Insight News

Feb 11th

What about the other border?

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stockvault-border138362Nobody asked me, but there seems to me to be some major omissions in the discussion surrounding "The Border."

First, this country has two borders. By far, the larger of the two is the border with Canada. Let's look at Canada.

Ninety percent of all Canadian citizens live within 50 miles of the U.S. border. I was in Detroit a while ago. I watched, from the hotel balcony, a steady stream of cars coming into Detroit from Windsor, Canada, through a tunnel built to speed them along. The folks in those cars weren't sneaking across the border; they were just coming to work. This was the morning commute. Moreover, they weren't coming to clean hotel rooms, wash restaurant dishes or pick cauliflower in 107-degree heat. They were coming to work at jobs 80 percent of Detroiters would love to have. At the end of the business day, those cars reverse stream and carry their occupants back home to Canada – Canada, a country with universal health care ... a country where guns are used for hunting. Google firearm homicides per capita in Canada. Personal safety does not seem to be an issue on the streets of Canada's large cities.

Of course, Americans can readily tell Canadians from Latinos in a line up. And that's the crux of all the vitriol. The population of darker peoples continues to increase. Republicans do not send their children on 1000-mile walks to avoid danger at home. They send them in the Hummer with their man, Charles at the wheel. Everyone assumes these young children will vote Democrat if/when they get the chance. So think of this as preemptive voter suppression.

This is a country that would rather have a white president lie its sons and daughters into war to serve the interests of corporate leeches; and then hate a Black one just because he's Black but who's bringing the sons and daughters home.

Ta Nehisi Coates lays this construct bare in his piece in The Atlantic. In chronicling the real estate fraud and terrorism of 20th century urban America, he writes, "As late as 1950, the National Association of Real Estate Boards' code of ethics warned that 'a realtor should never be instrumental in introducing into a neighborhood ... any race or nationality, or any individuals whose presence will clearly be detrimental to property values.' A 1943 brochure specified that such potential undesirables might include madams, bootleggers, gangsters and a colored man of means who was giving his children a college education and thought they were entitled to live among whites."

Too many Americans are apoplectic over the repeated spectacle of a Black man coming to a podium behind the U.S. seal and speaking to America and the world as if he is "entitled" to do what "great" white men have done for centuries. So, it is only too easy to sell them the lie that President Obama – the Muslim, Kenyan fraudulent president – is responsible for all their unhappiness.

It saddens and embarrasses me, as an American, even as a Black one, to watch "adult" Americans screaming at little Latino kids on busses and blocking their path. Images of Alabama Gov. George Wallace flood to mind. That they do this standing on soil stolen from Mexico, in a town founded by a Latino puts the toxic icing on the cake. Saddens and embarrasses, but, does not surprise, even a little. The Statue of Liberty should be melted down and fashioned into bayonets.

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