2007-05-31

Get in there, Kid

I made the big time today, batting third on Altercation in the Correspondence Corner. Altercation is a great blog because it is everything one looks for in a blog - a fearless desire to take opinions on the issues of the day. More often than not, I find myself in agreement with the author, but my comment today was on an area of disagreement: border fences.

I cannot think of a more useless device than a border fence. If the Great Wall of China did not prevent the Mongols from making it down for some tea; if the Maginot line
did not prevent the Germans from stopping by to hang out along the Seine and smoke those long, thin cigarettes - what makes anyone think a border fence will prevent people displaced by American trade policy from coming here to get the jobs they need to support their families?

I have noting against immigrants - illegal or otherwise. In fact, I despise the term "illegal immigrant". As a former slave, I know what it means to define people as illegal (although is a "nonperson" just a completely separate category all together?). Nevertheless, it all means the same thing at the end of the day: white people have decided that it is okay to treat a specific class of people as though they were worth less than themselves. And lets be clear here, that is what "illegal immigration" is all about: identifying for the country just who can be paid under the table, who can be dismissed without concern and who can we feel free to discuss as though what motivates them is an entirely separate set of human emotions - ones unique from those that drive "us" the "real" humans.

Instead of building fences at border crossings, we should be seeking ways to remove borders; political borders are imaginary constructs anyway, designed and implemented as control mechanisms by the mighty against the powerless.

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2 comments:

Dollared said...

Hi Jericho,

With great sympathy to your concern about white people who think other people are less worthy, I still am strongly in favor of borders.

The evidence is very clear that successful, safe, productive societies are in the minority in the world: Western (and increasingly Eastern) Europe, the US and Canada, and certain islands around the world (Japan, Taiwan, Cuba, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand). With the exception of Europe, that paid for its learning with its own blood and the blood and sweat of the colonies, all other successful societies have had the benefit of low population density and/or physical isolation.

It's pretty easy to understand. With high population density, by and large, labor is cheap, poorer people are desperate, and life is cheap. You get exactly the kind of class-based society that you and I deplore, with its attendant stagnation, mass poverty and exploitation, and dominance of a corrupt upper class that would rather stay in control that live in honesty and equality.

Sounds like I'm talking about Mexico, no? But it could also be Brazil, modern China, Indonesia, and a dozen other places that could send us their desperately poor and their smart and ambitious (but not well-connected) young people, just like India does today.

So why wouldn't I want to preserve our imperfect and less-than-just society, where at least my child can look forward to safe streets, a decent job (if she's lucky and things don't get any worse), and she can live without the fear that the police are actually the kidnappers and assassins, like she would in Mexico?

Thanks but no thanks. Let's limit immigration, and force the honest and hard working members of Mexican society to stay home and fight the same fight we fought from 1860-1970 to create a more just society where they live. Then we can open our borders and have the utopia you imagine.

Anonymous said...

First time on your blog. As an immigrant, the whole debate scares the hell out of me. I'm an African and at the moment we are flying under the radar, we have not reached critical mass as an immigrant community in the US. The Europeans had their time, the Asians had their time and now it's the Hispanics. The circle of debate laced with hatred and racism does not end and I fear soon it will be the bloody Africans. So a study comes out that says that the most educated immigrant community in the US is African and the new proposed laws have a point system where the most educated get first dibs. Does that mean Africans will benefit from the next best thing? Lets wait until people realise that the law of unintended consequences just awarded a 'Black' groups the advantage