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Aberdonians Rally July 12 Against Trump’s Concentration Camps for Children

My Aberdeen neighbors rallied last July against Donald Trump’s gross human rights abuses against immigrant children. Shamefully for our nation, Trump’s child abuse has persisted, crowding children into concentration camps with no real adult care. My Aberdeen neighbors thus must continue to protest this naked disregard for human rights, with an evening vigil planned for Anderson Park on Friday, July 12, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“Lights for Liberty” organizer Dr. Marie Schwab Miller sends this information about the upcoming event:

The “Lights for Liberty” demonstration is a nonpartisan effort and all are welcome to participate who agree that all children are entitled to a basic standard of care that keeps them safe and healthy—adequate food, clean clothing, access to soap and water, suitable accommodations for sleep, and proper supervision by adults, not other children.

Innocent children are not a policy tool, and they should not be so employed. We see the care of children as a humanitarian issue. The vigil is focused on the safety and well-being of children and families. Children should not be imprisoned, and in the awful event they are, we owe them our most determined efforts to assure their well-being. We want to show that we believe America can do better for those seeking safety and opportunity in our country.

The event will begin at 6:00 pm and wrap up at 7:30. All are welcome.

For more information, please contact: Marie Schwab Miller,, 605-380-2255 [Dr. Marie Schwab Miller, press release, 2019.06.27].

We don’t usually spend our Friday evenings speaking up for justice and human rights. Consider this an opportunity to change up your routine… and speak up against the monster we have become under Donald Trump:

“We have what I would call a concentration camp system,” [author Andrea] Pitzer says, “and the definition of that in my book is, mass detention of civilians without trial.”

Historians use a broader definition of concentration camps, as well.

“What’s required is a little bit of demystification of it,” says Waitman Wade Beorn, a Holocaust and genocide studies historian and a lecturer at the University of Virginia. “Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed—at the most basic level—to separate one group of people from another group. Usually, because the majority group, or the creators of the camp, deem the people they’re putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way.”

…In a grotesque formulation of the chicken-and-the-egg conundrum, housing people in these camps furthers their dehumanization.

“There’s this crystallization that happens,” Pitzer says. “The longer they’re there, the worse conditions get. That’s just a universal of camps. They’re overcrowded. We already know from reports that they don’t have enough beds for the numbers that they have. As you see mental health crises and contagious diseases begin to set in, they’ll work to manage the worst of it. [But] then there will be the ability to tag these people as diseased, even if we created [those conditions]. Then we, by creating the camps, try to turn that population into the false image that we [used] to put them in the camps to start with. Over time, the camps will turn those people into what Trump was already saying they are” [Jack Holmes, “An Expert on Concentration Camps Says That’s Exactly What the U.S. Is Running at the Border,” Esquire, 2019.06.13].


  1. happy camper 2019-06-29 09:18

    It really is a national disgrace. The children can’t make decisions for themselves so if our laws say we must hold them we must do so with great care. The situation reminds me a little bit of the SS St. Louis and the Jews nobody wanted, but it’s probably more like Merkel that we have a policy that encourages economic migrants. We need a clear policy and to enforce not hiring those here illegally so they stop coming, but the death of these children was ultimately caused by the parent’s decisions. The Republicans once controlled both houses but did nothing they are just as much to blame the situation is a travesty. That said when reading comments on such places like Yahoo I am shocked by the many who place little value on human life. We need to provide aid to their home countries. Yes, we hit the lottery by being born in this country but that doesn’t make us responsible for conditions in every part of the globe there’s only so much we can do.

  2. happy camper 2019-06-29 09:34

    I meant to link to the story you probably know anyway, but they point out governments feared allowing the Jews would open the flood gates. Two hundred and fifty of those 900 did end up being exterminated although it should have been realized they faced immediate grave danger this is just a very, very ugly gray area of what we can and should do. Children however must be cared for but when we fast forward we can’t say Isreal has done everything fairly for their legal residents and neighbors.
    SS St Louis: The ship of Jewish refugees nobody wanted

  3. mike from iowa 2019-06-29 10:56

    Drumpf isn’t funding them and George Soros, despite all wingnut claims to the contrary, is not funding them.

    I see no difference between these immigrants seeking a new life than our ancestors journey to this hemisphere to make a new life.

