Originally Published at Peace and Conflict Monitor on: 11/01/2007
Category: Letters to the Editor
Re: Buildings Walls inthe Free World
Sorry, but having a border fence is not offensive. It’s just a fence. Good fences make for good neighbors, right?
Seriously, there was fence that separated East and West Germany, right? Why shouldn’t there be one separating Mexico from the US? Frankly, I’m surprised Mexico isn’t happy that there’s a fence preventing drunken gringo fratboys from invading the country every spring break.
Okay, all kidding aside. Doesn’t Mexico have a brutal policy against illegal/undocumented immigrants from other parts of Latin American? In particular, aren’t Mexican authorities known for their racist treatment of Indigenous American migrants (and natives of Mexicans)?
Every country has a right to protect its borders as it sees fit. Mexico’s government claims a right to publish racist, anti-black stamps of its “beloved” sambo cartoon character and bristles at criticism from the US, right?
What really is wrong with a country defending its borders?
Re: Javier Solana’s dislike of walls between countries
I find this ironic. While I commend the EU’s attitudes towards open immigration, that attitude definitely does not exist among the majority of Spanish citizens I’ve met. I’m studying in Madrid right now and believe me, the racism towards immigrants is widespread and a little frightening. It’s very similar to the feelings of the loudest of the loonies in the US right now. I have many examples.. walking around with my Chinese friend always invites comments. I went to the park with my host family, and when we reached an area of the park where South American immigrant families were eating lunches and playing with their kids they wanted to turn back. They explained to me that these people used to congregate in such large numbers, that ‘ni un espanol podia pasar.’ When spanish folks started complaining about the food carts that people were setting up and the amount of immigrants in that area, the police began scaring them off. To hear these reactions to families enjoying the park is upsetting, but not surprising; just like we’ve seen on May Day in LA, a bunch of brown people congregating anywhere scares the bejeesus out of xenophobic citizens and the governments elected by them. Not to mention the recent riots in an immigrant suburb, where a mob of Spanish youths started attacks against immigrants in the neighborhood, that lasted for an entire weekend. And the justification for racist and violent attacks given by much of the media and many citizens was that they were only protecting themselves and their community from the latin-american gangs that have recently shown up. I could go on and on, honestly, but there’s no need to hear every example to understand that Europe is every bit as fucked up in its issues with immigration as the US.