Thursday, May 22, 2008

Checkpoint



The producer's comment:
The checkpoint in this video was nearly 50 miles north of the Mexican border, so it would have been utterly pointless in stopping illegal immigration. The real purpose of these checkpoints is to condition Americans to get used to the police state.

My comment:
The checkpoint system does apprehend undocumented immigrants, so I disagree with his first statement.

But perhaps the video shows a double standard in operation. The driver's Caucausian without an Hispanic accent; maybe I could get through a checkpoint using his method. How likely would a U.S. citizen with features of a Mexican or Central American exit the checkpoint so easily?

I won't copy his stunt anytime soon. But henceforth, I'll think about "the police state" whenever I pass through a checkpoint.

4 comments:

dada said...

OK, this was obviously a failed experiment. America is not a police state, not yet anyway, if this video is any indication. (I coulda sworn we were a lot further along towards one then this little failed demonstration reveals.)

I think the line from "Cool Hand Luke" says it best.
"What we've got here is, 'failure to communicate...'"

The border patrol agt cannot say "You are being detained" while the libertarian can't admit he's American. (He probably sure as hell resembles/talks like one.)

You can just sense the frustration in both, failures as they were.

I wonder, as you noted BE, if this experiment might not have had a different outcome, the one they were seeking, if they'd gotten a defiant Hispanic with an accent?

And then to demonstrate to us Anglos the police state we're becoming, have this guy go demonstrate against Bush in a nondesignated demonstration zone or a Republican convention or something and tape that.

eProf2 said...

OK, BE, you've pushed my hot button on this post. I'll try not to get too upset here amongst friends. Don't forget the Bush administration and many states are trying to pass national identification laws. "Show me your papers," comes to mind when we go through BP stations, many of which are getting further and further north. Most of my wife's family members now make sure they have copies of their birth certificates and a photo id with them at all times. We have more than 300 BP vehicles and personnel stationed here in Casa Grande permanently. And, they're building an even bigger facility to be opened next year. We see their vehicles all over town many more times than we see the local police. Of course, when I get upset I always get the argument thrown in my face "if you haven't done anything wrong there isn't anything to worry about." I suspect the average German citizen in the 1930's thought the same thing, although I have no proof as to the accuracy of my suspicion.

I grew up in San Francisco with a good number of Japanese American kids, most of whom had stories of being sent to "concentration" camps and losing practically everything because of governmental and societal fear. So, I'm a little more touchy about this issue and whether we have or are heading to a police state in the US.

So, if you don't hear from me again, the Gestapo has probably picked me up and...

Border Explorer said...

Loved the movie clip, Dada. Brought back memories...but that's another post.
I had the impression that the vid producer felt like he won since he got through without cooperating. I remember telling you how I was caught and detained reentering the U.S. from Cuba. The guy had done his research; he knew what was legal to demand. I hear what you're saying, tho. Hey, let's head up to MN for the GOP...

eProf, YOU GO GUY! I just loved your passion on this topic. Thanks much for sharing so many relevant experiences. Your comment on your childhood Jap/Am peers triggers me to share that the word from Postville, IA is that the kids there from U.S. citizen families are having nightmares that their parents will be taken away too.

dada said...

Just as an anecdote of total irrelevance, or maybe some:

I grew up in post-WWII L.A.. The archetypal male citizen of Japanese descent immediately after the war was a gardener. I guess it was the first step of re-assimilating into the culture after interment. All gardeners were Japanese!

Manuel, an old HS classmate of Hispanic descent was recently out mowing his L.A. front yard when a passerby stopped to ask if it was possible he could add another yard to his clientele?

Growing up in post WWII L.A. also, I think he could appreciate my laughing at his story. I think. (I hope. Come to think of it, I haven't heard from Manuel in awhile.)