By Alex Solari, Staff Writer
Sheriff Thomas Hodgson had his inaugural ceremony on Jan. 4 and ensured there were big plans for his twentieth year as the Sheriff of Bristol County.
Hodgson stated at the ceremony that he was willing to send inmates from Bristol County to help build “the wall” at the border of Mexico, which President Trump has insisted on building.
“I can think of no other project that would have such a positive impact on our inmates and our country than building this wall,” said Hodgson.
Hodgson continued, “Aside from learning and perfecting construction skills, the symbolism of these inmates building a wall to prevent crime in communities around the country, and to preserve jobs and work opportunities for them and other Americans upon release, can be very powerful.”
Now you can see why sheriffs should have term limits.
All joking aside, there are some clear issues with Hodgson’s preposition, such as the fact that he presented no plan on how to implement this.
According to The Boston Globe, he did not address who would pay to transport, house, and secure local inmates.
But of course, according to Trump, he will force Mexico to
pay for the wall.
Hodgson suggested that inmate labor would lower the cost of the wall and that the costs could be “something worked on with the federal government.”
Proclaiming such radical ideas with no type of plan or financial support is extremely irresponsible and makes our Sheriff of Bristol County seem unreliable and non-credible.
Another issue with this proposition is that it could be considered inhumane to force prisoners to build the wall.
Laura Rótolo, staff counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stated that this proposition may not even be legal, and said,
“It’s inhumane, and it’s most likely unconstitutional. It’s also likely an attempt by Sheriff Hodgson just to ride this wave and become famous nationally. I hope we don’t have to take this proposal seriously.”
“The idea of using modern-day slave labor to send people thousands of miles away from their Massachusetts home to build a wall to keep out other vulnerable populations is just preposterous,” she continued.
Although it is clear that Hodgson’s proposal is ridiculous and irrational, it speaks on a larger issue that we unfortunately now have with Donald Trump as our president.
Leaders who normally would not be so blatantly racist and irrational now feel it is acceptable to share their warped perceptions of the world and what would be best for it. Hodgson, who was already a strong conservative, is showing the radical ideas that he has most likely always had, but now feels comfortable sharing them publicly.
This can be incredibly dangerous for everyone living in the United States. Many people I know have said things to me like: “I know you hate Trump, but his actions won’t directly affect you.”
And to some extent, this statement is true. Trump may not directly affect each of us personally, but our leaders may start to model his actions and be controlled by his ideas.
My fear is that our local leaders, like senators, governors, mayors, and sheriffs, will start to replicate Trump’s behavior, and eventually, everyone will start to believe everything he says, no matter how ridiculous.
I’m not saying that Hodgson, or even Trump for that matter, are intrinsically bad people, but I am saying that the ideas they have and actions they take can negatively affect our nation forever. I can only hope that Hodgson rethinks this proposition and thinks about the way his inmates would be negatively affected by this, and the millions of people in the United States and Mexico that would be negatively affected by the creation of a wall.