Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The American Dream Shouldn't Mean Rape and Death

Many living in states that share a border with Mexico actively "defend" the United States daily from the "threat" of so-called "illegal aliens".  They are erroneously convinced that these people are stealing good jobs from hard working Americans.  A lot of their propaganda is based solely in racism. You see an American is conceived of as white...a true American is certainly not brown, and certainly does not speak Spanish fluently. They conveniently forget that America is sup0p0sed to be the land of opportunity and freedom for all.  In truth opportunity, and freedom are only a real possibility of you are born rich and white.

Many living south of the border are unable to achieve subsistence due to global capitalism, and its unfair trade treaties.  Bodies of colour are globally impoverished so that Americans can consume at an unprecedented rate.  Over consumption includes but is not limited to portion size of meals, number of vehicles owned, size of homes etc and etc.  What bothers me is the sense of entitlement that comes with this lifestyle.  This ridiculous belief that an accident of birth entitles you to the right to exploit third world bodies of colour for the sake of personal comfort and profit. 

In a desire to escape the role of neo-colonial citizen daily people attempt to sneak across the US/Mexican border.  This is a very dangerous journey to undertake. Many lives have been lost, and the desert has become a cemetery without markers.  For those that make the journey alive there is often a cost that is not talked about.  The wind hears the screams of pain and anguish but the shame buries the truth of the atrocity.  The cost of entering the land of freedom for women is paid with their bodies.  Women are being raped.

"I thought the wailings we heard at night were the coyotes barking at the moon," one volunteer told The Washington Times. "I didn't know until later that those sounds were the cries of women being raped in the Mexican desert, some less than 100 yards away from the border. There was absolutely nothing anyone could do about it."

    The rapists are known to hang women's bras and panties from tree limbs as trophies.

Imagine in a bid to escape poverty and marginalization you again become a victim...a victim of rape. It is a crime that is meant to reduce your very being to a tool, and ia a testament to male supremacy.  Rape is already a crime that is extremely under reported (60% under reported according to RAINN),  and these women that are in an extremely vulnerable position are even less likely to report it to the authorities.  "According to the United Nations, up to 70 percent of women crossing the border without husbands or families are abused in some way." How can they seek justice when they themselves are deemed criminals because of their citizenship? What do they do when they are raped by the very men that are supposed to be enforcing the law?  Men rape with impunity because they know that the chance for repercussions for this heinous violation will most likely go unpunished.  Constantly in the media we hear about the need to secure the borders, but there is no discussion about the violation of women that occurs at the border.

In a world where women are undervalued and exploited, brown women are even more likely to be considered consumable bodies.  It is theorized that these incidents would not happen if they would just stay home.  It seems as if this is just some penalty that they are expected to pay for being born brown and poor on the wrong side of the border; conveniently it is forgotten that much of the land that is now considered American was once a legitimate part of Mexico.  Constantly there is an attempt to remove basic human rights accorded to American citizens simply because these people do not hold green cards. What is ignored is that they have a membership that is far more relevant than a green card, they are human beings, no different and no less than anyone born under the stars and stripes. 

The brown people of this world do no exist to live a life of servitude, poverty and violence.  It is this frame of thought that must be broken, this sense of entitlement that must come to an end. Whether it is rape at the border or death due to dehydration picking vegetables, POC matter.  Your sense of comfort is based upon eating the other in a very literal sense.  For each item that you take for granted someone has more thank likely paid the price in blood.  I submit that we don't think about the cost because it is being paid by bodies of colour.  When we devalue people we cannot possibly legitimate the true value of every day items that we take for granted.  Is a shirt still beautiful if it means that the woman, that made it was raped for the "honour" of residing in the US?  Is a tomato still fresh and inviting if the person that picked it is now lying in nameless grave?

 


4 comments:

elle said...

"I thought the wailings we heard at night were the coyotes barking at the moon," one volunteer told The Washington Times. "I didn't know until later that those sounds were the cries of women being raped in the Mexican desert."

As long as I live, I will never forget this statement. Oh my God

Meadester said...

Your sense of comfort is based upon eating the other in a very literal sense.
I think you need to re-acquaint yourself with the meaning of the word "literal." I have never eaten another person's flesh (unless the communion wafers I used to receive really were the body of Christ, but that's another discussion).

I believe in relatively open immigration with some qualifications. To fully explain my opinion will take several paragraphs, so I'll post it on my own blog.

Renee said...

I have never eaten another person's flesh...The idea is that the blood is mixed with the soil thus eating the other.

Meadester said...

Renee, that sounds like a bit of a stretch, but OK, I see your point of view now.