Business as usual here, watching Stateside evening local news: If it bleeds it leads. Rarely has a night gone by during the last two and half months that I’ve been north of the border in Texas, California and Washington state, that I haven’t seen some story of a drive-by shooting, a carjacking or another example of road rage that ended in violent confrontation. The reporting and the rhetoric are paced like gunfights — talk shows even have names like “Crossfire” and “Hard Ball” — and while the commentators may not be engaged in actual physical violence, I for one have the urge to hurl something at the television screen. And if Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity and Whoever weren’t dark and scary enough, there are the trailers for movies that are running or coming. What happened to sweet sunshiney escapism? Isn’t that what we’re supposed to get in our new Great Depression? These films feed depression!
This edgy, confrontational, smack ’em down and keep ’em down attitude is getting on my nerves. I yearn for a public atmosphere of reverence for family, friendship and cooperation, a public sense of safety and serenity, and of quiet satisfaction with simple pleasures. I MISS MEXICO!! Yeah, I said it. Mexico has all those things, no matter what the U.S. media says to the contrary.
Is the country of my birth becoming a bully? I recently read a post, called Memoirs of a Bullied Kid. The author is generous to his former tormentors, pointing out that in calling him names, shoving him around and making his life miserable, that they, the tormentors themselves, were being impelled by their own insecurities and problematic home lives. The U.S. has been doing a bang up media bullying job on Mexico for the last several years. They have painted their neighbor to the south as a “failed state,” or “riddled with violence.” They have warned off tourists with images of headless bodies and swine flu, and have scapegoated brown-skinned people on both sides of the border. The longer the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have continued unresolved, the deeper in doo doo the American economy has sunk, the more, ahem, mud-slinging has taken place. Here are some further links that back up what I’m saying here:
So I’ll take a clue from Single Dad Laughing who encourages us to reach out with compassion to both the bullied and the bully. Come on, Country of my birth that I love. You are capable of so much more than the way you’ve been acting! Have you forgotten your greatness, your goodness, and the power that comes of bringing out the greatness in others? Get with your Inner Guadalupe, stop the cursing, and let the blessing begin!