Excrement, roses and detainment camps


Poop, by any other name, would smell as rank.

Shakespeare was right in choosing to discuss the nature of Rosa, one of the botanical world’s most familiar, versatile and fragrant flowers to grace this Earth. He wrote: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Call it anything you like, he was saying, its essence would remain the same.
The name is important in that it establishes an individual identity but fundamentally and regardless of the nomenclature the thing itself does not change.

It’s an interesting idea and quote to hang out these days. One, actually, that has been echoing in my mind from day one of the Trump administration, though not exclusive to it.
Throughout his campaign and continuing through his presidency Donald Trump has lied.
Or relayed an alternative fact, as one of his advisors once told the press.

A lie by any other name…would still be an alternative fact?

Can the same reasoning be applied to the current debate surrounding the use of concentration camps and the housing of undocumented people?

Currently among politicians and media and friends among us a debate, at times literally, rages around the use of the descriptor to denote where — and the conditions in which — asylum seekers and those seeking a better way of life are housed.

Immigrant advocates, on the one hand, claim the conditions in which Mexicans and Hondurans and Guatamalans and myriad other people are being housed are, in their essence, concentration camps.

Opponents of unauthorized entry say the detention facilities are nowhere near what Nazi-era concentration camps were and the comparison is unfair and insulting to the survivors and the descendants of those whose families survived or suffered through that stain in world history.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the purpose of concentration camps was to incarcerate people believed by the regime — Nazis at the time — to be a security threat. They were also used to remove people from public view and judicial review and used to exploit forced labor. (It was the death camps where the weak were sent to be killed.)

The Trump administration and his supporters have frequently referred to immigrants as undesirables and threats to the United States. People housed in these centers are routinely denied access to legal aid and public support. And there have been deaths reported in those same centers.

For cities like Chula Vista and National City, whose ties with Tijuana, Mexico, are connected like the roots of neighboring rosebushes, and given this country’s history with reservations and internment camps, it’s important to ponder: Is a concentration camp by any other name still a concentration camp?

The answer should turn your stomach.

Excrement, roses and detainment camps