Of all the walls designed to keep Mexicans and Mexican Americans in our place, trump’s is the least clever and would be the least effective. It’s symbolism, though, reinforces the barriers that actually keep us invisible, unheard, under represented, under resourced, maligned, stereotyped, dismissed and segregated. The actual walls are so complex and entrenched in American culture and politics that they are barely discussed or challenged. They protect the myth of an America within which we are illegitimate, where we are are strangers in our own land, and where our work and contributions are diminished as opportunistic and negligible. Those walls are protected by rigged rules and systems, biased language, and dominant political ideologies within which we are treated as marginal and token.
So, trump’s wall, like trump himself, is a brutish, ugly manifestation of what has always existed in America. It is both a distraction and an opportunity to identify and address the real barriers that we should be discussing and dismantling. But we aren’t.