As I have previously written, the México-U.S. border wall proposed by Donald Trump is a symbol of a narrative about México that blames México for the problems of the United States. The notion that the wall is to secure the United States from outside threats or that it will prevent undocumented immigrants from coming to the country is also wrong. Those of us opposed to the wall, are not opposed to ensuring the safety and security of the United States. I am opposed to the faulty narrative that all that is wrong in the United States is the fault of México. Let me let you in on a little secret, as an immigrant from México, I have no problem with the United States imposing requirements like no criminals on those of us that want to make our homes in the U.S. What I oppose is the hypocrisy of needing Mexican labor and goods while pretending that México, or Mexicans are a drain on the prosperity of the country, or even worse, that México, or Mexicans are evil.
The symbology of the wall empowers the narrative that México, and its people, are the enemy of the United States. The wall symbolizes the notion that México only takes from the United States. It symbolizes that Mexicans are detrimental to the United States. It symbolizes that the United States would be better off without México on its border.
What the narrative really wants, but no one wants to verbalize is a México subservient to the whims of the United States where México’s beaches, hospitality and people kowtow to American imperialism. Ask anyone that has embraced the notion of The Wall what it will solve and the responses will all circle around ending undocumented immigration, bringing jobs back to the country, making the country safer or stopping the drugs from killing the country’s children.
Those answers are the response to a faulty narrative about México that has been created over generations to give the U.S. voters something to distract them with.
Let me break them down for you one by one:
Contrary to the faulty narrative that undocumented immigration is down because of Donald Trump, the drop in undocumented immigrants in the United States has been falling since 2009. Also, since 2009, more Mexican immigrants have left then have come to the country. This flux in immigration is the result of various factors, none of which have to do with Donald Trump’s election. In the case of México, much to the chagrin of many, it is the success of NAFTA that has grown jobs in México resulting in less Mexican immigrants.
The unspoken reality of Mexican immigrants is that Mexicans, for the most part, do not want to immigrate to the United States, they want work permits to work and then return to México.
Bringing Jobs Back
The narrative that immigrants take jobs way from U.S. citizens is perpetuated by unions and others who ignore the facts about automation and the changing job markets. A very simple way to understand this is the demise of Radio Shack and big-box stores that are closing. The numerous jobs that are being lost are not the result of immigrants, but rather the way consumers prefer to shop today, via the Internet.
It is an unspoken reality that Best Buy is the showroom for Amazon and other online shops. Consumers go to test drive appliances and electronics at the stores and then order them online to save money. It is the same consumers that look for the cheapest prices that decry their lost jobs and lower wages.
Making the Country Safer
Today, the United States is dealing with threats from radical Islamic terrorism and rouge nations like North Korea. None of these threats have come from México, through México or by México. Yet, the narrative continues that a wall will protect the United States because it fits the faulty narrative.
Stopping the Drugs
The debate over illicit drugs avoids the very simple fact that it is United States consumers that fuel the drug trade. Without consumers, there would be no drug dealers. But the faulty narrative of blaming México allows the U.S. politicians to pretend that it is not the U.S. consumers that are at fault.
Most hypocritical of all, is the conservative notion of demanding self-sufficiency and personal responsibility without acknowledging that the biggest driving force for the drug lords is the money the consumers in the United States pay them.
Regardless, The Wall will not stop the drugs because the drug barons already rely on corruption in the United States, submarines and tunnels to get the drugs into the country. The Wall will do little to solve that problem because the consumers in the U.S. will pay for the drugs from wherever they come.
Besides those arguments for The Wall, there are those in the United States that truly fear the changing face of the country. They misuse the term assimilation to hide the fact that what they truly fear is a multicultural country, mainly Mexican, where Spanish and English are equally spoken. They want the white-Anglo culture to be the leading culture of the country.
If only they would stop pretending that it is about assimilation and truly accept that what they fear is the erosion of their culture, then I would have nothing to say, other than I disagree with them, but it is their country to do as they please. If they have the votes, then do it. But stop the hypocrisy of the assimilation argument.
As for the rest of The Wall supporters, the facts contradict their arguments but they continue to embrace the faulty narrative as that is what makes them feel better.
This is the thing that The Wall symbolizes and why it is opposed not by me alone, but by many others, including elected officials, many of which are conservatives and Republicans.
This is the unpleasant reality that Donald Trump and The Wall supporters do not want to accept.
But the facts poignantly put the reality out for all to see, even for those that still hide behind the faulty narrative that they blindly embrace.
Many years ago, I started a notebook of facts that I kept handy to use to correct the record about México that many believed. At the time, I naively believed that it was our own fault, Mexicans, for allowing the falsehoods to continue unchallenged. Many of us Mexicans also perpetuate the falsehoods by not holding ourselves accountable, but I soon grew to understand that many of the falsehoods were perpetuated for political expediency.
Terms like third-world countries turned into developing nations as the United States’ political leadership evolved from Manifest Destiny into Yankee Imperialism into security through the right of preemptive strikes to defend the nation. In other words, the United States segmented the world into those it saw as the enemy, like China and Russia, to those that they could use to buffer the country from the enemies, like Canada and England to those that had resources: labor and natural, for the U.S. to use.
These terms are just a manifestation of colonialism where other people and resources were for the benefit of the people of the United States.
Pretending that México is a third-world country incapable of participating equally on the world stage, or that it takes but does not give back, allows the U.S. citizens to feel better about making México the scapegoat for all that ails the United States.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy by demonizing México and Mexicans he did so because he understood that scapegoating México would lead to votes. The Wall symbolizes it perfectly but it also demonstrates the hypocrisy of the faulty narrative.
Donald Trump has at least 50%, if not more of the country behind him. His party controls both houses of Congress. Yet, and this is important, Donald Trump cannot get the Congress to fund his symbol – The Wall.
Because behind the faulty narrative is the reality that many Congressmen, especially those who represent the southern border region, clearly understand is that the economy of the United States would be severely damaged by an unfriendly México.
Trump, like his supporters, will continue to manufacture a faulty reality, like the “wall will be built,” because the simple truth will destroy the carefully crafted faulty narrative that has gone on for generations.
As a Mexican I cannot allow this to remain unchallenged. The truth must be allowed to see the light.
It is a battle I’m willing to fight for as long as The Wall symbol continues to be used by Trump and his ilk.
For now, No Pinche Wall!