Don’t Blame it on the Brown People

pescina_artwork
Mexican artist Aurelio Pescina

Trump continues to blame undocumented workers and other countries for economic difficulties. Here is the hard truth. One of the main reasons why the United States has been as prosperous as it has been over the decades is that it has wreaked havoc on the third world. It has overthrown countless democratically elected leaders to prop up Washington-friendly, ruthless dictators who oppressed their people and usurped their countries’ wealth for personal enrichment. This imperialism has been directly responsible for many who were compelled to immigrate to the United States. Both the Republican and Democratic parties have treated third world countries as their oyster beds, places where they could impose structural adjustment programs and economic shock therapy, with little regard for the disastrous results borne by the ordinary citizens of those countries.

And now it’s 2017. It is no longer 1945, when half the world was in ruins and the continental United States was left geographically untouched. Yes, it’s 2017 and the Chinese are out-competing the US in business. But who is to blame? Immigrants? Let’s use struggling Mexican immigrants as an example, because they have borne the brunt of Trump’s vile and insulting rhetoric.

Did Mexican immigrants make the United States dumb-down its educational system leaving many high school graduates functionally illiterate? Did Mexican immigrants invade Iraq and spend trillions on an illegal and immoral war? Did Mexican immigrants create the superficial soundbite media culture that has a short attention span and a priority on advertising revenue over truth? Did Mexican immigrants create wealth inequality? No, it has been caused by the greed of Wall Street moguls and other corporate elites. Did Mexican immigrants cause our corrupt political system? No, it is run by elected officials who are always indebted to wealthy individual donors and corporations. Did Mexican immigrants design our election system in which millions of dollars are needed for federal candidates to be viable? Did Mexican immigrants cause climate change, oil spills, and the government inaction during Hurricane Katrina?

What we have here, brothers and sisters,  is a president and millions of Americans who are unable to face reality. The main reason America was ever great (in the economic sense of the word) in the first place was because it robbed, exploited, bombed, and invaded impoverished, resource rich countries, as well as undermining the rights of American workers at home. Let me not fail to mention slavery and the extermination of native peoples.

US history is replete with administrations trumpeting altruistic rhetoric, while simultaneously engaging in violent, greedy, and covert immoral deeds.  So now, voices in the US turn and blame brown immigrants who are just trying to survive: picking vegetables and fruit; working in factories and kitchens; building and repairing your homes; or maintaining your gardens. These are people who are just like you and me, trying to get by and make a better life for themselves and their families.

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