FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Naughty Murrietta

by

“I just wish America would be America again because it’s not, and it’s not just pointed to the Hispanics,” an anti-imigrant sign-waver Ellen Meeks said at the Murrieta, California protest that,  with police complicity, blocked Homeland Security buses from taking Central American kids and mothers to a nearby shelter.

Let’s believe Ellen Meeks that she is not a racist.   Like many white people, not all of them resentful Tea Partiers, she may yearn for a  lost America that vanished along with White Rock Calendar Girl  and one dollar gas. Or, if she’s young enough, the “Reagan revolution” that spurred, or accompanied, the explosive growth of Sun Belt commuter burbs like Murrieta.

To older or white or angry and disappointed Americans, who may feel themselves just barely hanging on to a job, a family, a mortgaged home and their “existential” sense of Americanness, all those Central American kids and mothers probably do feel like an enemy alien invasion.

And, as we’ve seen elsewhere, racially-flavored protests, ultimately aimed at a black president, are a breeding ground for a parallel invasion of human incendiaries like the vigilantes and their groupies who turn up itching for a fight.   These feeders-off-other-people’s rage are Tim McVeigh’s spiritual brothers.

We saw it long ago with the Mormons at Nauvoo, Illinois; the 19th century “Yellow Peril” anti-Chinese hysteria; and nativist Americans’ opposition to my parents’ generation of the Great Slav Invasion from eastern Europe.  It doesn’t take much to light a match.  In recent years Paris saw it among the uprising North African, Arab and second generaton black French in the banlieues; the English in Tottenham and Wolverhampton; and now us in southern California where we’re taking in the thousands of refugees from the the Rio Grande valley.

What a pity that our president has so far not seen fit to visit the border towns that are taking the biggest hit.  This week he’s taking time off to attend Texas fundraisers but refuses to see the border for himself.  “The President has a very good sense of what’s happening on the border,” his White House spinmeister spins. “He’s getting regular updates from his officials who have traveled to that region.”  (Shades of George W. Bush at Katrina!)

I don’t envy the hard-pressed Border Patrol cops facing this flood of human beings especially given our ill-defined and fungible alien laws.  They are the undermanned front line who must deal with the vulnerable survivors of The Beast, el tren de muerte, the 1400-mile ride atop criminally-infested freight trains, from Nicaragua to the Mexican border, where rape, robbery, murder and fatal accidents are routine.

It’s easy to have a bleeding heart at a distance at no cost to yourself.   Hence more than full marks, a real salute, to so many locals, white and brown, of Texas, Arizona and California who in the face of nasty protests have the heart to come out in support of the “enemy in their midst”, as Mrs Thatcher called people she didn’t like.

The English experience may not apply here.  But I was around when the bigoted Latin scholar  Enoch Powell made his inflammatory “rivers of blood” speech practically inviting violence against newly arrived Sikhs and Pakistanis in his district.   Immigration almost always boils down to race.  That doesn’t mean that the people who take the brunt of newcomers don’t have real issues.

Change, any change, especially if it has a different skin color, can be threatening to the middleaged and old or economically hard-pressed who become disoriented at the speed their neighborhoods are “taken over” by foreigners with exotic food, sex and toilet habits.

I used to wander around the Petticoat Lane and Brick Lane markets in London’s east end, originally “invaded” by refugee Huguenots followed by a massive Jewish importation, and when the long-time Jews moved on Bengalis came in which white householders and small shopkeepers found hard to take.  “I don’t mind them so much it’s the curry smells!”

Wrongly, the old-timers’ resentment often was labeled as racism by the media-and-multicultural “chattering classes” who live in more stylish postal codes far from the battlefront.  It didn’t help that the Nazi-like National Front exploited the residents’ discontent, passing out inflammatory leaflets and validating their darkest white fears.

Nobody has an immediate solution to the immigrant flood pouring in from murderously misgoverned Central America.  Republicans torch the issue, even the good Democrats hem and haw.  The refugee children and women who risked death on the Beast must be housed, fed, doctored, decently treated, sent on to Stateside families, kept in ICE limbo or deported.

In the 1920s the solution was to dispatch old “Gimlet Eye”,  Marine general Smedley Butler, into the offending countries to impose martial law, kick out the corrupt governors and with machinegun fire if necessary clean out the MS-13 type gangs and dope cartels who are terrorizing their own citizens.  All, as he boasted in his most famous speech, to make the place safe for Wall Street and United Fruit.   Makes you nostalgic for the good old days of gunboat diplomacy.

Full Disclosure: My dad was an illegal non-citizen, and members of my mother’s family – so the legend says – jumped ship in New York harbor to evade Immigration at Ellis Island.  I entered Britain as an undocumented alien and spent two years looking over my shoulder until Scotland Yard found me.

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Hemingway Lives

 

More articles by:

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 27, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
California Scheming: Democrats Betray Single-Payer Again
Jonathan Cook
Hersh’s New Syria Revelations Buried From View
Edward Hunt
Excessive and Avoidable Harm in Yemen
Howard Lisnoff
The Death of Democracy Both Here and Abroad and All Those Colorful Sneakers
Gary Leupp
Immanuel Kant on Electoral Interference
Kenneth Surin
Theresa May and the Tories are in Freefall
Slavoj Zizek
Get the Left
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia Wants to Reduce Qatar to a Vassal State
Ralph Nader
Driverless Cars: Hype, Hubris and Distractions
Rima Najjar
Palestinians Are Seeking Justice in Jerusalem – Not an Abusive Life-Long Mate
Norman Solomon
Is ‘Russiagate’ Collapsing as a Political Strategy?
Binoy Kampmark
In the Twitter Building: Tech Incubators and Altering Perceptions
Dean Baker
Uber’s Repudiation is the Moment for the U.S. to Finally Start Regulating the So-called Sharing Economy
Rob Seimetz
What I Saw From The Law
George Wuerthner
The Causes of Forest Fires: Climate vs. Logging
June 26, 2017
William Hawes – Jason Holland
Lies That Capitalists Tell Us
Chairman Brandon Sazue
Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies
Patrick Cockburn
Grenfell Tower: the Tragic Price of the Rolled-Back Stat
Joseph Mangano
Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg
Ray McGovern
Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack
Roy Eidelson
Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Geoff Beckman
Why Democrats Lose: the Case of Jon Ossoff
Matthew Stevenson
Travels Around Trump’s America
David Macaray
Law Enforcement’s Dirty Little Secret
Colin Todhunter
Future Shock: Imagining India
Yoav Litvin
Animals at the Roger Waters Concert
Binoy Kampmark
Pride in San Francisco
Stansfield Smith
North Koreans in South Korea Face Imprisonment for Wanting to Return Home
Hamid Yazdan Panah
Remembering Native American Civil Rights Pioneer, Lehman Brightman
James Porteous
Seventeen-Year-Old Nabra Hassanen Was Murdered
Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail