The other night I went to a Border Angels event, in celebration of their years of honoring their creed: “Love Has No Borders,” leaving water, among the things that they do, to keep people from dying trying to cross deserts where awaiting them is a sun that shows no mercy.
It was so nice just sitting there among people who believe deeply in the idea of rights for all human beings.
I was as kickbacked as I could be through all the welcomings and honoring dignitaries and congratulating people who give of themselves tirelessly towards the making of a better world – sipping on a margarita that was mixed just right, not too sour, not to sweet, smiling broadly, one moment, while a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice sang a beautiful song. What could go wrong?
Then, Enrique Morones, the founder/director of Border Angels, showed a video of one of his interviews on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News. It was basically about the “caravan.”
Enrique, as always, spoke eloquently to what needed to be said about people who were trying to escape conditions in their countries that put their lives in extreme danger – while the president portrays them pretty much as rock throwing gangsters who will slit your throat and rape your women.
And the next thing I knew all of a sudden a booming “F**k! You!” bounces off the walls of the room.
And to my shock and surprise I was the person who let out this profanity. I mean, that’s not me. Now, I’m not new to giving forth with a colorful phrase or two here and there, now and then, but that’s mostly with my friends, not before an audience of a couple hundred or so in attendance at an anniversary celebration. That definitely wasn’t on the list of manners I was taught as a child.
But Tucker, looming bigger than life, before me on a screen, seemed to be all up in my face with his hatefulness, rapidly tearing down all the mellowness that had built up in me that day, as earlier in the day I had celebrated my son’s marriage to a wonderful woman.
I wasn’t ready to have to cop a kickass attitude and shouldn’t have had to, as my friend, Enrique, was doing a wonderful job of explaining how the U.S. has, on occasion, helped cause the conditions that make people flee from their home countries.
But Tucker, after a few very snide remarks, counters with “Is everybody on the left this dumb?”
Then, speaking of dumb, Enrique tries to help him understand what he was talking about by going into the Iran-Contra Affair, the selling of arms to Iran and using the cash to support the contras who stood firmly in the way of progressive movements in Nicaragua – and Tucker says: “I just want a rational conversation” and “Get back to me when you can explain what we did to Honduras to deserve this,” this being the “invasion of our borders.”
At this point, I’m hit with a feeling I hadn’t had since my school days when somebody crossed my “I don’t play that!” line, maybe saying something I didn’t like about my mama, a huge “no-no” of mine.
Anyway, Enrique pushes on, further breaking down why the caravan is taking place, in the first place, and Tucker accuses Mexico of being a hostile nation whose government teaches people how to enter our country illegally and then says to Enrique “You hate America!”
And there I was all of a sudden having to prevent a mental breakdown by yelling or screaming or breaking something and yelling won, making my tongue speak for my middle finger.
Oh, those white supremacist types love to deal their “un-American race card” to us people of color who strive day to day to make our country one that’s for all people. In my way of thinking that’s what being an American should be all about.
It’s sad that there’s still a sizable number of citizens who are influenced by the Tucker Carlsons of the world, the “true enemies of the people” if you ask me, folks dedicated to building walls: walls between truth and lies; walls between stupid and wise; walls between evil and good; walls between being understanding and being understood.
But before the evening was over, regarding walls, I let my mind, in the spirit of the evening, wander to a place where I hold my hopes and dreams, and I visualized a border without walls or one where the walls are created more to show where one country began and the other ended, and vice versa, rather than to keep people out – walls that could easily be walked through.
I know I’m fantasizing when I entertain such thinking but maybe now, with more and more Americans being “woke,” as the mid-term elections have illustrated, we, as a people, in our conversations about walls, can at least consider a scripture that’s featured on the Border Angel’s informational flyers. It’s from Matthew 25:35 and it reads:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
Ahhh, I love such non-wall building kind of thinking. Que Vivan Los Angeles de la Frontera!
(Lead image: Quim Gil / Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0))
Maria GarciaI says
Ernie I saw you there even though I didn’t have a chance to say hello. I am appreciative of your comments Tucker Carlson really got to me and I felt like we didn’t do enough or something else had to be said. You made me feel more balanced about the comments. I don’t know how Enrique does it.
Joni Halpern says
I really appreciated your commentary on your feelings about Border Angels and about Tucker Carlson’s statements. The piece was beautifully written. I cannot explain the blind adherence people have to Carlson and other apologists for the Republican Party’s divisive politics and the President’s determination to tear down this democracy. It is a mindset impervious to reason, virtue, righteousness, justice and love. It masquerades as religious devotion to the life of Christ, but it is hopelessly devoid of the compassion, decency and love said to be at the heart of every Christian religion. Mother Nature takes care of the Carlsons of the world, however. She takes them sooner or later, and their hatred and dishonesty are lost to the past, but the love of people who care goes on long after the givers are gone.
Rosalia Salinas says
Thank you Ernie for being a consistent clear voice for our community.
Tomas Gayton says
Hola Hermano, RIGHT ON! i was there too and saw the video. But i didn’t hear you or see you. paz tomas