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The War on Children Under Neoliberal Fascism

The cruel separation of children evokes memories of similar horrific practices in US history.

Central American asylum seekers wait as US Border Patrol agents take them into custody on June 12, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. The families were then sent to a US Customs and Border Protection processing center for possible separation.

Part of the Series

Separating children from their parents has a long and vile legacy in history among authoritarian regimes. Trump is mobilizing those fascist passions that inevitably lead to prisons, detention centers, and acts of domestic terrorism and state violence. Echoes of the Nazi camps, Japanese internment prisons, and the mass incarceration of Black and Brown people and the destruction of their families weigh on the Trump administration with a degree of shame and cruelty that marks the neoliberal fascism that now shapes American society.

Memories of the horrors of the past disappear under Trump only to return within a culture of cruelty and violence that is both revealing and ugly. What Trump is doing is a form of hostage-taking in which children become bargaining chips in his attempts to implement his racist policy of building a wall while demonstrating his politics of white supremacy to his core base. Children are now being used as part of an attempt to extort support for his racist politics from the Democratic Party.

In this interview with Mickey Huff from Project Censored, Henry Giroux explores the fascist ideology and policies that give rise to cruel practices, such as Trump separating children of undocumented immigrants from their parents and putting them in “cages,” makeshift detention centers and sometimes outdoor tents. While such practices have provoked a great deal of moral outrage across the ideological spectrum, the underlying logic of such practices has been largely ignored. Such practices run deep in the history of the United States and in recent years have been intensified with the collapse of the social contract, expanding inequality, and the increasing criminalization of immigrants, young people and other populations considered most vulnerable. In this interview, Giroux explores these mobilizing features of neoliberal fascism within a larger discourse of disposability and rule by white supremacists, religious fundamentalists and political extremists.

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