The Rio Grande Valley, where I live, is on the Texas border with Mexico. Because of border patrol checkpoints on the highways leading north, thousands of undocumented immigrants & refugees live & work in this area. Trying to get around those checkpoints without a “coyote” is life-threatening because of vigilante ranchers & dehydration in scorching heat. Anthropology teams from the University of Texas have been excavating mass graves where county officials dumped the bodies of those who died. Their humanitarian intention is to identify them so their families can be notified & their bodies returned to their families for respectful burial. This is ground zero for the refugee crisis, including refugee rights, abduction of children & incarceration of refugees.

Where I live, all of my immediate neighbors are immigrants or children of undocumented immigrants. Many were among the three million who received amnesty in 1986 (under president Reagan). Some of them only speak Spanish.

Imagine my revulsion to learn that many I deal with in daily life who have Mexican ancestry or are themselves immigrants (including undocumented) are ardent supporters of Trump & strongly oppose immigration, using the same racist arguments that Trump & other white supremacists use. These are not rotten people like Trump. Not at all. But if I had to characterize them, I would say they have too close identification with the status quo. Several are small business owners who attribute their success to some kind of superiority. Some have long associations with the US military where racism is the bedrock of training. What they all share is contempt & an antisocial attitude toward the poor. I can’t hate these people nor do I debate with them. I marvel at the cement-headed dissonance that makes some people, despite their own histories, believe they are superior to others.