You know, I hear a lot about Mexico and Mexicans of late.  There seems to be a coordinated effort by the current government to malign Mexicans as criminals and rapists.  This effort has encouraged a lot of ill-informed misfits to attack both verbally and physically those who sometimes aren’t even Mexicans but simply anyone speaking Spanish.  Regrettably I don’t hear a lot of people, even Mexicans, who stand up and speak out in their behalf with the possible exception of Vicente Fox.

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I have lived in Mexico, traveled in Mexico both on business and as a tourist and I regularly travel across the border to shop and to get dental work done at about 1/4 of the cost of dental services in the United States.  Where I live in the United States I have a family of Mexican heritage living next door.

Of course there are criminals in Mexico.  There are criminals in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.  It doesn’t make the entire country unsafe or ridden with crime.  There are in fact many, many Americans who live in Mexico and there are whole American enclaves there, just like there are Mexican enclaves here.

It is time we all grew up and acknowledge the real character and value of our Southern neighbor.  A neighbor that we have been at peace with for many years.  A neighbor that the United States literally stole about half the territory of the country that we currently know as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and California.  There were Mexicans living in those territories along with Native Americans long before the Europeans from the Eastern U.S. pushed west ward in search of land and gold.

We need to ask ourselves; how many countries has Mexico invaded, bombed, threatened or politically interfered with in the past 100 years?  How many Americans in Mexico have been rounded up and deported?  How many billions does the Mexican government spend on military waste?  How  many walls has Mexico threatened to build to keep American’s out?

The fact is that Mexico is a welcoming place populated with friendly, outgoing and generally happy people just trying to get by and take care of their families like we are.  Indeed, the character, honesty, decency and courtesy of Mexicans certainly is enviable considering what is happening in the United States now.

US-Mexico

Sure, they want jobs and a number of multi-national corporations have set up plants there because their wages are lower.  Jobs always flow toward lower wages.  It isn’t the fault of the citizenry nor the government there.  Without those jobs there is more incentive to  try to go to a country where jobs are more plentiful and the pay is better.  That’s not the fault of Mexicans.  It is in part because of the lower wages that the United States benefits tremendously from agricultural workers brought in from Mexico.  Without them we would all be hungry because Americans will NOT do the work and there are some jobs that machines can not do.

So let’s get off their backs!  Lets start treating all Mexicans and Spanish speakers with dignity and respect and give them a chance to prove themselves to us before condemning them.  Lets make it easier for seasonal workers to get the proper permits to work here.   Lets develop a system where we know who is here, why and when they are leaving.  Lets make a law that says that anyone who hires anyone who is here illegally and can not produce the proper identification to be arrested, fined and penalized severely.  In many respects, the danger of unregulated visitors to the country is surely not Mexico but more likely Russian, Chinese and other spies pretending to be visitors.

Until the Mexican Air Force bombs Los Angeles because they decide that there are chemical weapons being made there, let’s get our heads out of our asses and become better neighbors to our friends both North and South of our borders.

That’s what I think  anyway.

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