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May 25, 2006

I know that this is supposed to be a retrospective on the experiences in my life, but I guess that you can’t really do a retrospective without explaining a little bit about whom it is that I am as an individual, and some of my personal opinions and observations about life in general, and current events.

That being said, something that has been weighing on my mind lately is the issue of national security. Specifically, the issue of border patrol.

I should start by saying that I am an American of Mexican decent, more specifically; I am half Mexican on my father’s side and half white (of Hungarian decent) on my mother’s side. This often puts me in unique situations when it comes to issues concerning race, or ethnic background.

I often find myself exposed to the best and the worst sides of people in these situations, because of the fact that even though I am half Mexican, my skin tone does not reflect it. I am often mistaken for “white”, while this is not completely wrong; it is not completely true either. On the reverse side most Mexicans believe that because we are both Chicano my opinions and views should reflect the popular opinions and views of our culture, again not true, but not false at the same time.

To be completely honest on the point of border security, I can understand both sides of the argument. As an American I understand that since 9-11 we as a country need to tighten security around all of our borders, not just the Mexican border but the Canadian border also. As a Mexican I know that most of the people crossing the border are just looking for a way to better their lives, and for the most part these “aliens” are coming over and doing the jobs we as Americans don’t want to do, or just simply won’t do.

What I don’t understand is how the government has been able to morph Osama Binladin and Al-quida, first into Sadam Husane, and then by some magic wave of the wand turn them all into Mexicans.

I keep hearing the argument that these illegal aliens are smuggling drugs, or are all part of some illegal crime syndicate, but honestly if you were part of some big time drug ring would you really spend your time picking tomatoes or manicuring people’s lawns? Think about it, how many times have you seen a rich migrant, who after a long day in the fields retires to his mansion with body guards and video surveillance systems to start plotting the eventual demise of our great nation?

Don’t get me wrong I am not so naïve as to think that illegal drugs and narcotics are not being brought across the border, but it is just such a small percentage of people doing these things I really don’t think that vilifying an entire race can be justified. Thomas Jefferson once said, on the issue of crime and punishment, that it’s better to let 10 guilty men go free than to punish one innocent man.

In all actuality every race or nationality has its criminal element, but is every white person a serial killer because all mass murderers happen to be Caucasian males? Is every black person a drug dealer because that is what television most commonly depicts? Or is every Italian in the mafia, making people “offers they cannot refuse” on a regular basis?

The answer rather anyone likes it or not is NO!

For the most part, the majority of Hispanic immigrants are just ordinary people trying to better their lives and live the American dream in hopes that their children will be able to achieve a level of success that just simply was not available to them.

I don’t think that the issue of border security would aggravate me so much if their were not such a tendency for the American public to concentrate on only the southern border. In all actuality the Canadian border is far less secure. After the horrific events of 9-11, the governments of Canada and the U.S. were able to discover and thwart an attempt by these “terrorists” to enter the country by way of Canada and carry out another attack on U.S. soil.

The U.S./Canadian border is the largest unprotected border in the world, there are spots where you can literally just walk across the border in either direction unchecked by any type of border security, but the news networks and the government never mention this at all.

The concern for tighter border security is a legitimate one, no one wants to see the events of 9-11 repeat themselves, but we as Americans should not just concentrate on the Mexican border, we need to realize that we also need to address the situations of our northern border and our coastal areas. How easy would it be to simply sneak into the country through Canada or even enter the country through the use of such hi-tech means as, A FUCKING BOAT!

At this point in time roughly 10% of all cargo entering the United States through our ports are checked for things such as bombs, radioactive material, or even people.

How hard would it be to take, lets say 100 cargo containers, put them on different ships and put just one terrorist in each one of these containers. If you just play the odds, 90 of these containers are going to make it into the country unchecked, leaving you with an army more than four times the size of the group that carried out the attacks on the twin towers and the pentagon.

Again, how much of this do you hear talked about on the news? How much of this do you hear the government address on a nearly constant basis? None, but we have the fucking National Guard patrolling the Mexican border don’t we?

How much of this is racially motivated? I would love nothing more than to be able to say none of it, but to be completely honest with you I really do believe that a large part of it is. In my younger days when I was a little bit more naïve my answer would probably been a different one, but I have had the opportunity to interact with a great number of people, and to be totally honest with you the majority of American people are nowhere near as educated or racially enlightened as we as a country would like to admit. It’s 2006 and I still here on an almost daily basis terms such as nigger, spick, towel head, and moyo (along with others).

I would be a hypocrite if I told you that I wasn’t guilty of using those terms also, but as I have said I am just a man, and as a man I am not without fault.

Let’s assume for a moment that the government was actually able to agree on and enforce a policy concerning immigration. No matter which one of the current plans wins the outcome would eventually be the same.

Plan number one involves granting amnesty to all of the current illegal immigrants or letting them stay in the country on some kind of guest worker program and allowing them to earn their citizenship eventually. The other is to simply round up all of the illegal aliens currently in the country and deport them.

For the sake of argument let’s say the first plan was the one that was implemented, the outcome would eventually be the same as the second plan. Within a generation or two the amount of illegal’s in the country is eliminated, and we only have legal documented immigrants, at a level that we as a country feel is acceptable, putting us at the same end point as the other plan but with a slightly higher Hispanic population.

These guest workers would undoubtedly continue along the same lines of work that they currently are in, but their children will receive an education, endeavor to become something or someone greater than their parents, and eventually become completely Americanized. They would be no different than you or I.

OK here in lies the problem…. Who is going to do all of the crap jobs that all of these “unwanted illegal aliens” are doing now? What American in their right mind is going to stand out in the hot sun all day long picking cucumbers for 1-3 cents per pickle? Or tomatoes, or any other fruit or vegetable for that matter? Americans don’t want to do this work, its crap work! I’ve done these jobs, your average American would rather go unemployed than to do this kind of work.

Go into any trailer park in the country and ask any one of these unemployed fuckers if he would like to make some money, and when you tell him what he would be doing, see how long it takes them to tell you to fuck off.

These are back breaking jobs and Americans just simply don’t want to do them, so much so that at one point they were bringing over ships full of people from Africa and forcing them to do these jobs for them.

At this point in time we have an entire class of people willing to risk life and limb to get over here and do these jobs for next to nothing, just so that their children can have and education and maybe make something out of their lives and our only response as a country is to say “Fuck you! Go home!”

Now the farmers have to pay a more competitive wage, with health care, and a retirement plan in order to entice people to come and do these jobs. Who is going to have to pick up this final cost for all of this, us the consumer.

Not to sound even more cynical than I already do, but “who in the hell is going to pay $15.00 for a damn bottle of catsup? $10.00 for a bottle of relish? Blow me! I’ll eat my $8.00 hot-dog plain.”

I know that no one other than me will probably ever read this, but if you do…. Be careful of what you ask for America you just might get it. I know the things I have mentioned might be slightly exaggerated, but they might not be that far off base either. If someone would have told me eight years ago that I would be paying almost $3.00 a gallon for gasoline, I probably would have fell on the floor laughing and peed myself.

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