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The southern border of the United States is not a finish line

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For me, the immigration debate comes down to commercial airlines’ safety instructions: "put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others." Until every rural American—the welcome wagon at most borders and border towns—feels heard, loved, fed, supported, educated, included, and respected—prosperous (prosperity breeds generosity)—then they will never feel like they can ever affix an oxygen mask on a stranger.

The southern border of the United States is not a finish line

Your oxygen mask first

I welcome refugees of violence and hunger, yes; however, none of their struggles will necessarily end upon crossing the border into America. The southern border is not a finish line. The risk analysis of coming here needs to include the possibility of spending an entire life of running and hiding and praying that their American kids and grandkids will have been raised in America without their being torn away from their children, jailed, deported, or worse.

If that calculus adds up, it might still be a challenging life but better than starving, being butchered, or getting killed. The sizable risk of trying to reach the U.S. could very well end up in death or slavery during transit alone. The risk might be well worth it for a prosperous future both for their American family as well as for their family who remain in Latin, Central, and South America in the form of remittances and family pride.

Even the most guilt tripping article or sermon can't make Americans behave nicely unless we want to. All one has against selfish, rude, violent, and criminal actions and behavior is the law. But the law only penalizes criminal behaviors that have come to pass.

They're neither prophylactic nor preventative. Laws work in advance of violence and cruelty best when a population isn't already in duress and whether or not rural Americans are actually in duress or are the victims of the diatribe of Fox News, Evangelical Sermons, and AM talk radio matters not. The effect is the same: making anyone who feels like they're not benefiting from the American dream personally get extremely possessive and jealous of the promise that the American ideal made to them.

Whether explicitly or implicitly, we need to finally just admit that this is either an actual full-scale population relocation migration such as occurred during the actual ice age and what often happens because of war or drought; or it's about a cultural norm of sacrificing one or more family members to leave home and pursue prosperity abroad in order to make dollars and send remittances back to the family, something that happens worldwide: Indians in Saudi, rural Thais to Bangkok and intentionally sacrificed to sweatshops and slave factories in order to earn Baht instead of being stuck in the cashless economy of subsistence farming. Remittance is a world "epidemic" and has been the majority fuel behind crypto and other digital currencies among people who aren't Bitcoin whales or crypto-hobbyists.

I feel like the truth is even more dire: it's gotten well past the narrative of refugees being dangerous. You can't berate people into loving thy neighbor through guilt.

The more people are shamed into accepting things they just don't want, the longer the snooze bar is tapped—but this also breeds extremism.

Nothing is free. There is going to, 1000%, be extreme human reactions to what's going to be a bigger and bigger issue.

You can't just tell people that accepting refugees and asylum seekers is the right thing to do. Citizens must open their own communities and their own homes to their new, culturally much different, neighbors, who oftentimes don't speak their language. If governments force this acceptance upon citizens, then everyone should pray through the dark of night when evil deeds actually happen.

Every desperate action has an equal or greater act of desperation.

Case in point: many Americans weren't very neighborly when it came to receiving their own citizens as refugees after Katrina.

Oh, and let me add that America's pretty racist.

I think if "poor uneducated" Norwegians were "flooding" over the southern border, Americans would be like "what's up with this? Who are these people" after a while, too.

For me, the immigration debate comes down to commercial airlines’ safety instructions: "put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others." Until every rural American—the welcome wagon at most borders and border towns—feels heard, loved, fed, supported, educated, included, and respected—prosperous (prosperity breeds generosity)—then they will never feel like they can ever affix an oxygen mask on a stranger. When low income, low prosperity, people who are in disability and feel ignored by the coasts see oxygen being used on ausländers instead of their own self, their own kids, their own kin, and their own communities ("why do Mexicans get to keep their kids in cages and I can't afford daycare! " for example) get all sorts of protections, attention, support, legal aid, etc etc etc, it's easy to understand. It's easy to be generous when you make >$350k worth of oxygen mask oxygen a year instead of $17k. No oxygen in your own oxygen mask, no oxygen in your kids' or wife's or community's mask, then—hold my beer—"I'm desperately sorry but I need to preserve my oxygen."

Sadly, they call it the preservation of American heritage or culture or language—or other ham-fisted xenophobic jingoistic cliche claptrap—all of which sounds nationalistic, racist, and populist.

But they are conflicted because what they need is socialism but what they want is capitalism, which they're failing at.

So, listen to what they are meaning instead of what they're saying. It's exactly what the Parable of the Prodigal Son addresses.

Anti-immigrant Americans are like the older son, who resents his perception that the younger son not only receives the father's inheritance but, after squandering it all, comes back, destitute. America sees itself as the father who accepts the destitute with open arms no matter what (though, strangely, not her own citizens, you've got to admit, alas), rural Americans seem to deeply feel like they're the prodigal son's older brother.

"Envious, the older son refuses to participate in the festivities. The father tells the older son 'you are ever with me, and all that I have is yours, but thy younger brother was lost and now he is found." -Wikipedia

Put On Your Own Mask First

 

Jun 13, 2019 03:10 PM