During the last two-plus years we have witnessed a marked deterioration of the American spirit that used to be more supportive, and with which they presumed before the concert of nations to be a country of inclusion. This without betraying constitutional principles, of course, but always being open to the possibility of hope, and becoming —in spite of everything— a vanguard society tending toward historical transition and demographic change as one social constant.
In the blink of an eye, however, we have found ourselves before a panorama of terror, in which migrants and aspiring migrants have stumbled upon the new social contract that includes a raft of measures, bills, decisions, and orders that try to locate their presence and their path in this geographic space that is and has been, by definition, home to millions. A situation which has summoned the worst examples of rejection and hatred, echoing this xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
This is not a condemnation, it is a fact; it is not a critique, it is only a summary of the record of the days that we are living through.
And it is this rhetoric that has now devolved, for example, into the dangerous reappearance of armed vigilante militias who have appointed themselves the function of detaining migrants, supporting the Border Patrol mission of “defending the border,” which always seems to mean the southern border, with the goal of preventing more undocumented immigrants from passing through United States territory —in the context of the new caravans of Central Americans that, likewise, have given another dynamic to the Latin American region in this more technologically advanced 21st century, yes, but more obviously poor at the same time.
Indeed, human misery, philosophically speaking, always unites with arrogance. They exclude each other, but they also complement each other. Zolá, Maupassant, and Victor Hugo discovered this and shaped it masterfully, in their works, in order to remind the subsequent generations that inhabit this planet. But we do not learn.
Therefore, with no explanation, groups like the one led by a man named Larry Hopkins, the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), rise up with arms in hand, without constitutional considerations, and turn themselves into a de facto army that damages even more the battered image of this country that considered itself “the richest and powerful” in the world, but in which persists this type of primitive attitude, as the Minutemen did not so long ago, with a base in racial prejudice, fundamentally.
That is, while it is true that Hopkins was discovered and detained by the FBI in New Mexico, accused of possessing an illegal firearm and ammunition, after training his group to supposedly make an attempt on the life of former President Barack Obama, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and the millionaire investor George Soros —all those who, according to him, support the anti-fascist movement— the proliferation of groups like that which he commands (white nationalist militias) is not going to be stopped overnight. What’s more, others will be regrouping and bolstering themselves now that the presidential example remains intact, following the conclusion of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, and the daily insults that emanate from a portable White House that literally is run from a Twitter account. From there, for example, he has also threatened to send more troops to the border with Mexico.
It is not certain that these groups will disappear, despite FBI operatives, because now their very existence depends on the migration phenomenon —someone has to say it— inside and outside of the United States. Their ultra-nationalism is already an impassable wall and they will certainly continue using intimidation tactics such as firearms, that all add up to these methods of control and migratory deterrence that has already altered forever the demographic change taking place nationally, continentally, and worldwide. This, until new generations of migrants find a new route to escape their misery, leaving the U.S. option aside, whose Statue of Liberty will lose its light at that moment.
And after that, this country could remain paralyzed, “waiting for the barbarians” who no longer arrive, paraphrasing Cavafis.
At bottom, every country has the right to show its own true essence as it wishes, on this specific stage of its own historical development. The United States, obviously, is no exception, especially being a country of laws.
But the “Trumpist” project, which seems to be going even further than we imagined, could convert itself into the preamble of this country’s own decline.