#911 – Dick Bernard: Those "illegal" children: whipping up the hysteria.

The below letter of mine, published in the July 9, 2014, Woodbury Bulletin seems to fit todays post about the so-called crisis at the Mexico border. My letter was about war versus peace; the letter to which I refer in my letter was about revulsion towards a certain flag that represented “utopian” ideals. No matter, it all basically is the same story: fear and hate sells easily with predictably negative results.
(click to enlarge)

Letter to Editor, July 9, 2014, Woodbury MN Bulletin

Letter to Editor, July 9, 2014, Woodbury MN Bulletin


The past week I spent most of my time out of sight of the internet and even newspapers and other media. I was 310 miles away in North Dakota: I’ve been to the ancestral farm many times in recent months, many more trips to come. As I’ve come to say, frequently, I can’t make the 310 miles (5 1/2 hours at my pace via freeway) any shorter. It is as it is.
I arrive at both ends, tired.
Enter the latest fear and hate issue: “illegals” pouring across our precious border with Mexico, but they’re not even Mexicans this time.
The recent news narrative, near hysterical in some quarters, has been the seeming flood of children from certain distant Central American countries. Were the scenario not so tragic – four year olds and younger (and older youngsters, too) facing immediate deportation, and apprehension by latter day militia at the border – it would be so absurd as to be amusing: hordes of children racing hundreds of miles across an entire country to the sacred destination of the United States of America.
I believe the real story in this case is hidden behind the reported story. I certainly don’t know the facts; but neither do the hysterical ones.
In my college years I was very much into geography, and out of these came a desire to seek a bit of context.
So in this case, children apparently traveling from places like El Salvador and Honduras to U.S. border states, it seemed useful to do a sketch map, using as base a page from my 1961 Life Pictorial Atlas of the World. (I added the map of Minnesota, simply to get an idea of scale).
Adaptation of an old map to show relative scale of Central America to Minnesota.  1961 maps

Adaptation of an old map to show relative scale of Central America to Minnesota. 1961 maps


Minnesota, north to south, is just over 400 miles, 90 miles further than I travel to North Dakota.
For these poor families coming north through Mexico has to be a daunting trip of its own. I am not prepared to believe any story about how they were convinced to leave and came to take a trip with a certain unhappy ending.
There are elements of this story that literally smell of “false flag” – a situation set up by unknown parties designed to make a problem, then confuse and inflame emotions over immigration reform efforts in the United States. Some in Congress say that $2.7 billion is too pricey to emergency fund the agencies that have to deal with the refugees. Some quick arithmetic reveals that comes out to about $9 per American.
Yet we can spend trillions (three more zeroes than a billion) to war on Iraq and Afghanistan, and not bat an eye.
One will need very hard evidence to convince me that someone with impure motives is neither funding nor encouraging illegal immigration of mostly young people to whip up the fear (hate) in far too many people north of the border in the U.S. just in time for the 2014 elections. Add in President Obama (considered the deporter-in-chief by some) and this reeks of political motivation, in other words. NO, I can’t prove it. But it is as strong a possibility of any other theory advanced by anyone.
Whipping Americans into a frenzy is nothing new, of course. Think of 9-11-2001 for starters.
The poor people who were the cast of characters for John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” were not met with open arms when they entered California during the Dust Bowl. We banished Native Americans to the left over lands with hardly a tear; starving Irish arrived in the U.S. to less than a warm welcome.
There are endless stories.
Some, like our response to 9-11-01, solved nothing. 9-11’s cost short and long term is measured in the trillions of dollars, and this doesn’t even include loss of Americans and those in other countries which far exceeded the number of casualties during 9-11. After 9-11 we engaged in an endless war with no “win” at the end, except in the minds of certain folks defending their stupid decisions back then.
As I said, a 310 mile drive is no cakewalk, even on a freeway in an air conditioned vehicle.
Believe the narratives about the children from Central America invading the U.S. if you wish.
There is a much larger story behind this tragic migration, I submit.
PS: I predict that this latest issue will magically disappear after the 2014 election, and simply be replaced by some other outrage of choice afterwards; and perhaps be ginned up again in time for 2016.
A common sense suggestion: ignore the certain propaganda.

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