I’m often asked what I think about the sociopolitical pustule that’s been festering around this new immigration law in Arizona. What a dreadful question. Having still not heard nor read even one well thought-out answer after all this time is hardly inspiring. Even less encouraging has been the distraught and panic-stricken gibberish regarding the whole bloody thing… pathetic. So why anyone down here, or anywhere, would care to read even one more self centered, logically corrupted presumption by some unassuming gringo like myself concerning this one in particular of mankind’s many blunders is beyond me. And yet, here I find myself.. looking for two of my shiniest pennies to flick into this ever tinkling fountain of intellectual boobery.
… nothing more than.. feelings…..
Though we humans are blessed with the power of emotion, our feelings nonetheless are what bring out the idiot within us… and trust me, folks.. arguing immigration with anything other than feelings gets one nowhere. Sound political philosophy finds no more reception in this debate than it would with a bunch of screamin’ kids in a room full of bouncing balls. The issue of Arizona, and likely several other U.S. states here in the near future presents a political battleground of emotional wills that this writer possesses a particular distaste for. So when asked down here about my feelings concerning the current fiasco, I try to appear as disinterested as I can. There are so many things I could say to just disappear into the chattery mist… like – “Hang on, I gotta run to the restroom..”, or.. maybe I could ask not to be bothered because I’m thinking about the latest Chivas debacle. But sometimes I slip up and.. say something that’s actually answerable, like “What about it?”…
“Well, don’t you think it’s unfair?
See what happens? It’s like walkin’ straight into a frickin’ wall with a big sign on it that says “Hey dumbass, this is a frickin’ wall!” So…..? ..after a deep sigh and a brief, resigned contemplation of the word ‘fair’ – a word that no one I’ve ever met, including myself, knows how to expertly manage – the best I can come up with is something not so friendly sounding: “What’s fair got to do with it?” The following silence as one contemplates that I’m no easy affirmative for supposedly such a unanimously accepted notion – and therefore making me most likely a nazi sympathizer – can be anything from unnerving to exceptionally charming. But the question is posed more out of boredom than a mean spirit.
This ‘fair’ game, however, can be quite a dandy. Sometimes I just say that I don’t have enough information to know how fair it is… But that one doesn’t sell itself so easily either… “What do you mean!?”, they say, “don’t you watch the news?” So I tell them that what I mean is that I would need to see how Mexico deals with the illegal immigration of five million of China’s finest over the course of 15 or 20 years, and observe how congruent their reaction to that would be with how they generally feel about Arizona right now. Only then might we be able to truly hash out the conditions of fair.
The question of why have an immigration policy in the first place is one completely lost on any individual that has a one dimensional egocentric view of human and civil rights. These are the kind of individuals that seem especially receptive to employers, political parties and candidates, and politically driven media and lobbyists for whom immigration policy is also a hindrance (or in the case of Arizona, perhaps a blessing) to their own aspirations. So many exploitable people so willing to be economically and politically exploited should never be kept from anyone who could benefit from their exploitation. That’s just unfair for everyone. So the question of “why”, concerning existing policy, unenforced because of the aforementioned, is buried deep, and very difficult to bring to the surface free from protest and fucktarded accusations of racism, bigotry, and redneck nativism.
So when my Mexican friends and acquaintances down here ask me why the people of Arizona, or wherever else in the U.S. are so intolerant and racist, I don’t bother with gringos that they don’t understand, given their lack of knowledge about life in the U.S. I stick with the more familiar: Mexicans, and Mexico. For example, if I’m lectured to contemplate the economic contributions that illegal immigrants make to the U.S., it’s perfectly fine. Hell, if I wanted to engage in my own tunnel vision, I could point out that I never would have learned Spanish in Kansas without the camaraderie of many an illegal; you know.. the ones from the generic can of flavorless arguments - real people with real lives and real passions to make a better life. That I would selflessly defend the integrity of any one of them (well… maybe not a couple of them) is simply not the point. But I do demand that in return the Mexican contemplate the economic contributions that roughly five million Chinese illegals could provide to Mexico.
