outrage the account has stirred over the years, there’s only one clearly documented instance of a colonial attempt to spread smallpox during the war, and oddly, Amherst probably didn’t have anything to do with it. There’s also no clear historical verdict on whether the biological attack even worked…

And see The Straight Dope for more. (Note that while we have Amherst’s letters, we have no proof that he managed to carry out his vile intent in the single documented instance that we have — even though the notion is accepted as gospel in many camps.)

Which is far more questionable than Trump’s announced intention to bus violent criminals into American cities, note. There’s ZERO question about the latter.

The wheels are coming off of American democracy.

I invariably end with this, but this case requires it more than ever before:

Courage.

UPDATE:

Trump felt that I didn’t have explicit enough examples, I guess, so he obligingly just provided this:

Click for original.

 

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Trump and the Smallpox Blankets

  1. jim

    Seems like about once a week tDrump crosses another line that makes my blood BOIL. I can’t even talk to a tDrump supporter now without wondering just WHY!
    Bigotry seems to be a popular and soon fatal trait to us so-called human beings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pat greeley

    now let’s have NYC declared sanctuary with explicit directions to trump tower

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pamela Culpepper

    Why is it that a South American country can raise the price of a bus fare 10 cents and major riots ensue, while in this country we shrug and carry on. This immigration crisis was created by POTUS as meat for his base. The media is not doing a good enough job in outlining that fact. There should be headlines every day screaming about it.

    Liked by 1 person