I like to imagine when historians look back at our society, what one thing will they find, that will be hard to believe. Not like 9/11, but what social or political event that reflects current social thought, will lead them to say ‘what the hell were they thinking?’ Such as slavery, it is hard to imagine any forward thinking society ever condoning slavery, or not allowing every adult the vote, or allowing children to work twelve hours a day in dangerous occupations. We look at those social acceptances from days gone by, and find it hard to fathom there was anyone who could muster a truly progressive thought. Yet there were.
Looking at this day’s events, what American ideas that gained mainstream acceptance will they look back on and have the same feeling we do when we think about child labor? Look no further than building a fence between the US and Mexico, approved by Congress, not yet financed, this boondoggle legislation sets US social evolution back somewhere between the Bay of Pigs, and giving Native Americans blankets infected with small pox. Every time I hear some one lauding this fence building plan, I am ashamed to be an American and a human.
I do understand the problems that come with a huge infusion of immigrants onto small communities, I do know they put a drain on the schools, I do know that crime goes up and wages go down. I know that immigrants have a way of taking over towns and not giving back, I know all of that.
But is living in cages the answer? Hasn’t this been tried before?
Diverse humans share the Earth, we are not alone on this planet, I know there are many things we wish did not exist at the same time we do. But you cannot pick these things, just the way you respond to them. You can respond with fear, or not. And nothing smacks of fear more than fences, patrols and locks. Live in a fear driven, locked up world if you want to. But locking our borders and fencing us in, smacks of cattle ranching not fulfillment. Those that want to keep those Mexicans out, also want to deal with only whites, go to church only with people that share their version of Jesus, and teach their children anything different is wrong.
Sounds disturbingly like the Taliban version of Afghanistan. Where women can’t show their face, or go to school. Where you can’t listen to music, or believe in anything but fundamental Islam.
It saddens me that one even has to write this. America once stood for freedom for all, and the potential of the human spirit no matter what the color of the skin.
You want to solve the immigrant crises? Help Mexico, invest in Mexico, educate Mexico. Thankfully you can start in your won backyard, volunteer to help ESL children, hire a Mexican, they will re-invest in their country, in their relatives, their culture places a much higher responsibility on family then ours. The solution will not come overnight, but as you raise the economic base of that country they will not fight, scratch, claw, to get into this one.
The larger question is will there ever come a time when the US does not feel the need to respond to ethnic issues with fear. Fear leads to prejudice than to hatred. And really haven’t we all seen enough of the power of hatred in our lifetime?
Mac McMann writes from the male point of view at [http://www.manslant.com]