God, The Mexican

by Melanie Davis
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By ALBERTO MORENO, El Hispanic News
Not long ago in a small town in America its residents awoke to find a newly installed art sculpture.  It consisted of a park bench upon which a dark skinned homeless man lay.  He is covered in what appears to be a Middle-Eastern robe. His face and hands are obscured so that he can be you or me.  Or our lost son or daughter.   Except that upon closer examination, one can see on his bare feet the wounds of the holy crucifixion.  Revealing to us a homeless, unclaimed Christ. According to published reports, the well to do inhabitants of this American town were offended by the subject of the new installation.  In fact, a wealthy white woman objecting to the presence of a dark-skinned homeless man, called the police to have Christ evicted.  Such is the depth of our compassion these days. In another part of the world, a cargo train makes its way North.  Steel grinding against steel,  La Bestia hurls toward America, unaware and unconcerned about her cargo.  Its pistons chugging blindly along this track of railroad moving its cargo across barren hollowed out spaces. La Bestia is also known by other names, including The Train of Death for the many that fall and die from its hull.  La Bestia which runs from Arriaga, Chiapas to the US border transports products and materials including corn, cement, and minerals extracted from Central America and Mexico for US consumption.   On its steel shoulders it also carries a more tender human cargo.  These days, men and women fleeing civil wars, starvation or economic displacement risk life and limb to climb unto this indifferent beast. But recently, the undeclared manifest of La Bestia has changed.  Now the flesh and bones it portages are those of children as young as six.  Who even now cling precariously unto the rusty roof of this reluctant, surrogate mother.  Children by the thousands ride this iron beast as it pierces the distant night announcing some unknown city or province. These children travel three to four-thousand miles often with only the clothes on their backs to guard them against the cold of night or against the organized gangs who prey upon them.  Americans are not the only ones who have come to profit from La Bestia's cargo.  Predatory gangs have also come to depend on this vulnerable cargo and often rob and rape these children.  So that a kind of life settles on her back.  Life rife with grief and loss, attendant.  And we cannot imagine or know this grief in our comfortable immigrant-labor built homes with immigrant-manicured lawns.  Cannot circumscribe its shape from our ample food-laden tables picked by immigrant hands.  Cannot touch the hem of this suffering from our comfortable homes heated with Mexican oil.  This is the problem with our privilege. It is often blind.  But rarely mute. What we know now, is that many of these children are ending up on America's ports and shores.  By the thousands.  52,000 to 60,000 of them expected by the end of the year.  And while America does not object to the Mexican Oil, does not object to the Mexican minerals or even the Mexican corn it freely imports and consumes, it does balk and revoke admission to these children who are only following their country's resources. And now, European-Americans are screaming at the top of their lungs. They are clamoring that these children be 'sent back from where they came!'  European-Americans are demanding that these children be deported back to wars of America's seeding. Governor Perry has even called the Militia to ostensibly defend against these children!  What is concerning about this white intolerance is that it is equaled only by their historical ignorance of the place they have come to occupy. If we review History's manifest, we would find that unaccompanied migrant children are not a new phenomenon.  America's First Immigrants who came over on a disease-infested wooden beast known as the Mayflower, also had unaccompanied minors.  Historical records show that there were orphans on that first unbidden trespass unto America's shores.   This is not the only example.  Ellis Island also registers thousands of unaccompanied children showing up at its doors.  So what is different now, other than the brown of our skin? America is uncomfortable with these poor brown children from Central America.  Americans claim that "it’s not their problem!"  But these largely uneducated Americans conveniently bypass two indisputable truths.  One: That unless you are American Indian, we are ALL Immigrants-one or two generations removed.  Ask any of our Indigenous brothers and sisters.  The second irrefutable truth is: That America is the cause of this migration.  That it is our foreign policy and our penchant for de-stabilizing foreign countries, that it is our insatiable appetite for natural resources which has robbed other countries of their livelihoods. Leaving people with no other choice other than to follow the trail of these resources unto America's front door. We need look no further than to the example of NAFTA.  Not long after NAFTA passed, (which was full of trade policies favorable to the US), over 2 million Mexican subsistence farmers were driven out of business.  So that we cannot be surprised that when we take away peoples livelihoods that we leave them with no other choice than to follow their resources here. And even while people were distracted by the World Cup, American oil companies were brokering a deal to get their hands on Mexico's most valuable asset: the state owned oil reserves.  What Americans do not care to know is that the revenues from this vital resource currently pay for health care for all Mexicans.  Soon the Halliburton’s of the world will control this interest and profit from it.  Leaving Mexicans and others to flee to America's shore in search of health care services.  And America will again ask how did this happen?  And claim again: "those people are not our problem!" We have to see that we are the root and cause of this migration.  That we are the source of this tide. But even if America chooses to ignore its role in this, if it chooses to not see its causal role, then there are still other questions which these children represent.  These children whom we have made homeless though our greed and privilege.  Whom, we have made homeless like the statue of Christ the Vagrant. Indeed it is important to understand what these children represent.  They have arrived on our shores as a question.  That is: Whom will we choose to be in the face of need? Are we a society so blinded by our hate and ignorance that we will choose to punish children?  Or are we a society which, as Christ taught us, welcomes the stranger among us... These children on our divided shores are if nothing else, a barometer of our humanity. But what if I told you that Christ was an Immigrant Or still, that God was A woman? Would you and your Faith Desert him Or her? What if I offered you Christ in Middle-Eastern garb Would you put him On trial? And condemn him in utter Secrecy? What if I suggested to you that God was not white? Or what if you pricked and prodded and took God's DNA from him And it proved that he wereMexican! Would you Would you Deport him Still?