The proposed border wall would be viewed as a symbol of hate and discrimination throughout the world. Supporters of the border wall cite the potential migration of criminals, drug traffickers and terrorists as their primary reasons for building the wall. However, the wall would not stop terrorists from finding alternative routes to enter the country. Additionally, criminality is not exclusive to Mexicans and Central Americans.
Further, the wall would provide little deterrence to drug smugglers intent on bringing drugs into the United States since trucks transporting legal goods across the border could easily hide and conceal illicit drugs in secret compartments. Although there were talks of building a border wall with previous Presidential Administrations, President Trump has reignited talks for a border wall just when it seemed the United States was weaning off this divisive rhetoric.
The United States was returning to its roots of welcoming all immigrants until President Trump won the GOP nomination and eventual Presidency of the United States. President Trump is intent on rewriting American history and turning the dreams and hopes of future migrants into desperate pleas for acceptance. Throughout President Trump’s campaign he spoke to a segment of white America in a language that created a cult like following.
Trump built his support by dividing the country, pitting white America against reasonable and compassionate Americans. The wall would be a reward for his polarizing supporters and fuel their appetite for hate. The confederate flag represents a symbol of slavery and White Supremacy. In 1860, seven Southern states decided to secede from the Union and form the Confederate States of America. Later, four states would join them.
They were fighting to defend their right to continue to enslave 3.5 million African slaves. As the Confederate Army fought for continued enslavement, they battled under the Confederate Flag. Today, Black Americans still cringe at the sight of the Confederate Flag because the flag reminds them of the pains of slavery. The Confederate Flag has evolved into a symbol of hate for white supremacists.
The Trump Border Wall would follow a similar fate since the underlying motivations for both symbols are the hate of another group of people.
We must not allow Trump to erect a symbol of hate. President Trump and his supporters hide behind hollow reasons to camouflage their hate. Trump must not be allowed to misrepresent this countries values and cause additional pain to groups of people seeking nothing more than the American Dream. Let’s continue to welcome migrants with open arms and Open Borders.
Patrick J. Oakley
Current Columbia University student and former Hudson County Resident