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What the Devil won't tell you

Alpha males must stop quaking at first sign of Latino 'caravans'

Spines, not tinfoil, needed as migrant group heads north

Hunker down, America.

We’re going to need each another — and a whole lot of ammo — to get through this.

Stock up on the necessities. Fill the sandbags. Establish a defensive perimeter around the family domicile. Tell your wife that you love her one last time.

A full-on staff meeting is at the gates.

Perhaps as many as 7,000 moms, dads and teeneagers are massing near the Guatemala-Mexico line, and they intend to pour across our border and overrun the United States of America.

A mob that size would fill a little more than one-third of the second tier of Arizona Stadium. How can a superpower withstand such an onslaught —which if dispersed throughout the U.S. would equal one of them for every 46,428 of us? If my calculator ain’t lying then that equals 20 members of the caravan for the entire Tucson area. You could almost fit that many people in a Dodge Caravan.

Horrors!

America has survived two world wars, a Civil War, and a number of depressions, but what waiters would call "an eight-top and three four-tops" poses a security risk to a city of a million people?

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Tucson calling … Tucson calling …

… is there anybody out there?

Alpha rolled

You have got to be kidding me.

No, seriously, you have got to be kidding me.

What – in the name of John Wayne — is up with all this abject terror on the right? I mean it. Where have the spines gone? Supposed "alpha males" swagger about boasting their pulsating strength and masculinity in devotion to President Trump. Yet these tough guys shriek and duck behind sandbags at the first sign of a "Mexican." If those Mexicans are Guatemalans, they slam their eyes shut and start gasping “Mommy, mommy, mommy.”

Get yer ass up and get back to work. Show a little self-respect, and don't let the exotic term "caravan" scare you so much.

If we called it a "truckin' convoy," would that ease y'all's troubled minds, wormholing back to 1974 when America was great, the kids all knew what 10-4 meant and "Pig Pen" was heading to "Taco Town?" Would it seem less like a brown swarm if truckers were rapping?

Schoolgirls shriek like frightened goslings when they first learn how to make the noise. Parents can attest to that. Then girls stop because they have a pair. I can't say the same for the MAGAverse.

This is seriously getting ridiculous. Trump is accusing these migrants of being gangbangers and terrorists. King Donald is threatening to mobilize a superpower's military and aim our entire might at economic and political refugees. Absurd conservatives are calling on social media for "2nd Amendment patriots" to tote their guns to the border to guard us from disaster.

Why else would anyone come to the United States but to reduce to gray ash what is now Oro Valley?

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The good reverend

To get the facts on this, I called Rev. Robin Hoover, a nationally respected expert on immigration issues.

Hoover is a Texas-twanging migrant activist and political scientist fixin' to give some liberals the what-for, as revealed in our free-wheeling conversation this week. He learned me up on the ins and outs of migration. His roots go back to the Lone Star State’s sanctuary activities of the 1980s. That’s not to be confused with the Sanctuary Movement that rose up in Tucson around the same time.

The Guatemalans are coming in a caravan for one reason, Hoover said. Safety moves in numbers and the Mexican landscape that migrants must cross has grown lethal. It’s not to smash through the Mariposa Port of Entry down by Nogales that they group up the way they do. It’s to survive the journey through Mexico.

He makes it plain: “Its utterly insane to cross by yourself. Successfully crossing requires knowing the landscape and if you don’t know what you are doing, you are not going to make it.”

Point of clarification: Just because their skin is tanner than Northern Euro-Americans doesn’t mean they know the specific dangers of another country full of tan-skinned people. For instance, there’s the whole carved-up territory of murderous drug cartels that must be negotiated.

“Nobody crosses without the cartels permission, period,” Hoover said. So they all get permission at once and they all cross at once.

The Cali Cartel wouldn't seem to be the types of guys to have much of a sense of humor about trespassers. If you think that's a false flag, go try it. Go ahead. Put that monster truck to some use, drive down to some narco-baron's territory and call him out for the crisis actor you believe him to be.

We'll wait. Then we'll pick up your Darwin Award.

Twisted plots

And already, there are smart people out there convinced George Soros did all of this to swing the midterm elections toward Democrats.

That leaves me at an absolute loss to follow the game of eight-dimensional chess the Democrats are accused of masterminding. They just fell to a game-show host yet now they are Bobby Fischer?

Ever since Benghazi, the right’s conspiracy theories have been undergirded with the squishy logic of a '90s soap opera villain.

“If I give Cassandra cancer, then Jimmy will watch her hair come out in clumps and run straight into my arms because what other outcome is remotely conceivable?”

“If we can turn refugees seeking a better life into images of a mob, then the right will stay home on Election Day, liberals will turn out en mass and Beyonce will realize that I’m the only guy for her.”

That makes as sense the FBI being so in the tank for Hillary, they threw the election to Trump so Chelsea can be the richest woman in Port Charles.

Note to MAGAs: Please, make your imaginary plots at least somewhat linear in the future. Ever seen a group of Democrats try to order three pizzas? They're not conjuring up a crowd the size you'd find at a minor-league baseball game to conquer us all and make America terrible again.

Not only is U.S. Customs and Border Protection up to the task, the size of the "caravan" that has Trump quivering is about how many people would cross through Altar Valley in a single day back in the early 2000s, Hoover noted.

