It’s Tuesday and we’re not okay.
As I write this, 46 people were found dead Monday in a tractor trailer in San Antonio, Texas. More victims of a cruel border deterrence system designed to kill. Predictably, Texas’s governor, Greg Abbott, took no time at all to use the tragedy as a talking point for his re-election.
Also Monday, Marianna Treviño Wright, who runs the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, discovered an empty pick-up truck parked outside the nature preserve, the engine still running, unlocked and with an assault rifle resting against the seat. The truck belonged to a National Guard soldier. This struck me as a perfect symbol of Abbott’s Operation Lone Star: careless, cruel, and dangerous.
There are so many men now, with so many guns, lurking in every corner of the borderlands. Governor Abbott, Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey, and other Republicans tell us they are protecting us from the migrants crossing the border. But it’s the migrants who are dying and border residents in massacres perpetrated by young men with assault rifles, like the one that Treviño Wright discovered yesterday, outside the nature preserve she runs, and where children and tourists regularly visit.
Then there’s SCOTUS, and a woman’s right to an abortion stripped from the Constitution, which will overwhelmingly affect border communities, especially women of color. These days, every day, I walk around a running interior dialogue playing in my head: What can I do? How can I fight back? How can I make a difference?
And I think about cross-border solidarity, resilience, perseverance and organizing from the ground up. Because, clearly, no elected official in Washington D.C. is going to help us. And who knows that better than the borderlands? I think about people like Windy Goodloe, who you’ll hear from in this podcast, and the Black Seminoles who have been enslaved, discriminated against, and deceived by both the Mexican and American governments over many hundreds of years. And yet they persist today on both sides of the border. They honor and celebrate their history and culture. And they keep moving forward. And this gives me hope.
America is one long battle for equal rights. It never comes easy, and it never comes quick. And it is ongoing. And so, we keep going.
The Border Chronicle is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.