“A 4-year-old lady handed out in 100-degree warmth after she was pushed again towards Mexico by Texas Nationwide Guard personnel. A pregnant girl turned trapped in razor wire and had a miscarriage. A state trooper stated he was underneath orders to not give migrants any water.”
Sure, these are scenes from one thing referred to as “Operation Lone Star,” however the director isn’t John Ford; it’s Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — and that is actual life, as reported by USA As we speak.
And in actual life, not less than 853 migrants died making an attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border up to now 12 months. And God is aware of what number of merely endured — and proceed to endure — numerous types of hell.
One thing there’s that doesn’t love a wall …
The wall Robert Frost wrote about in his traditional poem “Mending Wall,” revealed in 1914, was a hand-built stone wall separating an apple orchard from a pine forest. The narrator of the poem expressed ambivalence about partitions generally — what’s their level? — and smirked when his neighbor stated: “Good fences make good neighbors.” However right here he was, working along with his neighbor to restore it. This was an annual ritual; hunters had been at all times knocking a part of the wall down, and the winter climate — the frost — additionally inflicted common injury. The wall was merely a part of their lives, so each spring they put it again collectively.
Apparently, the poem began claiming a spot within the nationwide political consciousness within the early ’60s, after the Soviets constructed a wall dividing East and West Berlin. Yeah, one thing there’s that doesn’t love a wall. The road had Chilly Struggle resonance, not less than when it was directed on the communists, who had been arrogantly making a barrier that should not be crossed.
Fairly clearly, this was not a wall constructed by equals. It was a one-sided declaration to an enemy: Keep out. America, the great guys, informed the Soviets with ethical certainty: Tear down that wall. This places the current second, and the obsession of sure highly effective People with “border safety” (and, for God’s sake, razor wire), in an fascinating context.
Think about these phrases of Martin Luther King, when he visited Berlin in 1964:
“It’s certainly an honor to be on this metropolis, which stands as a logo of the divisions of males on the face of the earth. For right here on both facet of the wall are God’s youngsters and no artifical barrier can obliterate that truth. Whether or not or not it’s East or West, women and men seek for which means, hope for success, yearn for religion in one thing past themselves, and cry desperately for love and group to help them on this pilgrim journey.”
I suppose these are simple phrases to embrace after they’re directed at a declared enemy. However King’s context was a little bit bigger than that. He informed his viewers of Berliners that, whereas he was hardly an skilled in German politics, he knew about partitions. I feel he may very properly have stated the identical phrases in El Paso or Laredo or Eagle Move — any Texas border metropolis.
“For right here on both facet of the wall are God’s youngsters and no artifical barrier can obliterate that truth.”
Are you conscious of that, Gov. Abbott?
Easy-minded and merciless governmental insurance policies — insurance policies wrapped in razor wire — maintain nobody secure.
So am I saying that border safety is a hundred percent flawed and our borders ought to be broad open? In my coronary heart, sure, however I’m additionally conscious that the matter is far more difficult than that, and the circulation of refugees into a rustic can create advanced difficulties for the present social construction, monetary and in any other case. What I am saying is that the circulation of refugees is a world matter — type of on the order of local weather change, to not point out conflict — and we … all of us … should dedicate way more power and consciousness to addressing it than we’ve to this point. Dehumanizing the refugees, then merely specializing in protecting them out, as if they had been vermin, betrays an excruciating lack of ethical intelligence.
And the injury is widespread, cultural and environmental. Because the Heart for Organic Range factors out:
“Border partitions constructed over the previous a number of many years alongside the U.S.-Mexico border are a darkish stain on American historical past. A whole bunch of miles of wall have been constructed by means of protected public lands, communities and sovereign tribal nations. These boundaries minimize by means of delicate ecosystems, disrupt animal migration patterns, trigger catastrophic flooding and separate households.”
And a various array of endangered and uncommon species is threatened by our militarized safety of an imaginary line, together with, as the middle notes: “Sonoran pronghorns, lesser long-nosed bats, Quino checkerspot butterflies, cactus ferruginous pygmy owls, and bigger predators like jaguars, Mexican grey wolves and ocelots …”
The “border downside” can’t be resolved by minimizing our connection to all of humanity and all the pure world. What we name authorities is our collective id. It’s extra than simply paperwork. It’s extra than simply guidelines and weapons and razor wire. And now could be the time for it to get up, however this may solely occur if we demand that it increase its consciousness … increase its sense of empathy. That is the one means it could actually “shield” us from our self-created issues.
Robert Koehler ([email protected]), syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor. He’s the creator of Braveness Grows Robust on the Wound.