Individuals try out see-saws on the border between the United States and Mexico that recently were installed by two California professors. Many if not most Americans don’t even know that Mexicans didn’t cross the border; the border crossed them.
I can’t — or at least don’t or won’t — write about every mass shooting that takes place here in the United States of America. One simply cannot keep up. I will remark, however, that, as I indicated in my last blog post, the root cause of America’s gun violence is, yes, a lack of love.
We can talk infinitely about the need for better gun control, the lack of mental health services, ignorant and hateful (and thus even dangerous) messages posted on social media platforms, etc., etc., but until we peel back all of the layers and just acknowledge that the No. 1 thing that we lack in the U.S.A. is love — here in the U.S. it has been, for a very long time, every individual out only for himself — the massacres will continue.
The massacres continue because we don’t want to change our selfish, unloving ways. The ugly fact is that at least on some level we are OK with that “collateral damage” as long as we still keep getting “ours.” If some people we don’t know have to die in order for us to be able to continue our selfish, willfully blind bullshit, so be it.
That said, of the three recent most-publicized gun massacres — the one in Gilroy, California, on July 28, the one in El Paso, Texas, on August 3, and the one in Dayton, Ohio, on August 4 — the one I find the most interesting is the El Paso massacre.
(Note that those haven’t been the only gun massacres since July 28; since July 28, at least 21 other people have been shot and killed in the U.S. in much-less-publicized shootings, including one in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, that I’d never heard of in which five people were killed on the same day as the Gilroy shooting [in which four were killed].)
Not only did the El Paso massacre have the largest body count of the recent gun massacres — 22, the largest gun-massacre body count in the U.S. thus far this year — but the shooter’s apparent woeful ignorance of the history of Texas (and, indeed, of the entire U.S. Southwest), coupled, of course, with the blatant white nationalist and xenophobic rhetoric of “President” Pussygrabber & Co., apparently were factors.
This is what Mexico looked like before the United States strong-armed Mexico into giving up its land claims after the Mexican-American War of 1846 through 1848 (which was started when white American settlers — dare I call them invaders? — just decided that Texas no longer was Mexico’s, but was theirs):
After the U.S. won the war with Mexico — a war the U.S. very probably wouldn’t have started if it wasn’t sure that it would win it — Mexico, militarily unable to fend off the hordes of white invaders fulfilling their “manifest destiny,” was forced to hand over to the U.S. control of the land indicated in white in this map (from Wikipedia):
The entire states of Texas, California, Nevada and Utah; most of the states of Arizona and New Mexico; much of Colorado; and pieces of what today are Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma essentially were stolen from Mexico, with two small pieces of Arizona and New Mexico, shown in brown in the map above, later purchased from Mexico.
I’m sure that only a minority of Americans even know that a huge chunk of the United States — about a third of it — used to be Mexico. It was populated, although sparsely in many places, by Mexicans. As it has been said, the Mexicans didn’t cross the border; the border crossed them!
It is so ironic, yet so indicative of American hypocrisy and ignorance, for Americans today to be calling those of Mexican descent “invaders.”
At campaign rallies before last year’s midterm elections, President Trump repeatedly warned that America was under attack by immigrants heading for the [southern] border. “You look at what is marching up, that is an invasion!” he declared at one rally. “That is an invasion!”
Nine months later, a 21-year-old white man is accused of opening fire in a Walmart in El Paso, killing 20 people [the count is now 22] and injuring dozens more after writing a manifesto railing against immigration and announcing that “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
The suspect wrote that his views “predate Trump,” as if anticipating the political debate that would follow the blood bath. But if Trump did not originally inspire the gunman, he has brought into the mainstream polarizing ideas and people once consigned to the fringes of American society.
While other leaders have expressed concern about border security and the costs of illegal immigration, Trump has filled his public speeches and Twitter feed with sometimes false, fear-stoking language even as he welcomed to the White House a corps of hard-liners, demonizers and conspiracy theorists shunned by past presidents of both parties.
Because of this, Trump is ill equipped to provide the kind of unifying, healing force that other presidents projected in times of national tragedy. …
My entire life I (a white man) have lived entirely in Arizona and in California — both states that wholly used to be part of Mexico.
I’ve been surrounded by Latinos my entire lifetime and never considered them to be “invaders” or “outsiders” or otherwise felt that they don’t belong. They are part and parcel of the Southwest, and will remain so for a very long time to come.
It blows my mind that after whites forcibly took over what used to be northern Mexico — in much the same style that they stole so much of the land of the United States from Native Americans only because the Native Americans also militarily could not prevent the invasion of the whites* — American whites today would take the stance of the victim: They’re taking over our land!
Beyond pathetic. White “supremacy”? People who don’t even know the basic fucking history of their own nation (yet, of course, who nonetheless call themselves “patriots”) hardly are “supreme.” They are abject fucking morons.
Fact is, I’d rather be surrounded by Latinos, the vast majority of whom are accepting and kind and hard-working and generous, than by right-wing white people, who, by definition, are evil and destructive.
