Open Source / WBUR (6/28/18)
The shock of migrant kids-in-cages on our border with Mexico is surfacing tough questions if you’re willing to look back at our history and ahead to an emerging world disorder. The issues run deep: why borders in the first place? Borders that our investment money and military power fly over anyway, often to extract the resources of poor countries and make sure the poor people stay put? Why is citizenship in country X an inherited privilege that can’t be distributed, in the country a burden that can’t be escaped? When finance and Facebook, food, trade, disease and the weather are all global systems, who’s ready to say: I’m a citizen, first and last, of the world? Who manufactured the immigration crisis.
East Boston, on the rim of Boston Harbor, is where we take the temperature, check the flavor, of the melting pot: the point where the first Kennedy’s came ashore from Ireland, then Italians from Abruzzo who made Eastie their own, then Central Americans from Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras in the present day. In Trump time, the scare words in East Boston are ‘gentrification’ – meaning displacement by wealth, and ‘immigration,’ meaning: how did you get here, let’s see your papers.