Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
The laws of hospitality are the oldest laws of all, they are unwritten and universally understood.
If you have a guest in your home, you are responsible for their well-being. It does not get any more simple than that.
The United States has fallen far away from this standard.
Immigrant families are being separated from each other at the border. While they may have broken the laws of the United States for unlawfully entering the country, they are within their rights as human beings to seek a better life for themselves in their flight from poverty, persecution and injustice.
We are holding children in prisons. Some have been separated from their families, infants and toddlers, and we have no idea who their parents are or where they went. We have no means to return them.
Two children have dies in our custody in the last month, the latest on Christmas Eve. The administration of Donald Trump will not even acknowledge their responsibility for it. They blame the parents instead.
Make no mistake, anyone in our custody, whether they are friend or foe, a prison or a free person is entitled to a basic level of care. We have a responsibility for their welfare. We have a duty even to the stranger. The laws of hospitality are clear on this, these men and women and their children are our guests.
We are failing in our duties, failing them, and failing ourselves.
These faults are tragedies committed in our name.
It may seem silly to dwell on them, their stories came and went in a few short turns of the news cycle, and the deaths of these small children, these crimes which no-one will be held accountable for, are just two small drops in a great ocean of villainy America has perpetrated on the world and on its people.
But it is not silly, it is a necessary reflection on how far we have sunk that we cannot even expect our elected and appointed leaders to see these events against the backdrop of the laws of hospitality the knowledge of which we all carry deep in our hearts, the ancient international laws that assign to us responsibility for their care.
They twist and turn, point fingers and blame others because the think that if they hold themselves accountable they will be evincing a weakness that will cause their entire house of cards to fall apart.