Normally I don’t watch the news, fully aware anything news worthy I need to be aware of, will reach me of its own accord shortly. Some may consider such a thought extremely egotistical (fair enough) or naïve (that too) but I think it is a large part of what keeps me a generally happy individual.
I was hearing snippets about the caravan folks coming up Mexico from Central America and in a rare burst of current affairs interest I read up on the subject and walked away feeling down. Though I don’t profess to know much of anything about Central American politics I’ve traveled enough to know, in comparison, Mexico is fortunate and one leaves other Central American countries for good reasons.
Plus, let’s face facts, no one wants to move their family around and no one likes to travel with babies, they aren’t all that much fun when comfortably situated in one place. So I was pleased to see a local doctor accepting donations for when the caravan reached nearby Celaya. I immediately bought as many diapers and wipes as I could carry to drop off. I pondered posting the option on social media but declined realizing it was outside of my bailey-wick of saints, Virgins and celebrations of San Miguel’s history and culture.
So I was pleased to see the donation option appear on the Civil List, a daily email that answers questions on where to buy corn meal or a doctor referral. Often folks are quite nasty earning the email the moniker “Snivel List”.
What shocked me was the wide array of responses to a simple announcement of where to drop off food and goods to those in need. A handful were genuinely interested in helping in some way but a lot more were accusing those helping of being terrorists trying to bring down the US government by helping attackers.
Some bemoaned taxes and the redistribution of funds from US federal parks to border control (an analogy I never did grasp).
Others felt helping those in need degraded the efforts of the Mexican government in various cities that had to clean the mess caravan visitors left behind. Having just come off of St. Martin’s, the cowboy saint’s, weekend I truly got that as the poor town of St. Martin wreaks of feces and pollution following all the pilgrims that visit this one horse town. A huge onslaught of masses of asses doesn’t not leave much to admire in its equestrian wake.
Yet others sat on their own high horse extrapolating the virtues of their behavior at having entered Mexico legally and aghast these refugees didn’t do the same. Here is where I started taking note of the mindset between a wealthy government employee on a pension and someone truly trying to escape with their life. The later doesn’t have bank accounts, internet access or an immigration lawyer (or the always laudable Patti Garcia) to help them out. One leaves where they grew up and all they know to face likely death on the road because they know if they stay, certain death awaits. It’s that simple. Lay down and die or go out trying. Me? I’ll always go out trying.
And that’s why all we foreigners immigrated south to begin with. Because, on some level, we thought our life would drastically improve if we changed venues. If only for that reason, I’m surprised immigrants merely passing through aroused such ire.
Perhaps President Trump has some vested interest with the Republicans donating millions to even form a caravan. I don’t know nor care. I do know no parent takes their child on an across the continent walk into death unless they are willing to die trying. If only to show their children they fought for them. If some food, diapers and God’s gift to babies, wipes, helps then let them have it!
From one immigrant to another, let’s lend a hand and not wait around for a tax-deductible receipt from a charity to give us recognition. Babies don’t care who gave them a tidy heinie, they just appreciate having one making them much better traveling companions.
Well, until they get peckish and start to moan, but same can be said of me.