This afternoon one of the guys who often walks this way stopped to talk for a few minutes. After discussing the fireworks show of a week ago and couple other local events we bounced around some topics that are making headlines. When we landed on the shameful display that came out of Murrieta, California last week we both agreed that words were hard to come by to describe the level of disgust we had felt when watching the video on television.
Three busloads of immigrant mothers and children were passing through Murrieta and heading to a border patrol station but were met by angry protesters who were clearly not representative of the type of America that I call home. They shouted, screamed, rant and raved, and acted like damn fools.
There is no way that the heartless display that took place in Murrieta would have ever happened in the city where I live, Madison, Wisconsin. And if there had been any such attempt of hatred and bigotry I know with every fiber of my being that within hours a protest march from the good-hearted folks of this city would have turned out to underscore our revulsion over such behavior.
But following the absurdity with the busses and passengers guess what Murrieta did for a follow-up performance?
More than a thousand of their residents jammed into a high school auditorium where for four hours they had a xenophobic orgy of anger. One can almost image the spittle that must have splattered about as the conservatives spewed and cranked away over the injustices that the average white person in Murrieta has to put up with these days.
The whole episode with the busses happened in the light of day, but it is not hard to see how things play out when racists and those who lack proper education and instead are guided by fear are allowed to act out. Does anyone think it was any different when white racists with sheets and torches rode at night in the south to lynch blacks?. The source of where hate and the lack of humanity resides comes from the same place be it Murrieta, California or the backwoods of Mississippi.
Since today is Sunday I am certain that many of the conservative Christians in Murrieta who blessed themselves or absolved themselves in some other way of the sins from the past week feel they are off the hook. But in America in 2014 when busses carrying women and children, many of whom fled their homes in Central America to escape violence and death, are treated in the fashion that the whole world witnessed means that more than pew-sitting and genuflecting needs to take place. One has to wonder it any pastor had the backbone to preach about what Jesus would have done when the busses arrived.
While we can agree that there needs to be a change in federal law about these types of immigrants from Central America coming to our country in this fashion we also must agree that a humanitarian display should have been the default reaction for those who live there and pretend to be so ‘patriotic’ with their flag-waving. I am not sure where these people in Murrieta were raised but clearly they do not have mid-western values where we first offer a hand and then seek long-term solutions to the needs that are presented.
What happened in Murrieta has left a dark stain on not only that thoughtless community but also has cast this whole nation in a harsher looking place as a result. Murrieta is an embarrassment. And embarrassing.