Latinos don’t owe me a debt of gratitude; I owe them one, because their numbers to at least some degree buffer and soften the influence of evil white people. Therefore, I am fine with Latinos’ numbers growing in the U.S., as much as I do believe in birth control for a better quality of life for everyone.**
And the Latinos aren’t taking over “my” land; I’m quite clear that my race took over theirs.
If Spanish one day becomes the official language of the United States of America, as the wingnuts tell us to be very afraid of, so be it. It’s a wonderful language, much easier to learn than is English, as it contains far fewer irregularities and idiosyncrasies.
And it — the Latin Americanization of the United States of America — would be a peaceful, gradual change over time; future generations of Americans would speak Spanish (or maybe a Spanish-English hybrid), but it would have come naturally to them, as a natural evolution of language, as would all of the other cultural changes, such as with food and music and clothing, changes that have been underway for a long time now anyway.
White Americans have nothing to fear; the Latin Americanization of the United States, if it materializes, wouldn’t have come at the barrel of a gun.
That, you see, is how white people do it.
P.S. I stumbled across a letter that Walt Whitman wrote way back in 1883 on the occasion of the anniversary of the founding of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He wrote that he couldn’t attend the anniversary observation to which he’d been invited, but he said these things about it:
… We Americans have yet to really learn our own antecedents, and sort them, to unify them. They will be found ampler than has been supposed and in widely different sources. Thus far, impressed by New England writers and schoolmasters, we tacitly abandon ourselves to the notion that our United States have been fashioned from the British Islands only, and essentially form a second England only — which is a great mistake. Many leading traits for our future national personality, and some of the best ones, will certainly prove to have originated from other than British stock. As it is, the British and German, valuable as they are in the concrete, already threaten excess. Or rather, I should say, they have certainly reach’d that excess. To-day, something outside of them, and to counterbalance them, is seriously needed.
Thus seething materialistic and business vortices of the United States, in their present devouring relations, controlling and belittling everything else, are, in my opinion, but a vast and indispensable stage in the new world’s development, and are certainly to be follow’d by something entirely different — at least by immense modifications. Character, literature, a society worthy the name, are yet to be establish’d, through a nationality of noblest spiritual, heroic and democratic attributes — not one of which at present definitely exists — entirely different from the past, though unerringly founded on it, and to justify it.
To that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of the most needed parts. No stock shows a grander historic retrospect — grander in religiousness and loyalty, or for patriotism, courage, decorum, gravity and honor. (It is time to dismiss utterly the illusion-compound, half raw-head-and-bloody-bones and half Mysteries-of-Udolpho, inherited from the English writers of the past 200 years. It is time to realize — for it is certainly true — that there will not be found any more cruelty, tyranny, superstition, etc., in the résumé of past Spanish history than in the corresponding résumé of Anglo-Norman history. Nay, I think there will not be found so much.)
Then another point, relating to American ethnology, past and to come, I will here touch upon at a venture. As to our aboriginal or Indian population — the Aztec in the South, and many a tribe in the North and West — I know it seems to be agreed that they must gradually dwindle as time rolls on, and in a few generations more leave only a reminiscence, a blank. But I am not at all clear about that. As America, from its many far-back sources and current supplies, develops, adapts, entwines, faithfully identifies its own — are we to see it cheerfully accepting and using all the contributions of foreign lands from the whole outside globe — and then rejecting the only ones distinctively its own — the autochthonic ones?
As to the Spanish stock of our Southwest, it is certain to me that we do not begin to appreciate the splendor and sterling value of its race element. Who knows but that element, like the course of some subterranean river, dipping invisibly for a hundred or two years, is now to emerge in broadest flow and permanent action?
If I might assume to do so, I would like to send you the most cordial, heart-felt congratulations of your American fellow-countrymen here. You have more friends in the Northern and Atlantic regions than you suppose, and they are deeply interested in development of the great Southwestern interior, and in what your festival would arouse to public attention. …
Whitman was (is?) timeless.
Indeed, Anglo America needs the “counterbalance” that the Latino culture (and other cultures) provide. And, as Whitman apparently saw all of those decades ago, Latinos aren’t going anywhere, and that “subterranean river” has emerged now, methinks. And thank Goddess.
*To be fair, the Spanish conquered the natives in today’s United States, Central America and South America, and Mexico’s creation sprang from the Spanish conquest of the natives.
That said, while the Spanish conquered largely by intermarrying with the natives — thus the “mestizo” — European whites usually conquered by force, including by forcible displacement and by massacre. (Although, of course, a huge percentage of the natives died from the communicable diseases that both the Spanish and the white European conquerors brought with them.)
**About the only fault that I can find with so many Latinos is their blind deference to Catholicism, which they should have thrown off their backs a long, long time ago. (It was and is, after all, the religion of the conqueror…)
It strikes me that a huge reason that so many Latin Americans are poor and desperate to find a better life in the United States is because of the Catholic Church’s official, age-old stance against contraception. If you cannot care for the child or the children that you already have, you shouldn’t have any more, regardless of your race or nationality.