December 14, 2009

El Otro Lado

This fence, this wall, is a monstrosity honoring that fear. This wall sickens me to an extent I never thought possible. I live here, on this side of the wall. This place is just as great and just as awe-inspiring as anything on the other side of that wall. The people here are just human and just as loving as the people across the wall. I feel hurt that my government finds it necessary to erect a structure that keeps people at a literal arms-length from each other, where there had been no conflict in the past.

I feel like that wall is a betrayal of my desire to come here. It says that there is something here, where I am, that is to be shunned and kept out. Sure there are drugs here in Mexico, but is the fence really doing anything to stop that?  There are drugs in the States too. Growing up, the county I lived in had one of the highest rate of meth labs per capita in the nation. I never felt fear about that. It never worried me. So why should a few men in another country who choose to smuggle drugs worry me so much?

Back to being betrayed: Even though I can walk freely across that border (given I have my passport with me) I feel like the fact that I have to walk through such an elaborate wall signifies an abhorrence for things on this side, the side which I have chosen to live on. This is not even my adopted country, I am pretty transient here, in the long run, but that thousand mile-long edifice makes me feel shunned and disliked. Imagine how someone who grew up here, who is this place, inextricably a part of it, would feel on having a monstrous wall put up just to separate their country from some other place.

Thoughts on the border fence from a Hawthornian in diaspora...

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