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Slavery

Source: Jupiterimages / Getty

By: Solomon Jones

On Tuesday, as we commemorated Juneteenth, the day that enslaved Africans in Texas learned that the Emancipation Proclamation had freed them, should have been reflecting on freedom. Instead, I was seeing images of caged brown children crying out for their parents, and listening to government officials trying to justify this cruelty. I was witnessing a replay of the suffering of black children who were snatched from their parents with the blessing of America’s government.

That’s because the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy — which has resulted in nearly 2,000 immigrant children being separated from their parents over six weeks in April and May — seeks to dehumanize brown undocumented families in the same way slavery devalued the families of the enslaved.

The Trump administration says the law forces them to separate families at the border. But that’s not true. The Trump administration takes children from parents because they want to.

Looking at the images of undocumented children being held in cages is like looking at a physical manifestation of experiences I’ve only read about in slave narratives.

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