"Border Wars" is Bullshit

I heard about the National Geographic Channel's new series "Border Wars" a couple weeks ago and upon looking at its webpage knew that it would be complete crap - basically another "Cops" but focused exclusively on latinos in the southwest.  It comes at a surprise that it would be on this channel, but after Fox launched its own fear-mongering "Border Patrol" program last year it seems logical that other networks would want to get in on the act, considering the depth of xenophobia in the U.S. audience.

John Carlos Frey writes a seething review of "Border Wars", and the most important point, in my view, that he raises is this one:

The United States is the largest consumer of illegal narcotics in the world. We directly fuel the Mexican street drug economy. We provide the drug lords with guns and ammunition as well as the financing to keep the "war" going. If there really is a border war, we have created and armed the militia that is fighting our very own U.S. Border Patrol. Our insatiable drug appetite puts our own law enforcement officers at risk. It would be like giving Al Qaeda guns, ammunition and money to fight us. We are supplying "the enemy" with the very means they need to be our enemy. Why doesn't Border Wars go to college campuses where one can find a host of illegal narcotics on any given day and a culture that encourages massive partying? Why doesn't Border Wars go to Hollywood parties or Wall Street where illegal narcotics are delivered at the feet of the rich? If the demand for illegal narcotics dried up, there would be no drug trafficking and sadly for the National Geographic Channel there would be no ratings hit called Border Wars.

This is serious stuff, and I think about this when I read nativist polemics (like this one from the racist "thinktank"/frontgroup Center for Immigration Studies, which actually mentions me, I'm proud to say, in its objection to the Sierra Club's borderlands campaign) about stopping border violence and smuggling on the border as well.  If you're serious about addressing the environmental degradation and crime happening on our southern border, then you should address the 2 root causes:  1) gringos love recreational drugs and 2) the U.S. government has been and is still destroying the economies of Mexico and other countries south of us with its exploitative trade polices.

I call, as Frey does, on you all, if you share the outrage at this ridiculous program, to call bullshit on National Geographic, a once respectable media organization. If you have a blog, twitter account, etc, mention how false and bad the concept (and even the name) of this show is.  And furthermore, if you consume illegal substances and/or know people who do, think about, admit, and talk about the bloody effect your lifestyle is having.

Steev, Excellent post. This


Excellent post. This "Border Wars" nonsense is like a bad video game -- edited with fast cuts and a driving soundtrack that are clearly designed to titillate viewers with the rush of manufactured drama. Knowing what we know about the American public, though, I suspect this miserable excuse for a television show will ultimately become a minor success for National Geographic and its advertisers. The peanut gallery just loves a good thriller.

However, I do hold some reservations about your very last statement. People love to get high, and they always have. As much as I share your sense of personal responsibility vis-a-vis ones role in the illicit drug trade, I'm not sure it's realistic to expect everyday Americans to turn over a new leaf in response to the violence along the border. Bio-chemical interest seems to trump the political.

For me, it's all about policy -- be it drug, trade, border or other. Basically, if folks decide to put down the heroin vile I hope they'll also pick up the phone, pen or picket sign and let our political leadership know that this kind state-sponsored militarism in service to elite economic interests (drug cartels and American corporations alike) is no longer tolerable and must stop immediately! This is a challenging goal, no doubt, but it seems far more reasonable than putting the whole of "gringo" America through rehab.


You call others racist then

You call others racist then use the word "gringo"? Quit ranting for a moment to look in the mirror.

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