Alex Webb, "Mexican Border" (1978)
Alex Webb, Mexican Border (1978)
Can a Game Be Literature?

Mark's Pages

July 13, 2003:

Local television station newsroom, San Diego. A news anchor has organized an on-air debate. Representing the anti-Mexicans are the following notaries. The INS General in charge of the California border (in uniform). The Air Force General in charge of radar-monitoring the border (in uniform). The Navy Admiral in charge of patrolling the border region (in uniform). The head of the California Highway patrol (in uniform). The Mayor of San Diego (in a suit). The former Mayor of San Diego, now an anti-migrant radio talk-show host (in a suit). A woman official representing a "natives first" organization (in a suit). Representing the Mexicans is one Dutch boy named Jelger.

Jelger turns to the INS General. "You've killed more people along the San Ysidro border in the last five years than were killed in the entire history of the Berlin Wall." As the General's mouth opens Jelger's blue eyes sparkle visibly with irrepressible mirth.

The General, taken aback, stammers. "But... but... We haven't killed anyone since October!"

-------- Analysis --------

There's no purpose to a debate. The right isn't moved by rationality. They're moved by symbolism, by semi-conscious fears, by racism overt or repressed. You can win a million debates, you can out-organize them time after time, there will still be numbers of them turning out on mesas in the dark of night, shocked as anything to find you waiting for them.