Trump’s wall has already passed the level of obsession. It’s like a sort of zipper on a garment that doesn’t fit, but one stubbornly tries to close it anyway. The seams of the garment struggle in the effort, a warning that it’s simply not possible to achieve the objective.
But to him that does not matter, he just wants to look good.
And he wastes no effort and misses no opportunity to refer to his magnum opus which competes, of course, with family separation as the two “pillars” of his work and for which history will not exactly place him on the side of the great statesmen.
It’s certain that the symbolism of the flames and protests in Minneapolis don’t matter to the president.
The reality is that he has returned to saying that the wall is saving U.S. lives by keeping “cases of Mexicans” infected with COVID-19 out of the country, conferring to a material structure a supreme power that it does not have, on top of returning to his undesirable routine of anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric, certainly another type of virus that has damaged this country throughout its history.
“Mexico is having a very, very hard time, as you know, with COVID, especially along the border,” said the President in the Oval Office, as if the situation with its neighbor to the south was worse than what is happening in New York or the rest of the United States.
And although it is not the first time he suggests his immigration bans while the pandemic is going on, it’s significant that he does it when the nation is engulfed in flames once again after the death of an African American man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, who was violently arrested by local police, one of whom would not let him breathe while holding down his neck with his knees for several minutes.
But that doesn’t keep the leader up at night, he is more focused on his base not straying from his anti-immigrant discourse, nor from his electoral campaign that promises to be one of the ugliest of all time. He also doesn’t show much empathy for the more than 100,000 people who have already died in the United States from COVID-19, and the more than 1.7 million who have contracted the virus—figures that of course cannot be compared to those registered in México, a country that reports more than 80,000 positive cases and more than 9,000 deaths.
That is, the U.S. President’s absurd insistence on blaming others for an illness that is infinitely worse in his own country crumbles under its own weight, upon comparing these lamentable figures.
In every case, it is México and other neighboring countries that should fear the situation of cases and deaths that continue to be out of the control of the U.S. leader, and put other nations in the region at risk; just as it happened some weeks ago when the U.S. deported Guatemalan immigrants to their home country, most of whom turned out to be coronavirus-positive after being detained in U.S. immigration centers. The authorities of this country had no choice but to accept that it had been a mistake, for which they offered apologies to the Central American nation. Too late.
Not too long ago the president had proposed painting the border wall black, which he calculated would take an investment of $500 million, without worrying about mentioning the topic in the middle of one of the most deadly and difficult to confront pandemics, at a moment when the vast majority of resources should flow to the medical sector so as not to lower the vigilance on the front lines, while they too suffered deaths in their ranks.
It’s certain that the symbolism of the flames and protests in Minneapolis don’t matter to the president. He will persist with his biggest obsession, presuming that he will have 400 miles of his border wall built by the end of this year and 500 in the next, added to the 194 miles that he already constructed, as he has boasted.
In that way, the prelude to what will surely be the worst-case scenario for minorities in the run-up to the November elections has begun in Minneapolis, while Trump continues with his immigration obsessions, as if nothing else is happening in the country that is out of his hands.
David Torres is a Spanish-language Advisor at America’s Voice.
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