Thursday, July 23, 2015

Parental advisory: Texas has a new prank

Who ever met so many Germans who didn't know about the camps, as Texans who disclaim awareness of Texas? That's easily explained,   of course. We weren't yet born when the Germans didn't know about the camps, and where we were educated, Texans were reasonably plentiful. Now they are older, and even more fastidiously unin-formed, we shouldn't doubt. But Texas has come up with a prank of such illustrious pedigree, even the most obtuse must be impressed.

The people of the state of Texas are denying birth certificates to American infants born in Texas, whose parents are unable to account for their own nation of citizenship, under the state's sudden, novel, and exquisitely sadistic new documentary criteria. This is unconstitutional -- unambiguously, starkly, and even by Texan standards, unspeakably. Readers who would like to move along to the latest news of shimmering distractions are welcome to toggle the phrase, an English dog in the sidebar search column now; and the children should be excused. I dislike this chore but it can't be abbreviated, so prolific are the denials to critique. The estab-lished system had three defects: it was efficient, it was rational, and it conserved families.

This one has to do with taking delight in subjecting the newborn to harm, as a crowbar for tearing apart their family. An ingenious inversion, you may say, of the judgment of Solomon. Our German exemplars in these tactics, in their Nuremberg Laws, understood their underlying pleasure by the term, "schadenfreude." Surely, many will squirm in gigglingest glee, at the sight of families suffering for this peremptory administrative decree; and naturally, there will be multitudes to exult in the deniability of the whole untouchable process. But to American demographers these parlour games deserve the hopeful title, "political suicide."

Do we remember, that the state of Texas is now instructing its public school children that Moses wrote the Constitution of the United States? Possibly that lesson plan elides the detail of Pharaoh's hounding of his people to give up their infants, whence Moses was sequestered for known historic purposes. Texas is using the newborn to torment their parents to abandon them to the state, in exchange for documenting that they exist, lest they be denied health care, education, and the slightest, flimsiest protections of the citizenship irrevocably conferred by the United States.

Not that any of us, searching his family tree, can cite an ancestor who needed to document his own condition of citizen-ship, to substantiate the citizenship of his offspring. But Texas pleads that this grotesque intent is unintended; its bureaucracy merely wishes to align claims of relationship with accuracy. Texas weeps, pathetic-ally, about an imagined rash of fraudulent claims of parentage, a temptation somehow very high among non-citizens - when not stuffing ballot boxes, that is.

One does not ask why Texans are doing this, for of course they are not. Texas is. It is hard to be Texan, when in another election cy-cle or two, fertility rates will paint policies such as these into a corner smaller than the Alamo; and so the bravery, the radiant mar-tyrdom so characteristic of every racist self-defense by regulatory means, merits our admiring regard. It was all very legal and reason-able, for the Nuremberg Laws of 1934 and after, to take note of the ethnicity of one's grandparents - one out of four, would do - and an elementary safeguard against fraudulent exemption from vituperation and ostracism, to compel such disclosures by the parent. We must revisit Jackson's Seminole Wars for adequate precedent, for this targeted, wholesale expulsion of our citizens from our nation's protection. 

The comparison startles? Doesn't such zeal to deprive American citizens of the bonds of family, simply to achieve that purpose and no other, manifest the shiningest sincerity of cruelty? This can not be derided as small change, much less exalted by distinguishing its banality from its putrid moral roots. These are Texas' own excuses for this, and they must dazzle the mind of everyone acquainted with the Old Testament, let alone the twentieth century. We are left con-fidently to trust, an infant must escape the eyes of Texas in this decree, to instruct it soon enough in the acts of Moses.

Thobias Malmberg

Xavier Serrano

Luke Edward Hall
Blue + Square
By permission
  of the artist©

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