You Had To Be There (Perspective)

This is the border fence between Tijuana, Baja Norte (United States of Mexico) and San Diego, California (United States of America).

The beauty of the Pacific Ocean shimmers just off-shore, but that does little to detract from the grim image of crosses dangling from the border fence.

Each cross represents a Mexican life lost in the attempt to find a better life north of Tijuana.

Discussing the Mexican/US border isn’t for the faint of heart. Highly-charged emotional landmines abound on every side, barely below the surface. And if you raise questions, you quickly find that answers very much depend on which side of the fence you’re (literally) on.

The issues of border security and national autonomy are complex, entrenched in a long history of colonialism, Manifest Destiny, racism, and war. The mute witness of the crosses is a grim reminder of how deadly serious things are.

Is the border fence just common-sense protection against (insert worst fear here)? Or is it the moral equivalent of the Cold Wars Berlin Wall? Which is worse: shooting people for trying to get out (Berlin), or get in (San Diego)?

I know there’s no easy solution. But I see these crosses at least two or times per week, and it gives me pause every time.

Living on the Tijuana side of the fence is an eye-opening worldview challenge.

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