Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen on Wednesday called the latest "immigration death,"— this time an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy in federal detention—a "deeply concerning and heartbreaking" tragedy. Then she blamed the U.S. immigration system failings for a growing border crisis.
Nothing wrong with heartbreaking when it comes to the death of an innocent, but I remember when concerning was a preposition. There were phrases like “Concerning this latest failure,” or the somewhat awkward but efficient “What is this meeting concerning?” Then somewhere along the way people for whom words like distressing and worrisome weren’t good enough opted for the more toothless and insipid concerning...a red-letter day for people like Ms. Nielsen.
Here are some things people should be concerned about: gas prices, the Stock Market, a good seat at the movies, weeds, spotty Internet service. We don’t find the recent Indonesian tsunami concerning, or the spate of mass killings in 2018, or people living in poverty and deprivation in this country And the death of a child in government custody damn well deserves something stronger. It’s vile, disgusting, appalling, and gut-wrenching; its perpetrators, sadistic and ignorant. Even after Ms. Nielsen’s mild rebuke, instead of saying this would never happen again under her watch, she blamed the immigration system.
Of course if she had stood and stated what we all know is true—that the deaths of these two children are directly attributable to the policies of Donald Trump—she would undoubtedly have followed Mattis, Tillerson, and others too numerous to count, right out the door...but perhaps saved her self-respect.
So yes, Ms. Nielsen, concerning. But if you’re that concerned, how about a little conversation with the mastermind of this lunacy, and maybe an end to this sadistic and heartless policy.