California is Still Paradise Compared to These Places

Originally posted on July 9, 2018 at baldilocks blog.

Ten years from now? I plan to be gone.

by baldilocks

On July 4th [2018], a woman was arrested for climbing the Statue of Liberty. Her name is Therese Patricia Okoumou. Why did she climb the Statue on Independence Day? To protest Trump in particular, white “supremacy” in general, and call for the abolition of the ICE.

Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, was arrested on Wednesday after she climbed the statue’s pedestal and began a three-hour standoff with police that led to the evacuation of the landmark on the Fourth of July holiday, celebrating U.S. Independence. (…) 

An activist group called Rise and Resist said on Facebook that Okoumou was part of a protest at the base of the statue against immigration policy.

The protesters unfurled a banner that read “Abolish ICE,” the acronym for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Created in 2003, the agency has become a focus of criticism over U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy of “zero tolerance” for illegal immigration.

That chick is an immigrant from Congo, of all places.

This Congo?

This demon-possessed Congo?

She wants ICE abolished, eh? ICE is what’s keeping her savage countrymen out of here.

The evil in that country didn’t just start a couple of years ago. But Okoumou has been in the USA for 24 years, so, perhaps she has forgotten. Maybe she should have her memory refreshed.

*****

Back in 1974 when Congo was called Zaire, and after the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali returned from his triumphant heavyweight championship bout in Kinshasa against George Foreman, aka the Rumble in the Jungle, Ali was asked what he thought of Africa.

Ali responded thus: “Thank God my granddaddy got on that boat!” Of course Ali was referring to the slave ships and this was a typical slice of honesty from The Greatest.

****

There’s a deleted scene from the movie Tears of the Sun – a movie about a bloody civil war in Nigeria – during which a Nigerian tells a black American SEAL team member that he looks Nigerian and that, were it not for the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the SEAL would have been born and raised in Nigeria “with us.” The SEAL has no response to this and it’s easy to see why the scene was deleted because the only logical response is, “thank God for slavery.” Hollywood writers aren’t brave. Then, last week, there was reality in Nigeria.

In what the Christian Association of Nigeria is calling a “pure genocide,” 238 more Christians were killed and churches desecrated by Muslims last week in the west African nation. This brings the death toll of Christians to more than 6,000 since the start of 2018.

According to a joint statement by the Christian Association, an umbrella group of various Christian denominations, “There is no doubt that the sole purpose of these attacks is aimed at ethnic cleansing, land grabbing and forceful ejection of the Christian natives from their ancestral land and heritage.” 

The statement condemned the recent attacks, “where over 200 persons were brutally killed and our churches destroyed without any intervention from security agencies in spite of several distress calls made to them.”

The statement adds that the majority of those 6,000 Christians massacred this year were “mostly children, women and the aged… What is happening in … Nigeria is pure genocide and must be stopped immediately.”

And, today, Haiti.

The Haitian government suspended a fuel price hike Saturday after widespread violence broke out across the capital and in the northern city of Cap-Haitien.

Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant had originally said the country needed to raise prices to balance the budget and gave no indication he would back down.

But his administration bowed to pressure after demonstrators took to the streets in protest.

A journalist from The Associated Press reported seeing several hundred people on Saturday attack a Best Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville, one of the capital’s wealthiest neighborhoods. Guests were forced to remain inside as rocks were hurled through windows around 10 a.m. local time.

Security manned the building, but rioters shattered the main entrance before moving to another hotel. 

*****

[Six] years ago, I speculated that Africans and those of black African descent, who are not followers of Jesus the Christ might be under a 4,000-year-old curse. And yesterday, the essay got a lot of new publicity, along with some criticism, because whaah slavery and because other people have done a lot of bad things over the centuries. Well, hey, they are subject to curses too, but not in the same ones we are.

And, as I said in 2014, how can we tell the difference between cursed and not-cursed in when it comes to places like Congo, Nigeria and Haiti? I’m just glad I live here — yes, even in California — and not in those places.

Safe … for now.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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An immigration crackdown in Greece

By Christopher Harper

Having spent the past few days roaming around Greece, I find it amazing that the U.S. press hasn’t picked up on the crackdown on immigrants.

The Greek government has adopted a policy to “shut the door” on migrants not entitled to stay — a hardening of its stance amid a new surge in arrivals.

That would be from a country that often tilts toward the left side of the political spectrum.

Simply put, recent elections tossed out the old leader as citizens got tired of the immigration crisis in the country.

“Welcome in Greece are only those we choose,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Parliament. “Those who are not welcome will be returned. We will permanently shut the door to illegal human traffickers, to those who want to enter even though they are not entitled to asylum.”

Greece was the main gateway into the European Union for more than a million people fleeing conflict in 2015-16.

In speaking with some local residents, citizens are unhappy that the refugees often have no desire to participate in the country’s social life, including keeping their children out of school. Few are trying to learn Greek.

“Greece has its strengths, but it is not an unfenced vineyard,” Mitsotakis said recently, using a Greek expression meaning the country is not open to anyone. “Those days are gone.”

Moreover, Mitsotakis’ government said it wants to move up to 20,000 asylum seekers out of sprawling island camps and onto the mainland by the end of the year and expects that new facilities will be ready by July 2020.

Medecins Sans Frontieres has raised concerns over the new centers, arguing that the new facilities would amount to detention centers. Human rights groups have also criticized a new framework for speeding up the processing of asylum requests as a “rushed” attempt that would impede access to a fair asylum process for refugees.

Separately, officials in neighboring North Macedonia said a police patrol detained a group of 33 migrants found walking through the southern part of the country, near its border with Greece. Police said the group consisted of 21 Afghan nationals, seven Pakistanis, three Iraqis, and two Iranians.

Although the Balkan route followed by migrants trying to reach Europe’s prosperous heartland has been closed since 2016, thousands still use it. They usually pay large sums to smuggling gangs to illegally get them through the closed borders.

Sound familiar?

Trump’s Immigration Plan is Working

In their continuing policy of ignoring good news about the Trump administration, the mainstream media failed to note the significant decrease in the number of illegals crossing the Mexican border.

The Border Patrol arrested about 72,000 people who tried to sneak across in July — a reduction of almost half compared with the peak of two months ago.

That means that the policy of forcing Mexico to handle more immigrants from Central America has worked well.

Mexico has 26,000 troops deployed to focus on immigration. More than 10,000 of
those are on its southern border with its Central American neighbors, and more than 15,000 others are up north.

Mexico also agreed to expand its cooperation with the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocol, a policy of taking asylum seekers from Central America who cross Mexican territory and sending them back to Mexico to wait for their cases to be heard in U.S. immigration courts.

Customs and Border Protection said some 30,000 migrants have been returned to Mexico under the protocol. Border cities that were so overwhelmed that they declared states of emergency are getting back to normal, with drops of 70% or more in the regions of El Paso, Texas, and Yuma,
Arizona.

The cooperation between the United States and Mexico also means that the number of people being held at the border has dropped dramatically.

While border facilities had more than 19,000 people in custody at one point in June, there were about less than 5,000 last week.

As the Democrats prepare for their debate this week, it’s worth noting that DaTimes and NPR’s most recent polling shows that 67 percent of Americans do NOT favor an open border with Mexico. Twenty-seven percent favor an open border, with 6 percent having no opinion.

If there’s any indication that the Democrats and the media are out of step with the rest of the country, immigration is an example of just how much they both don’t get it.