An American Tradition
The separation of families is rightly being seen as an act of white supremacy where those in power summarily strip children from parents under the guise of protecting America.
It has a long history in our country connected to the chattel slavery of blacks.
Slave owners, speculators and, of course, the Klan, all played their roles in ripping families apart.
The tearing apart of families was part of a larger strategy of dehumanizing them by also denying access to religion and education.
It was the ultimate violent act of a diseased government.
In Their Own Words
“She whipped my little sister, what was only nine months old, and a baby to death … whipped till the blood just ran. He’d sell the man here and the woman there and if they’s chillen he’d sell them someplace else.” Mary Armstrong
“The onliest auction of slaves I ever seed was in Memphis, coming on to Arkansas, I heered a girl bid off for about $800. She was about 15, I reckon. Them Klu Kluxers was terrible–what they done to people. They was rough on the women and children.” Boston Blackwell
“The speculators [slave sellers] stayed in the hotel and put the slaves in the quarters just like droves of hogs. All through the night I could hear them mournin’ and prayin’. Plenty of the colored women have children by the white men … Then they take them very same children what have they own blood and make slaves out of them. Then the Klu Klux Klan came along. They were terrible dangerous.” W.L. Bost
“Oh! It was pitiful to see the chillen taken from their mother’s breasts, mothers sold, husbands sold from wives. One woman he was to buy had a baby and of course the baby come before he bought her and he wouldn’t buy the baby, said he hadn’t bargained to buy the baby, too, and he just wouldn’t.” Julia Brown
“Slavery days was hell … Babies was snatched from dere mother’s breast and sold to speculators. Chillens was separated from sisters and brothers and never saw each other again. I was born at Powhatan, Virginia, and was the youngest of thirteen chillen. I never seed none of my brothers or sisters ‘cept brother William. We was all put on a block and sold to the highest bidder.” Delia Garlic
“I was bought by a speculator by the name of Henry Long … I was not allowed to tell my mother and father goodbye. I was bought and sold three times in one day.” Robert Glenn
“Them Klu Klux Klan come asking for water … They done some terrible things, but God seen it all and marked it down.” Harriett Robinson.
The racist and supremacist tradition continues as forcible separation masquerades as “making America great again.”