Eddie Cabrone decided to help his friend Marco and Marco’s brother Rodolpho to come to the US to earn money illegally. Marco has a family in Italy and there are no jobs. Marco and Rodolpho come to the US, live with Eddie’s family and work as masons. All goes well for a while. Then Eddie’s niece who lives with them, Kathrine falls for the young Rodolpho and Eddie discovers that he himself is secretly in love with her too. He starts to invent things about Rodolpho to tarnish the young man’s image in his own eyes. He convinces himself that Rodolpho is weak, most possibly even gay. More and more he succumbs to the darkness until one night he goes out and calls the INS to report Marco and Rodoplho. Marco finds out about it and kills Eddie. End of the essence of the play 'View from the Bridge’ by Arthur Miller from 1950s. 1950s? Sounds like a very modern scenario, doesn’t it?
Consider the possible alternative. If Eddie had just agreed to bless the young love Rodolpho and Kathrine would get married, there would be children. Eddie would become a patriarch of the big, happy Italian family with relatives here and there. He would be happy and all others would be happy too. And now he is dead. Caught my drift?
In 1989 when I was a refugee myself in Italy we were told by some young boys and girls who were our ‘ caseworkers’ that we better pay for our tickets in he Italian buses or ‘ we would not be accepted to the US’. Hey, most likely they meant well, those puppies- the INS did not want petty criminals to enter the US, right? But let me tell you, folks, I felt nothing but disgust. Here I was, an adult man with a family and some stupid puppy treated me like dirt- tells me that my destiny and the destiny of other people I love depends on whether I pay for the stupid bus ticket? So I walked and hitchhiked big time. I also got a bicycle; some Italian priest gave it to me. This is called a Refugee Fitness course. You should try it sometimes.
You, people who think that you can decide the destiny of the millions of people without talking to them, listening to them, even seeing them, you better try to be them sometimes. Illegals? Our President can designate anyone as an enemy combatant. That means you can become illegal pretty quick. Watch your back for Eddie Cabrones. Recently there was a case when a disgruntled father-in-law reported on his son-in-law as a possible terrorist. It is only a start.
Them! That’s the key word. We build a wall around our country to protect us from Them! We are a bunch of stupid morons who elected Bush two time and he screws us up and kills our children but that is OK; we just are afraid of Them, whoever we do not know, those Illegals we never saw who take our jobs and do not pay taxes. We are pissed at Them. No, we are not pissed at Jose, Maria, Carlos. We hate Them! Let Them prove to Us that they are worthy, that they are legal, that their children have the same right to live as ours and we will stop hating Them. Bullshit. We will hate Them anyway.
In the 1400s in Germany during the land wars the prosperous groups of Anabaptists decided to close the gates of their cities and just spit on what was happening outside. Guess what? All those outside united against them and burned those cities. That was the price for myopic fear of the fellow- humans.
Wow! Those 10 million of Them undermine our economy! Not Bush? Not war? Not subprime mortgages? Not pork? Not the military budget? Not Halliburton? Not the corporate welfare? NO! THEM! Those people who by being here keep the prices low? Those who were misplaced by NAFTA? Yes, we want them ‘ packing’ because they are ‘ illegal’. Hey, why won’t we at least admit that out of all our fears we pick the one we can hurt back. Let’s be honest.
‘ Some Mexicans are good and some are not.’ Wow! GW is bad, you know. He alone makes more harm than 10mln Mexicans. Now, why won’t you, courageous folks at least say that openly? Why don’t you write to Lou Dobbs to tell him that every time he mentions Mexicans he should also say, ‘ but that is nothing compared with the harm done by GW and other white supremacists in power now.’ Why?
I’ll tell you why. Because it is not the issue of the jobs. Deep inside we here are afraid of those people as species. It is racism.
We are afraid of those men, tall, dark and handsome Latinos who can charm a woman and who really love to make love to those nice, long- legged blondes we produce. We are afraid of those charming real feminine Spanish women who do not have to run 5 miles every morning to look gorgeous, who are ready to bear children, cook, dance and laugh. We are afraid of Them. It is a big world out there and our fathers and grandfathers screwed it big time and now it comes. It comes and we see Them. They are not like us. That’s what we are afraid of. That’s why we, like Eddie Cabrone make stories about them, discard them and hate them. They are our natural allies against Bush but we push them away, we ‘discuss’ them, keep negative statistics on them and watch if they paid for the tickets in the bus. How many times had we paid for our tickets?
I read many years ago a good novel by a Chech writer Ian Otchenachek ‘Romeo, Juliet and dakness’. It was about a Jewish girl who fell in love with a Chech boy in the 1943 Prague. He had a leverage, She had a yellow star on her sleeve. Sounds familiar? Darkness creeps on you whenever you think you have an advantage, a leverage, a feeling of superiority, illusory, of course because as there both Chechs and Jews were under Germans, we here are all under Bush. Really, people, don’t you understand that in a sense we are much closer to those illegals than we think? Come out into the light and see who your friends are. That is if you want to have friends.