Walling Off Hate

Travis Tribble


Disclaimer: This article contains descriptions of graphic content.

There is a fence outside my parent’s house that has “Fuck Mexicans” spray painted on it. They live in Mountlake Terrace. I’ve never seen anything like this before President Donald Trump started villainizing immigrants.

The president doesn’t hate Mexicans, he just doesn’t care about them — or anyone but himself. The only thing he cares about is his version of the Great Wall of China.

The commander in chief has declared a national emergency to spend 8 billion dollars on a vanity project. According to the New York Times, he wants to take 3.6 billion from the military, 2.5 billion from counter-narcotics programs and 600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund to build a giant steel wall between Mexico and the United States.

Do not mistake this wall for anything other than what it is: a monument. Trump wants to secure a historical legacy for himself.

This is Trump Tower 2.0, and he will stop at nothing to see it built. If you’re against him you may think it’s because he’s racist, Republican, crazy or ignorant, and if you’re on his side, you might think he’s patriotic, strong, vigilant or red-blooded. This illustrates that both sides are wrong and amplifies the tribalism of modern politics.

The unfortunate truth is, he knows he’s old, death is coming and historical immortality is on his bucket list. If you don’t believe me, just look at his erection of towers all around the world. He even brags the wall should “look good on the American side.”

You don’t have to tell me about the irony of the use of America in this quote.

I get it, who wouldn’t want a historical legacy? But it matters how you achieve it; it matters a lot. Regardless of his intentions, Trump’s use of presidential powers creates the real state of emergency.

Even before Trump, American civil rights were already in a state of national emergency, with the failed “war on drugs” creating mass incarceration since the ‘80s. The way that the current president talks about illegal immigrants in public is creating an unfounded fear and hatred towards Mexicans. ICE has been rounding up families and tearing them apart, leaving parentless children in cages.

Hate crimes have increased against people of color regardless of their citizenship status. I believe this is because the opinions of people in power have a tremendous impact on the way people think.

For example, the current president regularly invites a group of people he calls “Angel Families.” These are people who have lost family members that were killed incidentally by undocumented immigrants.

Trump is exploiting the “Angel Families” point-of-view that their loved ones’ deaths could have been avoided if undocumented immigrants had been barred for entering the U.S.

What a neat perspective: Let’s build a wall so your loved ones can be splattered by good old patriotic drunk drivers instead. Imagine being airborne, flying past an American flag dangling off the back of a pickup and the last thing you get to hear is “Photograph” by Nickelback, or John Prines’ familiar country drawl singing “Your flag decal won’t get you into heaven anymore.”

And why is he causing this hate and fear of immigrants, specifically Mexicans? So he can get his toy.

His legacy is dependent on winning and he doesn’t care who has to die — but you should. This is as good an illustration as any of how important it is to pay attention to politics right now. What has been happening these past two years is a blatant abuse of power.

Each action taken by the president has shown us citizens just how faulty and vulnerable our outdated political policies are.

I don’t think it’s ethical to shame people for not voting. I believe it is very democratic to choose whether you vote or not. Sometimes it’s good to take a back seat and evaluate who you are as a person and what you really believe in.

But if this situation makes your blood boil, I would highly encourage you to participate in the next election. Because there isn’t enough acetone in the world to wipe the hate off that fence outside my parent’s window. Covering things up or ignoring them won’t make them go away. Sometimes you just have stare at it and let your anger remind you that you have the power to effect change; you have the power to make your home a home for everyone.