Aside from it being an unrealistic waste of money and time, the main thing that irritates me about building a wall between here and Mexico is that it’s just so damn wimpy.
I mean, seriously, we want to put up a wall to keep out PEOPLE WHO WANT JOBS AND A BETTER LIFE FOR THEIR FAMILIES.
AAAAAHhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! No, not people who want jobs and a better life for their families! Anything but that! The horror! The horror!
If I were an official social theorist–and not just playing one on the internet–I’d be better equipped to suss this out. Why is it that so many people who are so invested in traditional gender roles and the manly protective men swaggering that goes with it are the same folks arguing that “we” (a we that presumably includes them) need a wall to keep Mexicans out.
Are we admitting that the kinds of manly men we’re pretending to be don’t actually exist?
I have to tell you that my working theory is that we’re ignoring part of what a wall is designed to do.
Hear me out. I might put up a fence between my neighbor’s lot and mine to delineate the property line, but that’s usually the secondary reason to do it. People put up fences, primarily, to keep some people and animals out while simultaneously keeping some people in.
I think we all have a good grip on who’s supposed to be kept out by this wall, but I’ve never heard anyone speculate on who’s supposed to be kept in.
Are people going to Mexico really that big of a problem? Such a wound to us as a country that we’d try to stop them?
But, ah, you see what I’m thinking, don’t you?
This wall isn’t, psychologically, just about keeping Mexicans out. After all, they’re just the folks who live next door. They’ve lived next door to us for as long as we’ve lived here. Our kids have grown up together. Our kin has married their kin. They’re not strangers. Shit, we eat their food.
Talking about how much work it’d be to put up the wall is what got me thinking about it, that and the rhetoric of “they’re stealing our jobs.”
This is about keeping industry in.
That’s why it’s so powerful beyond all reason–this notion of putting up a wall. Not to keep some “them” and “their way of life” out, but to keep something we think of as “us” and “ours” from leaving.