So, two days before President Joe Biden was scheduled to speak to the United Nations General Assembly, U.S. Border Patrol agents ride horseback into a crowd of Haitian immigrants, wielding their reins as if whips to disperse them.
The next day, White House press secretary Jen Psaki called video evidence that resembles Cossacks riding down dissenters “horrific.”
She continued: “ I can’t imagine what context would make that appropriate, but I don’t have additional details, and certainly I don’t have additional context. I don’t think anyone seeing that footage would think it was acceptable or appropriate.”
And two days later, just prior to Biden’s speech, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas echoed Psaki in an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar: “I was horrified by what I saw. I’m going to let the investigation run its course. But the pictures that I observed troubled me profoundly. That defies all of the values that we seek to instill in our people.”
Reports of individual agent brutality surfaced regularly under the inhumane policies of the previous administration. Evidently that attitude found fertile ground among some agents – and at least one supervisor – who thought it a good look to have U.S. agents terrorizing desperate Black people
We might conjecture that someone was trying to embarrass the president, either unaware or uncaring of the stain it paints on our international reputation. But, that represents the fascist view of nationalism.
I do find it perplexing that more than 13,000 Haitians managed to arrive on the Texas border. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, a land of some of the most destitute people in the world, a land rocked regularly by earthquakes and hurricanes that obliterate what progress Haitians make in the interims. How could so many of these folks manage to get off the island in order to arrive at Del Rio?
Hondurans can just start walking northward. But, as many a free-swinging Caribbean baseball player has opined, “You can’t walk off the island.” Human trafficking coyotes don’t work for free. Boats require fuel. This appears to have been a mini-Dunkirk evacuation. Just wondering how it was funded.
(Duncan resident Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party.)