The Wall is not the problem. The problem lies with the narrative that is being used to push forth the wall. The tone and the threats from Donald Trump are not diplomatic overtures for cooperation. Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign by demonizing Mexicans, like me, and México. Central to his theme is the wall between our two countries. The wall has become the symbol of the destruction of over 50 years of friendship, cooperation and mutual respect.
On January 14, 1964, the United States and the Mexican governments both ratified the Chamizal Treaty. The treaty settled a land dispute between both governments that had been simmering for 100 years. On October 28, 1967, US President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mexican president Adolfo López Mateos, along with their wives, celebrated the treaty at the Chamizal Monument in Cd. Juárez. The treaty marked a new era in US-México relations – one led by friendship, respect and dignity.
The treaty has been described as the future of relationships between two countries – where disputes are settled via dialog and mutual respect. Under the Chamizal Treaty, both México and the United States recognized each other’s sovereignty and negotiated the redrawing of the international line between the two countries to resolve a border dispute. There was no saber rattling or threats. Rather, each country cooperated in building the canal to mark the dividing line between the two countries while agreeing to establishing a means of encouraging close relations by agreeing to building three international bridges to connect both neighbors.
Each country has the right to choose what they build on their national territory. Although, the neighbor may not like it, a wall is the right of the other neighbor. Two people, much less two countries, will not agree on everything. It is how neighbors choose to deal with adversity that determines the cooperation and friendship each holds for the other.
For years now, the issue of a wall on the US-México border has been an ongoing discussion in both countries. During that time, mutual respect and cooperation between both nations increased.
Then the wall became the symbol of divisiveness.
It has become the symbol of division because of the animosity behind the words that demand that México pay for the wall and the constant barrage of targeting México and Mexicans as the culprit behind all that ails the country.
To be sure, there are problems on both sides of the border, but rather than discuss the issues and attempt to resolve them through diplomacy and friendship, the recent dialog has become one of blame and animosity between the two people.
The narrative has become one where México and Mexicans embody the fear that the United States is in decline as a nation and as a people.
México and the United States have been neighbors for centuries and the friendship between the two nations can be characterized as two neighbors cooperating more and more as each year goes by.
As a neighbor, México has been there to help the people of the United States in friendship. For example, during World War II, México declared war on the Axis powers, ensuring that the United States had labor and raw resources with which to ensure victory. México fielded Escuadrón 201, one of only two Latin American countries to send men into combat in support of US operations in the Philippines. Additionally, many Mexican men fought in the US military.
After Hurricane Katrina, when the United States needed a helping hand, the Mexican military crossed the US-México border to render aid. Mexicans collected supplies and money and sent them over to their neighbors in need.
Even today, many Mexican men and women serve in the United States armed forces helping to defend the country against those that would harm the US, and its citizens.
USMC Cpl. Sara Abigail Medina, born in Durango México, gave her life at the age of 23 on May 12, 2015 while serving in Joint Task Force 505. She is one of many others.
Seven Mexican citizens have been awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award the United States bestows upon those who defend it. They are Pedro Cano, Jesus S. Duran, Silvestre S. Herrera, Marcario Garcia, Jose F. Jimenez, Isaac Payne and Alfred V. Rascon. Silvestre Herrera was an undocumented immigrant at the time of his heroism.
A wall, as a symbol, symbolizes the division between two groups. Countries and neighbors work better together then when divided. Cooperation suffers because of divisions between people and it often results in animosity between them.
That is what the Donald Trump Administration is symbolizing – strife, discord and divisions between México and the United States.
Trump is trying to destroy the México-U.S. friendship. This cannot be allowed.
We must unite to fight the division and encourage the friendship. To that end, I have put together a set of social media images that you can use to spread the word about friendship and cooperation between our two great countries.
Resist the attempt to destroy the friendship between our two countries. Unite and stand together in friendship. Please help me spread the word.
You can download social media images to use as your Facebook or Twitter profiles by following this link.
Be sure to like the Facebook Page. You can find the link on the website where you downloaded the graphics.