There's a disturbing history connected to the border agents on horseback chasing Haitian migrants

There's a disturbing history connected to the border agents on horseback chasing Haitian migrants
Image via Screengrab

Over the last few weeks, disturbing images have captured U.S. border patrol agents' inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants. Mounted on horseback, the agents have been seen "chasing migrants back into the water, grabbing migrants by their shirts or in some cases hitting them with reins that were fashioned into makeshift whips," according to Slate magazine.

In fact, one disturbing video even captures a border patrol agent telling a group of Haitian migrants: "This is why your country's shit. Because you use your women for this." The harrowing message appears to align with former President Donald Trump's perspective of Haiti and other nations with predominately Black populations.

Biden: Border patrol agents' use of horses 'horrible' l

The publication also highlights the disturbing parallels between the latest photos and videos and the treatment of Black people during the dark periods of American history.

Slate highlights:

"Images of the inhumane treatment at the border began to circulate heavily online earlier this week and evoked a plethora of emotion, with some (myself included) drawing parallels to how white men treated Black folks during enslavement and the Jim Crow era, not to mention current-day interactions with law enforcement by Black Americans and Black immigrants. (A 2020 report from the Refugee And Immigrant Center details how Haitians were detained more than any other nationality last year and often pay higher bonds.)"

Speaking to the publication, racist violence historian Monica Martinez put the Haitian ordeal into perspective as she explained the underlying message it conveys.

"It's a show of force against Haitian people who are desperately trying to seek asylum in the United States. We're also seeing that the federal government has been aggressively deporting people back to Haiti—some who have not been in that country for years," said Martinez, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

She added, "And it is a familiar scene because there's a long history of deportations and sending people to countries that they don't consider home. There's also been public attention to the border and what's happening in Del Rio because there are photographs and video of border patrol officers on horseback charging unarmed civilians."

In fact, on Friday, September 24, President Joe Biden shared his reaction to the disturbing images as he criticized border patrol agents' actions and vowed to hold them accountable for the treatment of migrants.

"I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences," said Biden. "It's an embarrassment, but beyond an embarrassment, it is dangerous. It's wrong, it sends the wrong message around the world, it sends the wrong message at home. It's simply not who we are."

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