    And it isn’t just immigrants dying. Two service members committed suicide near the border in recent days.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-29 11:41

    Hap, I appreciate the complexity of your comment. You recognize the simple moral imperative to take care of children, not just warehouse them like unwanted beasts. You also delve into the more complicated issues behind the existing problem. By failing to enforce employment laws, we leave in place the economic incentive that brings immigrants to our borders. The Republican Party that controlled the legislative process for two years made clear by their inaction that they don’t really want to solve the problem that vexes them. They would rather leave in place a regime that abuses the children who come to our border due to the policies we leave in place.

    I am willing to argue that having lots of policies that encourage people to come to our country aren’t really a problem. Employers seem to agree with me: many of them see nothing wrong with hiring someone from another country, regardless of their legal residency status. Consumers and taxpayers seem to agree with me, too: we all like cheap groceries and filled potholes, so we refuse to get serious about cracking down on those who hire undocumented workers to pick our fruits and veggies and do our construction jobs.

    But no policy argument justifies leaving children in cells, with no adult care, no change of clothes, no toothpaste, and no love. We need to have a serious policy debate, but that debate cannot stand in the way of being decent human beings and taking care of children.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-29 11:55

    it boggles my mind that decent people should compelled by the actions of their government to hit the streets to demonstrate in favor of humane treatment of children.

  6. bearcreekbat 2019-06-29 12:13

    The use of dehumanizing labels and adjectives works wonders in the minds of too many people. Today in the RC Journal there was a 2-cents worth comment complaining that democrats actually thought we should provide medical care to sick people from other countries. Denying medical care to sick people, caging children like animals, breaking up famlies, punishing anyone who offers water to people dying of thirst, among many other atrocities used to be contrary to our fundamental values as a people. But telling ourselves that those harmed are something less than one of us, such as “illegals, illegal immigrants, illegal aliens,” etc, seems to work a moral magic making the denial of help and affirmative infliction of harm a new moral imperative rather than the repugnant conduct of the past.

  7. Roger Cornelius 2019-06-29 14:03

    There are no illegal immigrants on stolen land!!!

  8. cibvet 2019-06-29 14:33

    The dehumanizing labels have and always will be used against others by the weakest of minds. Its used quite successfully in the military to kill other humans without regard to morals or conscience.We are all suggestible to the fact that this can be done, but not everyone has the inferiority complex to apply inferior labels to other humans.Some how the white European has this lock on power that they refuse to share because of the fear that people of color will treat them as they have been treated.

  9. Robin Friday 2019-06-29 15:40

    I used to have a professor whose motto in teaching about building juvenile detention centers for profit was “If you build it, they will come”. (Yes, I know that comes from a movie.) His meaning was if we build them, we have to fill them up, so we will “find” the juveniles to fill for-profit detention centers even if we have to name ordinary kids delinquents, just to prove that more and more capacity is needed.

    The difference between the current atrocity and the foregoing example is that these kids being held in our for-profit jails have been charged with nothing, untried, unconvicted of any guilt. And what’s worse, our tyrannical government will not even allow investigation by our representatives in order to at least BEGIN to right the wrongs.

    “For those of you who are cool lining the pockets of private citizens in DC with YOUR tax dollars while dirty, hungry, sick children live imprisoned and stacked in cages without even a dime of your money going to pay for soap and toothbrushes for these kids like it was supposed to: I’m ashamed to share this country with you as legal citizens, and I think you’re disgustingly dumb. We failed you, too, but at least you got to go to school when you were a kid, and didn’t spend childhood dying in a cage” Emily Price, Living Blue in SD.

  10. Debbo 2019-06-29 15:58

    This is sickening, absolutely sickening! We will never Make America Respected Again until we end the child concentration camps and get these children back with their families ASAP. Nothing in the 66 years of my lifetime has been so profoundly shameful in this country I love deeply.

  11. leslie 2019-06-29 16:55

    Roger, it strikes me as the entire climate danger burden and the necessary immediate pivot needed right now from fossil fuels, has been placed intentionally on the backs of our Lakota friends and neighbors. Canada and the Kochs mad dash to dig up tar sands and pipe them under Mni Wiconi to US refineries further south, rests on the Native American people to stop in in the wasicu courts at tremendous expense and stress.

    A Malicious conspiracy by everyone cashing in before Congressional power can be harnessed for the rest of the world’s benefit, to stop it.

    No different than Grant’s Indian Agent declaring Indians “HOSTILE” so the war department could wreak revenge for wiping out Custer’s attack. History repeats.

  12. Roger Cornelius 2019-06-30 19:48


    It is not, “what are we becoming”, it is “what have we become”.

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