Kristallnacht, or Night of Broken Glass, is how we commonly refer today to what were actually two nights of organized violence against the Jews in Germany, Austria and parts of the Sudenland. Instigated by Joseph Goebbels, these pogroms were carried out by storm troopers and Hitler Youth. Not that there's ever been a good time, but that was a particularly bad time to be a Jew in Europe.
These days, it's a particularly bad time to be any kind of Middle Easterner in the United States. Violence against Jews continues, as it has for centuries. But now there's a new twist. Middle Easterners of all persuasions are in for it. Now Muslim women riding a train in Oregon can be subjected to ridicule, and two men who dare defend them are stabbed to death. And over the weekends, there was a Kristallnacht, Trump style.
Chaldean Christians fled to this country to escape persecution in the Middle East, where their numbers in Iraq alone have dropped from 1.5 million in 2003 to just 300,000 today.
Many of them have relocated to Detroit, whose population of 121,000 Chaldean Christians is the largest in this country. They largely voted for Donald Trump, but certainly are having second thoughts now.
On Sunday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began rounding up Chaldean Christians in Detroit to send them back to Iraq. They picked up between 30-40, according to The Detroit Free Press. According to CNN, one family was rousted at the beach.
Many of them have committed minor crimes (marijuana possession, assault) that are now decades old According to The Minority Humanitarian Foundation, which was organized for victims of ISIS, most of them are here legally.
RT, which claims the number of arrestees might actually be as high as 80, reports they have been bused away to Ohio, and they will be deported from there to Iraq.
I'm sure ISIS will welcome them with open arms.
“This is a deliberate attack on the Chaldean Catholic Assyrian community of Detroit by the Administration. They waited until Sunday when our community would be going to church and gathering with their families and have rounded up to 40-60 community members,” said Chaldean Christian lawyer Wisam Naoum. "We've been working on this around the clock. From what we are seeing, most of the people that have been detained do, in fact, have a criminal record. However, some don't and are just refugees getting caught up in the sweep. The vast majority of them it appears have already served their time, many times decades ago and often involving non-violent crimes like marijuana possession. Some have final orders of deportation and others don't. The bulk have been sent to Ohio and we are waiting to learn more about final destinations."
Whether they wear swastikas or American flag patches, this is how authoritarian regimes operate. In both cases, the innocent suffer. The rest of us look on, completely ambivalent to the notion that it could be us tomorrow.