Earning the Name
By Jorge D. H. Prósperi, 2019
The word genocide has an immediate impact upon being spoken, read or heard. The degree of its effect is based on our ethnic, cultural, political, religious and ideological beliefs and experiences; a matter of our personal context and fragile connectedness to the word. The human reverberations can be horrific. The word can also be a matter of general awareness, casual recognition, or absolute denial that the concept should even exist because it never happened.
Genocide is a hybrid word combining the Greek word γένος (“race, people”) and the Latin suffix -caedo (“act of killing”). The word has a coldness about it, impacting the cognitive and affective domains simultaneously. Throughout the world the word deafens. We tend to associate the word and concept as part of the past associated with an evil sociopath who convinced a generation of people that a group of people should be and could be systematically exterminated. The template even had a euphemistic term used by its creators – designers – The Final Solution.
Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew and international lawyer, is said to have invented the word “genocide” during the 1930s during Hitler’s ideological, political and military rise to power, fostering “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” To further affirm the question and the development of the answer, the Nazi hierarchy gathered at the Wannsee Conference in 1942 in order to justify and implement the philosophical, psychological, political, and legal methods of exterminating human beings; all by conscious choice and engineered design.
Just like forced internments, eradicating cultures, forcing relocations – colonialism, slavery and constructing concentration camps – genocide needed a rationale. There had to be some language used for its justification. Once there was agreement on the reasons why extermination was the solution, the planning, organization and engineering needed to be created.
The Wannsee Conference was held on January 20, 1942 organized to coordinate the “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem”. The meeting took place in a Berlin suburb villa.
The conference was given universal exposure by the movie “Conspiracy” (BBC/HBO Films). The names of the conferees are infamous for their absolute mania to Nationalsozialismus. We know it today as White Nationalism. The participants were all highly educated men with specific rankings – leaders of the Nazi government and agencies with credentials depicting responsibility for leadership and with influence of power and control: Lawyer, Deputy Head, Chief of Government, State Secretary, Commander, Foreign Minister, Director of Government Agencies.
Historians and victims remember their names: Wilhelm Stuckart, Friedrich Wilhelm Kritzinger, Gerhard Klopfer, Martin Luther, Heinrich Müller, Josef Bühler, Rudolf Lange, Alfred Meyer, Erich Neumann, Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Himmler’s right-hand man in the SS who began the conference by explaining the meaning and the purpose of the meeting – the vision, mission and guiding principles for the “Solution to the Jewish Problem.”
Waiting in the wings would be the business men who truly believed that in Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Sets You Free). Entrepreneurs who would profit by providing the transportation, barbed wire, cement, ovens, gas lines, the actual Zyklon cyanide-based pesticide used to murder humans. It was a massive national undertaking requiring collaboration by many different constituencies. The camps themselves would become part of the landscape for eternity. All of it was privatized in order to provide jobs and profit. Germany was cleansing itself – becoming great again.
The conference focused on creating horrific policies and processes. The gathering also spoke of the men in power working diligently to justify and implement the horror – normalizing its organization and process.
In time, these constructionists of human terror were held accountable for the horror they left behind. The world was shocked to learn that what rained down on villages near the camps was not snow but human ashes. But time does not forget and history has its own global grand jury to ask critical counter questions demanding uncontrived answers.
What about 2019-2020 fellow Americans? What questions, concepts and ideologies are being developed, affirmed and marketed by the current administration in power and control regarding “solutions” to the so-called “immigrant problem?”
Who are the specific people in power who are meeting by choice and design to engineer such solutions?
Who are the collaborators? Who are the business men and women who profit from the construction and management of such camps?
Who are the congressmen/women and senators who support the inhumane policies overtly and covertly by their silence? Who are the accomplices?
Do the voters who put these people in power own the horror and terror of caging children?
The United Nations Genocide Convention, established in 1948, defines genocide as the intentional, systematic unleashing of cataclysmic acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”, including the systematic harm or killing of its members, deliberately imposing living conditions that seek to “bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”or forcibly transferring children out of the group to another group. These last 10 words give reason for coining a name for the act of horrific terrorism upon the human soul – the separation of children from their parents
So how does a word begin to be associated with an unconscionable ideology, political strategy and conspiracy with the intent of victimizing a group of people by choice and by design? Has America now earned its spurs to be so dishonored? History provides evidence that the separation of children from their families is not a new American phenomenon. The new “no tolerance” policy reflects the same unethical, immoral and deplorable acts of separating children from their families.
Therefore, it is time to acknowledge that the act of consciously separating children from their families be given a proper name by which to historically, socially, psychologically and culturally define, recognize and document its existence. As history tends to do, Separátocide should be associated with those who were directly involved and instrumental in its development and application. Separátocide can now take its dishonorable place among the other insidious social constructs denoting the abuse of power and control.
The word Separátocide ends with the suffix -cide denoting a person or substance that kills or the act of killing. That said, is attaching -cide to separating children from their parents going too far? Who was killed and who caused the death? If we consider death only in physical terms, a case could be made that the children that died during their internment were not directly killed but were victims of the separation process.
Upon the American people beginning to question such policies and processes, the Trump administration scrambled to clarify and justify children suffering in cages fearing pubic outcries of atrocities and inhumanness by well-intended egalitarians. Contrived talking points were provided to refine and/or alter the “zero tolerance” – making adjustments to the horridness – just enough tweaking to keep the “political base” in line.
Focus was deflected using fear mongering – proclamations that the parents were illegals and criminals – not worthy of protection, sanctuary and asylum. A top ICE immigration official went on the congressional record stating that family detention centers are “more like summer camp”. Hope that such camps are good enough for the children of the administration to attend as well.
For most Americans, the “no tolerance” policies of separating children from their parents was not emblematic of what America stood for and contrary to the vision, mission and core values of what Americans believe they are, and teach their children to be. It was unethical, immoral, barbaric, unconscionable, indefensible, inexcusable… inhuman.
The horrific images of traumatized children and desperate parents being forcefully separated and imprisoned in cages left many Americans shocked and empty – beyond sorrow. Many citizens began to recognize the antiquated politicized fraudulent “immigrant question” and turned to the empathy question “What if this was my child?”
For many, the human bond between parent and child goes beyond carnal. To lose a child by force, realizing that the child and parent may never be reunited, is a lingering heinous trauma some would concede is worse than death. It was not only a matter of a separation but a -cide.
END PART I – Go to Part II