On Wednesday, July 9, 200 citizens of Vassar, Michigan, held a meeting to discuss the possibility of a closed detention center being opened to house 120 immigrant children being held on the southwestern border of the United States. Wolverine Human Services would run a program at the facility that would last a month and help immigrant males between the ages of 12 to 17 receive shelter, food, medical care, and life skills and ESL education during their stay. The people of Vassar at the meeting voiced strong objections to the plan, with some comments revealing an alarming level of vitriolic hatred toward children.
Derrick McCree of Wolverine presented his company’s plan to the people at the meeting, giving details of what their program would include and how many of the immigrant children would be at the facility. None of the children would ever leave the facility or attend local schools. When the Wolverine representative finished his presentation, jeers could be heard from a couple of attendees.
Next came the local citizens to voice their opinions. The mayor of Vassar, Dan Surgent, said he was sick of listening to Obama’s lying mouth. Tom Wassa, a Republican candidate for the 84th district in the Michigan House of Representatives called President Obama a domestic terrorist. Tamyra Murray insisted that the children were “a game to control our nation. It’s an invasion, nothing less than an invasion.” After Murray said that, someone from the audience shouted the children would stay permanently and vote for Democrats. Terry Mocny suggested putting a mine field on the border. Some people wore surgical masks to demonstrate their concern that the children were carrying infectious diseases that could spread to their community.
Vassar, Michigan, isn’t an isolated case. All over the country Americans are saying ugly things about these children who fled their own countries in Central America out of fear of their lives. Vassar residents’ words are vile and smacks of nativism this country hasn’t seen since the days of the Know-Nothing Party. Gadsden flags and racist-fueled rage have become the emblems of ignorant people out of their minds. Shame on Vassar, Michigan, and shame on everyone who agrees with them. These same people insist they’re Christians, but have they ever taken the time to think about these tired, poor huddled masses arriving at the border because they don’t want to be murdered and asked themselves: WWJD?