Five million Chinese is less than one half of one percent of China’s population. Over twenty times that percentage of Mexicans have emigrated to the U.S. So surely Mexico could absorb these five million. They would gladly do the work that Mexicans are not willing to do. They’d clean the trash off city streets and highways for 20 pesos per 12 hour day.. a lot more than they can make back home. They’d paint over, again and again, the clumsy and stupid looking graffiti left by niño cockroaches that would just assume piss on their own country’s flag if only they were bright enough to identify it. Lupita used to charge 80 pesos to clean your house.. now the little Chinese girl, whatever her name is, will do it even better for just 40 pesos. Chinese youth will actually walk through neighborhoods and offer to wash your car for just 10 pesos, and leave it sparkling. These guys’ll do roadwork at night, fixing potholes and doing surface work and not demand special benefits for it. Even if they wanted to they couldn’t – they don’t speak Spanish. Beyond that , their legal status prevents them from organizing, which for employers is a godsend. Furthermore they could all do your plumbing and babysitting, because the little you can get away with paying is, again, much more than they would ever earn in China. Mexico would soon have to ask itself what it would ever do without these pinches chinos and chinitas.. and who cares that they’re illegal, or that neither the local, state, nor federal government is doing anything about it. They’re just hardworking people trying to make a better life.. and making our own easier and more pleasant in the process.
And so I ask the Mexican – “Do you really think you and your fellow Mexicans are going to see it this way? ..or are you going to lay it out for me that it’s not simply a factor of economics? ..that there are social, cultural, and political factors as well, most of which would rub an ordinary Mexican the wrong way…”
Would Mexico show the U.S. how it should be done, and be the antithesis to the intolerance of their northern neighbors? Would they welcome these Chinese immigrants – China’s poor, destitute, and uneducated – and work to accommodate them in every way, regardless of their legal status? When these Chinese, because of their enormous numbers, stick together and therefore don’t learn Spanish, and ‘discover’ personal or political strength only among those they consider to be ‘their own’ .. are the Mexicans going to make an extra effort to reach out to them? Will this involve setting up Chinese speaking schools, giving priority to those seeking public service positions who speak both Spanish and Chinese, and capitalizing on all of the above with announcements and visual aids in both languages?
Will Mexicans not be concerned about these Chinese, who after years of living under the oppression of a one child only law, suddenly go hog-wild in their new found freedom in Mexico and start having on average four or five kids, regardless of the obvious hardship in taking care of them? Talk about a population explosion. Will Mexican politicians resist using this growing demographic as nothing more than a political tool to generate votes by promising to tend to ‘their interests’? Or will these Chinese actually demand that Mexican politicians start taking note of their growing ‘political power’? Will the Mexican citizens be marching right at their side, arm in arm? ..or will they be scratching their heads wondering if the next election will actually be decided by a small political ‘block’ of Chinese dolts who fall for the same political trickery that Mexicans themselves have spent the last 80 years trying to overcome?
When a Mexican man stops at a light, and to his right stops a Chinese man with a beautiful Mexican girl sitting right next him, and his stereo blasting out some Chinese circus music that sounds more like some twisted nightmare played in reverse… will he embrace and celebrate the new diversity flourishing in his community? When the light finally turns green, and still no one can go because two Chinese women have decided to casually cross at the indicated moment, taking all the precious time they might ever need.. will the Mexican man teach us all a lesson about tolerance? After all, in China, the pedestrian always has the right of way… or at least that’s what the Chinese here tend to insist. When illegal Chinese gain a reputation for being let off the hook for almost any infraction because the cops don’t want to deal with the untaggable paperwork, and deporting them is a federal matter, will Mexicans rejoice in that at least someone gets to stick it to those bastard officials?
We gringos insist, as indeed it often truly seems, that in Mexico laws are written almost for the sole purpose of being broken. However even when the streets are packed with parked cars and everyone might spend 40 minutes searching for a space, no one will ever park in front of a driveway or vehicle entrance to ones house or business. It’s almost as if Mexicans hold this sacred, and it’s a good thing. But what will happen when the Chinese, who come from a culture that shuns private property, start parking in these spaces, and worse yet, laugh about how the Mexicans are so polite for leaving them exclusive spaces… only to pretend later, when confronted, that they didn’t know….
And so on and so on…..
At the end of it all, I’ll ask my Mexican friends how much of this they and other ‘average Mexican citizens’ - those who are not politicians, employers, or media people - will be able to take before deciding that enough is enough… Or will they open their hearts and realize that their racism and bigotry only lead everyone to despair, and therefore embrace the Chinese like brothers and sisters, who in turn of course refuse to do the same? .. because after all.. they didn’t arrive here to become Mexicans. It’s just as dreadful a question for the Mexican to have to ponder as it is for Americans living in Arizona or whatever other state. Some will argue that it’s not a fair question to ask, or that it’s not the same… but it doesn’t matter. The answer is quite clearly all around us.
Just for fun, ask these guys above how cool they’d be with the below.. rumbling peacefully down Lopez Mateos in Guadalajara or Reforma in Mexico City…..