Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

The Upcoming Liberation of Mexico (and Parts of Africa)

As many academics and community activists – in fact, anyone woke – will tell you, the US is a racist society steeped in the white supremacy of its majority population. White people are haters who keep ruining things. Which is why reading this story in the LA Times about people from Africa trying to cross from Tijuana into San Diego is so hearbreaking.

The article describes African refugees who have fled their homeland for safety, who have braved all sorts of hazardous conditions just to get where they are, and who are desperately trying to get out of Mexico even if it means ending up in the US.    But we all know the US is going to be awful for them.  The US is  a country where even the Justice system is built to humiliate and oppress black men as described in the headline to this article. It is a country where police kill black males with impunity as documented in this article. And then there are a myriad of other forms of aggression both large and micro.  So imagine how bad Mexico must be for these for refugees from Africa. A hint, a shadow, a crumb of that iceberg appears in the LA Times piece:

He doesn’t care where he lives in the U.S. as long as he is allowed in.

“I want safe. I want peaceful,” Tesfaldet said.

Some of the migrants from African countries expressed frustration that they were the ones left outside after Mexican officials intervened.

“We are human beings,” said another man from Eritrea. “They don’t respect. I’m feeling racism here, a big discrimination here. We don’t want to be here in Mexico. Our target, our way is U.S.A.”

But the reality is, it isn’t just Africans who are suffering in Mexico. It must be pretty bad for Mexicans too. Estimates vary wildly, but somewhere in the neighborhood of a tenth of Mexico’s population is in the US, some legally and some not. Additionally, over a million Mexicans have filled out paperwork to come to the US legally. Who knows how many would go through the effort if the odds seemed less daunting?

To put those numbers in context, there are no signs that anywhere close to 10% of the North Korean population is trying to make its way to South Korea, and yet, North Koreans who manage to do so are welcomed with open arms to a country with the same language and same cultural traditions.  Plus the weather is better in South Korea. On the other hand, so many Mexicans are trying to get to a country where they are discriminated against, and where their contributions are at best ignored. And then there’s the weather. I’ve met immigrants from Mexico (and from African countries) living in Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin; that can’t be easy for someone who grew up in a warmer, more comfortable climate.

All of this, taken together, suggests that Mexico is an awful place for Mexican and non-Mexican people alike.  And yet, the land has so much promise.  Plus great weather.  The humane and socially aware solution is obvious: the government of Mexico must be overthrown. Ideally, it would be replaced by indigenous, peaceful, inclusive, tolerant, non-racist, intersectional, organic and home-grown Mexicanx policies and traditions. Obviously, in Mexico, that would be a social structure derived from Aztec culture.  That would be the ideal outcome.  However, given the conditions people in Mexico are willing to tolerate to get to and live in the US, the bar is very, very low. That means the odds of making things worse are infinitesimally small.

So for this operation, the  likelihood of success is large, the probability of failure is tiny, and the benefits are huge.  What’s not to like about regime change in Mexico?  Furthermore, the benefits of this regime change wouldn’t accrue just to Mexicans and African refugees who are currently trapped in Mexico. Even white supremacists – who because they are in the majority in the US would bear the bulk of the cost in blood and treasure – would have a benefit: penance. The karmic load they carry would diminish slightly, and they might even develop some empathy. Some white supremacists might stop and think about how the world could have turned out but for their accident of birth. With a different history, America’s white supremacists would have all ended up in Mexico. Conversely, the Mexican population (together with America’s minority population and the few white Americans who are racially aware) might have ended up living in the US, perhaps even a US operating along pre-Columbian Mexican norms.

Now, this opportunity for racist white people to achieve some small measure of redemption doesn’t have to stop with Mexico. In fact, it shouldn’t stop with Mexico. From the LA Times article, it is clear there are people in countries in Africa who could be spared having to flee their homeland if the white supremacists in the US would develop a small measure of humanity and overthrow their governments too. Now I know what you’re thinking… we heard a similar “we will be greeted as liberators” line about a decade and a half ago. But it was different then. The motives were selfish. Our leaders thought they were acting to make Americans safer, and to make matters worse, they didn’t even bother to differentiate between the safety of the racist majority who should just die already and those who are worthy of such safety.

The most important difference between then and now, though, is this: how many Afghans and Iraqis had fled their respective countries in 2001 and 2003 before we invaded? The answer is: a small fraction relative to those who have fled since. Which leads to another obvious conclusion: we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq too early. The time to liberate those countries and to knock off their governments is now!

And if the time to do good is now, the converse is also true. Any delay, and anybody urging delay, is a racist. Let’s get started.

Update:  If it isn’t obvious, and apparently to some reader it is not, this post is not meant to be taken seriously.  I do not advocate for an overthrow of the government of Mexico or any other country.

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Resettling Refugees – A Thought Experiment

Consider a country with a vicious ongoing multi-sided Civil War which includes some amount of deliberate large scale civilian extermination.  You know the sort of thing: Syria today is just the most recent example, but there are other well-known examples from the last few decades.  To keep things generic, let us refer to the various sides in the Civil War as A, B, C, etc.

Militias from each group have been caught massacring civilians from the other group.  Or maybe the evidence points toward only one side being responsible for such atrocities.  Truth to tell, nobody in the US really has a firm and unbiased grasp of what is going on.  If this sounds like the vast majority of wars since 1945, it should.

Now, let us say that the US has a pre-existing immigrant population from Group A.  For whatever reason, they have mostly settled in  Lincoln, NE.  (I picked Lincoln completely at random.  I understand some Thai and Burmese refugees have settled in Lincoln, but I would say that for the most part, the city doesn’t have a strong connotation with refugees among the general public.).   Lincoln now has a neighborhood called “Little X” where “X” is the capital of the country with the ongoing Civil War.   

If the Civil War results in more people from Group A are admitted to the US as refugees, it is natural to relocate them or at least encourage them to live in Lincoln.  But what if refugees from Group B are also admitted in not-insignificant numbers?  Groups A and B have a long history of distrust, and are vicious enemies in the current Civil War.  And if there is one thing Americans have managed to figure out about the ongoing war that is accurate, it is that there are some horrific atrocities going on.

So…  should it be the policy of the US government to try to settle the new refugees from Group B in Lincoln, NE?  There would be scale economies due to similar language, culture, food, and possibly even religion.  Or should it be the policy of the US government to try to get the refugees to settle somewhere far away from Lincoln, NE to minimize the possibility of conflict and ill will?  And does your answer change if we manage to learn that both sides are not equally at fault?  For example, do we make the same decision vis a vis Lincoln, NE if Group B was responsible for all or most of the atrocities and committed them against A, or vice versa?  You can assume that all the refugees are properly vetted and that none of them are known to have been involved in committing the atrocities.  

 

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