It’s only a few days into America’s new administration and I am reeling — which is why I’m unable to sleep, sitting at the computer at 4:30 in the morning drinking day old coffee out of my mug that has a drawing of an owl that looks like it wants to kill you and reads “I will fuck you up. SRSLY.”
I have been watching as executive order after executive order has been signed (hey, Republicans, where’s the outrage now?). We have an executive order that not only brings back the global gag rule but expands it massively, endangering the health of impoverished people all over the world (thanks, Trump). We have an executive order to go ahead with the Keystone pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline (because, fuck the earth). We have an expected ban on refugees (because give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free is so 2016). And, of course, we have Trump’s #FuckingWall.
There are so many things I could write about at this point — and they’re all bouncing around in my head. But since I have called Honduras home for a good two and a half years I have some words about the #FuckingWall.
The first point I want to make is this: all throughout his campaign, Trump demonized people of color, and seemed especially focused on Mexican immigrants and people of Mexican heritage. Calling them “rapists,” “criminals,” “killers.” For a lovely list of some of his most offensive statements about Mexicans, and other Latinos, you can click here. Now, if Trump was your crazy uncle sitting in a corner muttering about brown people he would just seem bizarre and pathetic. Give him a pat on the head and refill his cup cause dude is off his rocker. But he’s not your crazy uncle, he’s the president (excuse me while I gag on my day old coffee), and he’s profoundly dangerous. Our country was built by immigrants, our diversity is our greatest gift — which makes a vehemently anti-immigrant president all the more dangerous to our moral core. We should be able to agree on that. We don’t. That’s terrifying. As an aside, I don’t know what his particular hangup with Mexicans is, but for a possible explanation you can click here: The Man Who Made Donald Trump Hate Mexico. So there’s his unhinged hate, and that of his supporters. That’s a problem.
Then we have the wall. The #FuckingWall. Which will very soon be our other, incredibly expensive (anyone have $14 billion laying around? Yeah, me neither), problem. It’s not only a problem because it is a wall that will be built on bigotry and fear, it’s a problem because it’s a bad solution to a refugee crisis from Mexico that doesn’t exist. Nowadays, more Mexicans are leaving the US than are entering it (seriously, who can blame them). The refugee crisis is coming from Central America. And it exists for humanitarian reasons.
I have lived in Central America for nearly six years now. And I am so fucking sick of hearing my fellow US citizens demonize people who are my neighbors and my friends. People who have taken us in, treated us with kindness, patience, and warmth. Trump’s #FuckingWall isn’t the solution to the refugee crisis. The solution to the crisis is to do exactly what organizations like USAID, the State Department, and NGO’s are doing here — fighting corruption, fighting the narcotics trade, strengthening communities, educating children, empowering people. But don’t take my word for it, take the word of a former assistant secretary of homeland security for border, immigration and trade policy who served under both Obama and Bush (man, I almost miss Bush and his cute little, plastic poncho fighting ass) who wrote an articled entitled “Trump’s border wall attacks the wrong immigration crisis.” Rather than spend billions on a wall, let’s fully fund our State Department and USAID, let’s fund NGO’s, let’s work with the amazing local organizations made up of brave people who are hell bent on helping their countries reach their potential.
I know the good, the progress, that is happening in countries like Honduras because I see it every day in the children I meet whose lives have been changed by participating in education programs, language programs, arts programs, robotics programs, leadership programs, on and on. Those children are the solution, they can solve this problem. Not the wall, not hate, not bigotry, not fear.
And, lest we forget, we are ALL Americans. Somos todos Americanos. And our future, our beauty, is in our diversity and our vibrancy. Hate will sink us.