Ignoring another attack

Our congressman, Bill Flores, recently held a series of virtual meetings with constituents and sent out a report. He also conducted a survey to ask respondents to rate various issues. From his report and survey questions, it appears he missed the primary message that the Mueller Report and Mr. Mueller himself delivered in congressional testimony: The Russians (and perhaps others) interfered with our 2016 election and are working right now to interfere with the 2020 election.

There are none so blind as those who will not see. Or to quote the Bible, Jeremiah 5:21: “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.”

I believe foreign actors interfering with our elections are an existential threat, probably far greater than some poor El Salvadoran mothers and their children trying to enter at the border. There are credible reports that foreign hackers penetrated the election process in every state and possibly every race. Without free and fair elections, our democracy is done. Sad but true, Mr. Flores completely ignores this clear and present danger in his report. Why?

Dave Morrow, Waco

Have no illusions

Jerry Willett’s July 25 critique of civic leader LaRaine DuPuy’s July 13 column, “Turning a blind eye to Texas borderland atrocities,” demonstrates a lack of knowledge about the history and uses of concentration camps in the United States and abroad. It is unquestioned that the migrant detention facilities on the southern border are concentration camps within our boundaries. A full treatise on the definition and historical recurrence of concentration camps and a survey of supporting studies and literature can be found in Andrea Pitzer’s “Some Suburb of Hell: America’s New Concentration Camp System” in the New York Review of Books and Jack Holmes’ “An Expert on Concentration Camps Says That’s Exactly What the U.S. Is Running at the Border” in Esquire. Both pieces were published in June.

The use of concentration camps in the United States is not confined to the actions of this president, but neither is he entitled to the kind of pass Mr. Willett argues. Nor are conditions as benevolent as Mr. Willett describes them, as if he accompanied the sanctimonious and spineless vice president on his “see-but-don’t-say” limited edition tour of the border area.

These Trump administration actions are extralegal, extrajudicial and employ tactics of militarization and dehumanization, hallmarks of authoritarian rule and rightly compared to, among other heinous times, the Nazi era, even if not the same in all of the latter’s atrocities. To attempt to ratchet down the impact of these camps by relativizing them in comparison to Nazi extermination camps is a facile and willful blindness. We are already seeing the true price exacted upon the lives of men, women and children in the media and literature of victims, survivors and those who chronicle this catastrophe.

My thanks to LaRaine for opening this important dialogue in a more public way.

Ann M. Ellis, Utica, New York

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