Another day, another Fox News guest attempting to validate the cruel treatment of America’s black and brown folks—this time, by seemingly pitting the two against each other.
Fox commentator Rachel Campos-Duffy (formerly of Real World fame, itself a far more respectable platform than Fox News) defended the conditions in detainment centers housing migrant children on The Ingraham Angle Thursday night.
“People aren’t stupid. I spoke to some African Americans who say, ‘Gosh, the conditions of the detention center are better than some of the projects I grew up in,’” Campos-Duffy said.
Girl, I hope your source isn’t Ben “Slaves Were Just Unpaid Immigrants” Carson. As Beyoncé’s husband would say, “We don’t believe you. You need more people.” Or, to paraphrase the venerable Mo’Nique, if you’re not going to name names, keep it on the playground.
Campos-Duffy also said that the conditions at the detention centers were much better than the difficult journeys migrant children endured to get to the border. Both points, conveniently, sidestep the crux of the issue: that the U.S. government has forcibly stripped more than 2,000 children from their families to hold them in those centers. While the conditions at the centers are often dehumanizing (photos have shown hundreds of children packed in close quarters inside large cages), the fundamental crime is the separation itself.
A better comparison would be to consider what it might look or feel like if a public housing authority decided to punish you by taking your child, harboring them in a place you have no access to or knowledge of, and refusing to return them to you. If a private citizen did this, we’d have the moral clarity to call it a kidnapping. But in this case, the kidnapper is the Republican-led U.S. government, meaning that Fox News and its pundits have to pull arguments from the depths of their asses in order to justify a plainly cruel and indefensible policy of detaining children and families indefinitely.
So instead of talking about the kidnapping, we instead talk about the conditions of the kidnapper’s house, as Ingraham herself did this week when she compared the detention centers to “summer camp.”
As Seth Meyers said in his late-night talk show earlier this week, “If you rip a child away from its parents and you put that child in a suite at the Ritz, you’re still a fucking monster.”