One Stop Shopping?
A part of the nationalistic, anti-immigrant, and rising anti-Semitic hunger in America is the refusal to examine the U.S. side of the border. The last presidential administration wanted to build walls and accused immigrants crossing our southern borders of being rapists and murderers. In 2018 over 30,000 murders were reported in Mexico, with over 20,000 resulting from intentional gun violence. One would assume, like in America, weapons are legally being sold in every la tiendita, swap meet, and car trunk sale (called gun shows) every weekend in Mexico. The problem with that theory is that the Mexican drug lords, murderers, and smugglers are supplied with mostly American weapons. Seventy percent of the firearms in Mexico are American-made—Mexico has one legal gun store.
In America, an eighteen-year-old can buy an assault weapon from a folding table with unlimited amounts of ammo for his birthday. According to a LATimes article written in 2018, the Directorate of Arms and Munition Sales is located on a heavily fortified military base in Mexico City. Months of background checks are required to enter after a physical frisking by uniformed soldiers. I equate it to the conservative media’s weekly finger-pointing to the violence in Chicago. Much like Mexico, Chicago has strict gun laws, but the flow of guns into the city from neighboring states—like Indiana, defeats the law. Talking about crime rates and immigrants is like describing a plane crash. Although plane-related deaths are far lower than car crashes, the spectacular grabs the headlines.
According to the Office of Justice Programs—a division of the Department of Justice, statistics show that ‘U.S.-born citizens are over 2 times more likely to be arrested for violent crimes, 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and over 4 times more likely to be arrested for property crimes.’ Of course, statistics like this are spitting into the wind because any Hispanic sir name, like a plane crash, garners a more sensational headline. Democrats spend a lot of time pointing out that America is made up of immigrants as if that will affect people’s thinking. The common identifier missing in that equation is America wants to classify itself as a white Christian nation. If you do not identify your religion, it is assumed you are a Christian. Words like “God (Jesus) bless you” after a sneeze, and “God (Jesus) Willing” before a trip or task are common to the lexicon.
It may be time to admit that the people crossing the border are not the problem, but the imaginations of Americans are the real dilemma. Although many groups of color are in the Christian vortex, we cannot escape the racial and ethnic differences that make people of color targets for overt discrimination and daily microaggressions. Asians, non-white Latins, Black, and Indigenous peoples can be or pretend to be Christians but cannot pretend to be white. Attacking and ostracizing Jews, denying the american franchise to Blacks, blaming American Asians for the spread of a virus, burning businesses, and beating American Muslims for the actions of others is not the fault of a Chinese, Black, Jewish or Muslim American. The responsibility lies in the hearts and minds of a forgetful nation of immigrant ancestors.
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