The U.S. border wall is most effective as a symbol of cultural egotism.The policies of the failed drug war, the denial of the immutable laws of supply and demand for immigrant labor and illegal drugs proves this axiom of egotism. The Wall has stopped neither while encouraging a U.S.-self-absorbed attitude against Mexicans. It’s “us” vs. “them.”
(See more Wall photos by Thomson)
This Wall of pain caused the death of another young Mexican crossing BACK into Mexico. In a low-threat situation, this young man became another victim of the extreme anti-immigrant speech so present in American discourse today.
Climbing the border Wall back into Mexico, Ramses Barron Torres, 17, fell dead on the Mexican side of the U.S. wall after being shot by a border agent. This killing on January 5 is another example that the wall is more important than life, especially if that life is Mexican. The lack of outcry in the United States over Torres’ killing — the fact that it is treated as an acceptable death — is an outrageous concept fueled by hate in the media.
The anti-Mexican opinions the Wall reinforces are painfully obvious and the opinions expressed by most Americans seem to say that “all illegal immigrant Mexicans are drug dealers.” This message from the Wall is that Mexican life is expendable for the sake of the border security the Wall protects for the hegemonic empire.
No one should break the law and that is not advocated in this comment, but there is a big difference between persons escaping poverty to support themselves and their family and the person transporting meth to supply U.S. demand.
On April 30th, 2010, the day SB1070 was signed, the Arizona Republic reported that, “A Pinal County Sheriff’s deputy was shot in the stomach Friday by an undocumented immigrant … with a load of marijuana in the desert…” (Arizona Republic, April 30, 2010) The overcharged political atmosphere on the day SB1070 became law was one more step in the anti-Mexican verbal heat.
The agents who must enforce these failed policies are not the problem. Their brave endurance is not the question; the Wall they are ordered to defend, with deadly force, is the problem. The border wall created a physical barrier marking a clear division between us and them. It wasn’t long ago in Ambos Nogales that “us was them” y “ellos somos nosotros.” We were connected and equal in that time. My father used to have tequila shots with the off-duty customs officials as they ate my tía Meli’s tamales. But the wall and our egos got bigger.
Then, little by little, the Wall grew higher, symbolically at first in official training, in the attitudes of the customs officials and agents reaching the point that Mexicans are guilty until proven innocent and that Mexicans are illegal drug dealers and then 700 miles of an ineffective border Wall were built.
The view that crime is crossing the border with illegals is a fabrication of the media. Recently, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik (“The smartest sheriff in America” as opposed to the neighboring Maricopa County Joe Arpaio, “The toughest”) said, “This is a media-created event. I hear politicians on TV saying the border has gotten more violent and, as reported by our governor, with regular be-headings on the border. The fact of the matter is that the border has never been more secure.”
So where is this border-related violence and crime due to illegal immigration? If crime decreased, or stayed flat over 10 years, why are we killing illegal entrants?
The Arizona Republic reported on July 15, 2010 that, “While the nation’s illegal immigrant population doubled from 1994 to 2004, according to federal records, the violent-crime rate declined 35 percent. More recently, Arizona’s crime rate dropped from 512 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2005 to 447 incidents in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available.” The media inundates us with images caused by illegal immigrant drug smugglers, but these are two separate issues. It’s also convenient since neither the illegals, nor the drug smugglers can or will defend themselves.
The violence on the U.S.side is mostly perpetuated by American citizens. Three Minutemen, “those patriots guarding our border,” are right now sitting in a Tucson jail waiting to go on trial for murder. In May 2009, Shawna Forde, the leader of Minuteman American Defense (a group out of Washington state that conducts operations along the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona) with white supremacist Jason Eugene Bush and Albert Robert Gaxiola murdered 9-year-old Brisenia Flores, her father Raul and left for dead her mother Gina Flores.
They invaded the home of the Flores family at night looking to steal drugs and money.
Now, with the second killing in six months of a young person throwing rocks while trying to cross, back into Mexico we have reached a clear parallel with another terrible wall from recent history.
Mr. Obama, tear down this wall.