Help for Kroger employees
Regarding the news story “Kroger to close all its stores in the Triangle; 1,500 workers affected“ (June 13):
This is such bad news for the employees. Please encourage everyone to come see us at the NCWorks Office at 1105 S. Briggs Ave. in Durham. I can help them with their resume, job search and we have about 15 computers in our lobby they can use for job searching and apply for unemployment. It only lasts 12 weeks now, though.
I am so sorry to hear this news for the workers.
We are now living in a country that has a policy used by the Nazis and slave owners of tearing children from their families. We did this to Native American families too. From the point of view of those families, this is state-sponsored terrorism.
On Monday, before President Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security to now keep families intact, he used the phrase, “infesting our country.” He was referring to asylum seekers, who have been informed they may no longer apply for asylum, that the gang killings, domestic violence and threats to their lives they fled were no longer valid reasons.
Currently, over 2,600 children have been taken from their families, their parents charged with a misdemeanor. The numbers are staggering, 70 children every day, some with disabilities, some as young as 4 months, are being sent to a tent city on federal land in the desert, internment camps for little kids some of whom may never see their parents again. They are being held hostage for a multi-billion wall to keep them out. The temperature in the tent internment camps Monday was 105.
This is Trump speaking to his base of white supremacists, he and his administration proudly stand with them. Just this week, the United States withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council, and Human Rights Watch now reports on how the U.S. violates international law and commits institutionalized child abuse. We must decide now: Is this who we are?
As a psychologist for the past 60 years, I am appalled and heartbroken by Trump's policy instituted by Attorney General Sessions and Trump's repeated assertions that there is a law requiring the Administration to separate children from their parents. It is not American, it is not just, it is not moral.
There is simply no doubt but that adverse childhood experiences, such as parent-child separation, are important social determinants of mental disorders. Psychologists, have documented multiple harmful effects of parent-child separation on children’s emotional and psychological development and well-being. Based on empirical evidence of the psychological harm that children and parents experience when separated, we must insist this policy which is a moral and humanitarian outrage be ended. And that we commit to the more humane practice of housing families together pending immigration proceedings to protect them from further trauma.
Furthermore, such a policy reminds me of Hitler's Germany where parents and children were torn from one another and then killed. And that action required special troops as it was so repugnant to most soldiers. And we are hearing nothing about what this is doing psychologically to those border defenders who witness and hear the crying and screams of the people they are separating. I'm sure it is adversely affecting them.
Lastly, we must not repeat the immoral acts of our ancestors who violently divided families in our participation in the slave trade and Indian boarding schools. We need to practice biblical hospitality to immigrant groups.
John R. Thompson
Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Oberlin College
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