Food 4 Thought

EP027 That beautiful wall

I’m excited, this is my first entry in English! And to make it count I will be writing about one of the most heated topics today: the Trump wall. It’s been a subject that has caught my attention since the very first day he mentioned it. At first, I completely reacted to it as if I was told a joke. When he disclosed this intention not only to the United States but to the whole world, I just laughed and thought to myself: “this TV clown is such an attention whore”. But boy, did he tell me. Today, after the longest shutdown my neighbor country had to put up with, they face a doubtful (and costly) “state of emergency” due to the “immense” amount of illegal immigrants trying to cross the border. Actually, the reasons Mr. Trump mentions for his most important campaign promise are these:

  • There is an invasion of drugs
  • There is an invasion of human traffickers
  • There is an invasion of drug dealers and
  • There is an invasion of gangs and criminals

This “invasion” is so big, so huge that it’s entered alarming levels and therefore, a real “emergency” according to him… and his followers. Well, Trump denies climate change, he says anything bad that happens to the US economy is China’s fault, he denies any sexual harrassments made to anybody, he doesn’t believe in paying taxes, and so on. It has been proven that the amount of arrests for illegally crossing the border is at one third of what they used to be back in the seventies. But what made me actually start writing about this whole thing is that after giving it some thought, I too, want that wall built.

Why would I say something like that? Don’t get me wrong, I am a Mexican that has a high school diploma and has worked in the past for American companies too. I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for a while and have the best memories and American friends one could ask for. So, I like to keep up with American culture and news. However, after two years of his government, I can say that I’m not a fan of Donald Trump at all. I’m not a fan of the divisions he has purposely enhanced. The US social tissue is as damaged as it was 60 years ago and the real meaning of “Make America Great Again” is going back to the 50’s and 60’s where the straight white male was the absolute king at the top of the ladder and could get away with just about anything without any repercussions whatsoever. Those were good times for Mr. Trump and most of his followers. Whoever is in disagreement, becomes immediately a “disgrace” and should be hated, according to his philosophy. But I don’t want to write about those ideas. I want to write about his pet project: the border wall. To this point, there is no doubt in my mind about its feasibility. He really wants it, he will build it. It seems no matter what the cost is, financially and politically. “Alternate facts” all over it and pep rallys like his 2020 campaign kick off in El Paso are crude indicators that this is something that at least 35% of Americans want.

This is where I stopped and thought to myself that I never write about politics on my blog. I always wanted to stay away from the matter. However, this will be my first exception, not so for the politics but rather because of the impact it will have in the future for both nations. That pep rally was, in my opinion, a graphic display of what we used to see as fascism: people empowered and heated up by a callous leader, all wearing insignias (i.e. MAGA hats) and eventually exercising violent acts (e.g. BBC reporters beaten and expelled during the event) and chants for an ideal, which in this case is supremacy and discrimination. But what really set me up were all the hispanics of mexican origin in there. They were there supporting the wall and to my surprise, condemning any immigrant coming from south of the border. It haunted me for a while why would these persons, whose parents or grand parents, most likely migrated to the US illegally some decades ago. Well, to my view, the answer to that lies in the same thing they’re rooting for today: prejudice and discrimination. They say that the bullied becomes the bully and I reflect on this: in which way are the latinos born from Mexican parents treated in the US? Are they free of bigotry at all? Do they receive any kind of prejudice from the legal system? But wait, what about the way they are treated in Mexico? How are they viewed in my country? Are the answers any different? When I saw the attitude, the atmosphere at that rally, I just knew. It came clear to me. What would it take for a latino of Mexican parents to feel free of prejudice in America? To be somewhat accepted, even if it’s only for a few hours or within a specific circle? Well, the membership fee is fairly cheap: $29.99 dlls to buy a red hat that reads “Make America Great Again”, then just show up in one of these events and cheer and judge and blame and then aspire to be part of the privileged inner circle for a change.

When I see this happening, when I see news showing spring breakers in Cancun shouting “build that wall” while drinking Mexican beer served by Mexican waiters who passively watch their fury unravel; I just come to senses that most likely not only will that wall be built but also that Mr. Trump will get to live another four years as the White House resident.

If you ask me why I agree with the wall, I can answer blatantly: I wish they do build it, but only if that would assure us all that:

  1. Americans will stop their fascination with drugs and opioids. Not only do they consume more drugs than most countries, but the depth of individual consumption is truly tempting for any cartel, Mexican, Asian or Arab. Plenty of statistics and records prove this fact.
  2. Fire arms smuggled into Mexico will no longer be traded. I don’t understand why this problem hasn’t been addressed properly by our government, it is the top source of all of our own security problems: kidnappings, homicides, assaults. Guns in Mexico are altogether prohibited and only allowed for the military.
  3. Americans will stop buying illegal vital organs with unknown origin.
  4. Americans will stop adopting babies or young children without proper vetting of their adoption agency.
  5. Americans no longer will pay for escorts that have a pimp figure behind.
  6. American recyclers will stop illegally dumping waste into Mexican territory.

I will not mention other dark businesses, like child pornography, which take place in Mexico and suspects of other nationalities (Holland, Germany, Italy, for example) have been arrested.

So, it is clear that the utopic notion that all of these issues will disappear as soon as that wall is built is just preposterous. We have taken our societies to an extreme that is completely alarming but far from a swift solution. To say that is a delusion and to claim that security and health issues in the States are caused by immigrants coming in illegally by foot in the middle of the desert is simply false and hypocritical. If anything, those people are looking for a better way of living, or even survival from the hell they’re living back home in troubled countries like Honduras and Salvador.

In Mexico we are also dealing with these migrants that are left behind. I see them in my city, really desperate often begging for money on the streets. But our government doesn’t offer enough social welfare programs that would allow them to stay and make a living.

I remember one of our ex-Presidents, Felipe Calderón, once talked about this during a press conference and he referred to the idealization of drugs on movies, tv shows, streaming services. He urged for Americans to stop consumption. Hell, even the Reagans gave it a try back in their day! But this message is failing to come through, even so when they now call them “recreational drugs” suggesting that drugs can be fun and safe. We know nothing could be further from the truth.

GlobalDrugOverdoses

consumidores de cannabis

ERdata

My last thought on the wall: When Berlin had one of their own; wasn’t that wall the undisputable sign of the Cold War? Didn’t it represent repression more than anything? People living in East Berlin were reminded every day how subordinated their lives were to the government and the world saw them as an intriguing mystery. What would the view towards Mexico be after the wall is built? When all those issues I prior mentioned remain unchanged, would there still be a sense of achievement from the American people? What about from the rest of the world? Will the wall be tore down by following administrations? I want to think that it will bring people in Mexico together; that it would have to kick us in the face first in order to get a reaction of pride and elevate our moral standard which is so lost these days. We need to be aware of this wake up call when, once again, a powerful nation is basically saying we’re unwanted, regardless of wether that wall is built or not.

Just remember the 70’s, when ads like this were an advertising hit:

CocaCola_Hilltop14-1024x435

Everybody wanted to buy you a coke and Disneyland’s “It’s a small world” was a popular ride. Boy, those days were truly utopic!

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