Ellis Island used to process this many people daily back when a lot of our great-grandparents were migrating into the U.S. of A. Somehow we survived. We will survive again.

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Terror, terror everywhere

The right – and the president – are even coming up with a half-cocked ISIS theory. See if you can follow: Guatemala President Jimmy Morales has said his police and security operatives captured and deported 100 members of ISIS. The caravan is from Guatemala. Therefore the caravan is ISIS.

I want you to apply that Mad-Lib logic to your family taking a trip to Bryce Canyon. You come from Tucson. There was a murder in Tucson. Therefore your 8-year-old son must be a murderer. Or how about this: You work downtown. There are banks downtown. Therefore you are getting a quarterly bonus from J.P. Morgan Chase. Go wait by the mailbox.

I get guilt by association. This is guilt by vague proximity. Guatemala’s population is two and a half times the size of Arizona's. Do you really want to be held accountable for the actions of every single person with an Arizona driver’s license?

By the way, President Morales’ claim needs to be taken with a mountain of salt, as the good folks over at pretty right-wing Reason.com pointed out. He’s yet to verify this claim with any sort of documentation. Also, does it seem weird to you that his security honchos captured 100 terrorists then just deported them? He didn’t imprison them. He didn’t extradite them. He put them on a plane back to their country of origin. What? Did he give them at least a stern look and a finger wag? Doesn’t quite sound right, does it?

Consider this, though. From 2001 to 2007, an average of about 850,000 migrants per year flooded across the border and there wasn’t a single instance of al-Qaeda stowing away with them and launching an attack against the U.S. from within.

Anyone seen the Democrats?

But when it comes to fear, no one beats your mainstream Democrat. The moment they saw the "caravan" they all but surrendered the midterms. The Washington Times called eight Democrats in key Senate races about how to address the issue and none offered an answer.

No Democrat had the steel to say: "We should let asylum seekers follow the law and treat illegal immigrants accordingly. Seriously, this isn't a conquering horde. It's not even a capacity crowd for the Tucson Roadrunners." 

Lest you think the conservative Times was trying to hoodwink Democrats, the story ran under the headline "Caravans fall flat as mid-term election issue."

God knows no Democrat can have an opinion on a controversial issue, but they're Democrats. We've come to expect it from them. Republicans are the ones saying they're the six-pack abs guys with the biceps to prove what's what. Half the adjectives in Trump's vocabulary are "tough" and "strong" (the other half are "fake" and "sad"). 

The true victims

If prostitution is the oldest profession, pimping fear is the oldest form of politics.

The most toxic form of community persuasion convinces the town folk the powerless are the dangerous ones. More specifically, when the impotent gain agency it’s Threatcon Delta for the folks who figure injustice serves them well.

“Oh, I’m not blind or unsympathetic to denial of rights, dignity or opportunity. I just don’t want to think about it and when people start doing something about it, I get inconvenienced by it and then I'm the true victim of the injustice that’s never been visited upon me.”

Terrifying. And stupidly so.

This line of thinking is how white people become the real victims of racism, men get aggrieved by rape and the people who run the world act like they are run over by it.

Of course, collateral damage can be done in the name of righting wrongs. The fix is a systematic approach to making things right that includes protections for both sides and balancing interests. The alpha males tend to burp a bubble of fear at the mention of "justice," but how else are people expected to fight against the conditions hurting them? 

In the U.S. we have ways of doing that. In some Central American countries, they can't without risking their lives. 

So migrants are throwing off the yoke of their subsistence and heading to America, just like people always have.

Rev. Hoover saves everyone a lot of trouble in pointing out most of them will be great neighbors and citizens, but others just “don’t belong here.”

That doesn't mean we send out the 101st Airborne and Air Combat Command to get physical. 

It’s not beyond us to sort it out without political panic attacks. If that terrifies you, go suck your thumb in the corner and leave the work to people with backbones made from something other than tinfoil.

Blake Morlock is an award-winning columnist who worked in daily journalism for nearly 20 years, and is a former communications director for the Pima County Democratic Party. Now he’s telling you things that the Devil won’t.


TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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have your say   

2 comments on this story

2
17 comments
Nov 1, 2018, 3:51 pm
-1 +0

It’s a column. It’s supposed to be an opinion. Men aren’t the majority according to reporters who are there. Even so, men aren’t gang members.

1
1 comments
Oct 29, 2018, 7:39 am
-1 +0

Why do today’s journalists want to be novelists? What has happened to hard-hitting, researched, news? The so-called facts in this article (novel) about the caravan participants are wrong. The vast majority of the migrants are young males, not families of mothers and children. The article is more intent on demeaning what the writer perceives as cowardly, red-neck, men who are clueless about poor migrants who only want a better ( handout) life in the U.S.
These caravans are not coincidental to the midterm elections. The money to just to feed, cloth, and transport these folks is staggering and must come from some group or person with deep pockets. Most of the migrants appear fairly healthy and wearing decent and in some cases nice clothes. Real refugees do not have plenty of food, water, shelter, or wear new jeans. The necessary calories needed to make a trek from Guatemala to the U.S. border are tremendous. Who is feeding the migrants, they can’t possibly have enough money to eat out every day? Give me a break, these caravans are nothing more than a cruel hoax on the migrants who are being used for political purposes.

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