Land of the Fearful

Land of the Fearful

I see it now. I get it. And I agree. The ban. The wall. It all makes sense.


My daughter came home yesterday complaining about rumors that her school’s annual 8th grade field trip to the Holocaust Museum had been cancelled. When I asked why, she said that apparently some students from her school had been disrespectful on previous trips to the museum and her principal didn’t want to run the risk of having students from the current 8th grade class be disrespectful, too.


And that’s when everything started falling into place. The principal is right. I know first-hand how middle school kids can be. I can see them now, elbowing each other and snickering at some of the photographs, making inappropriate comments, trying to one-up each other for laughs, touching things they’re not supposed to touch. Because they’re kids, after all. Spirited, rambunctious teenagers, constantly pushing their boundaries, always questioning authority. So yes, absolutely, it is very likely that some students from the current 8th grade class at my daughter’s school would misbehave on this year’s trip to the museum. Yes, absolutely, the school would run the risk of being embarrassed by their behavior, and yes, absolutely, canceling the trip altogether is the only sure way to eliminate that risk. I completely agree.


And if I agree with that, then I must also agree that keeping people from entering our borders, whether by building a wall or imposing a ban, is the only way to eliminate the risk of having them hurt our country. That’s absolutely true. I mean, you know, unless they drop a bomb on us. There’s always that.


But we could build something stronger, maybe. A steel box, from sea to shining sea, and put our whole entire country in it. Well, you know, most of our country. Sorry, Alaska and Hawaii. Maybe we can build them each their own box, too. The point is, the world is changing. We need to be protected, and a giant steel box would do the trick.


Except maybe for some of the people already inside our borders. The illegal ones, of course. They’re breaking the law, that’s a given. But then, what about the legal ones who don’t agree with us? They pose a threat, too. We could find a way to kick them out, I guess, and leave only the good guys. Or if they stop being good we can just lock them up, too. I mean, isn’t that what we already do? Build a wall around them, the bad guys. Yeah. Except, don’t all people pose a threat? The ones with guns can shoot. The ones with knives can cut. The ones with fists can crush. The ones with teeth can bite. The ones with voices can speak. The ones with pens can write. We’re never really safe. There’s always someone out there to threaten us. To threaten the safety of our children.


Our children! Yeah, the kids. They’re not threats, are they? With their cute little noses and adorable little toes? They pose no risk whatsoever, do they? Let them be free.


Except that… Kids don’t stay kids forever. They grow up. They’re unstable. They break things. They misbehave at museums. Yeah, we should probably keep them out, too.


In fact, the only way for each of us to truly be safe from all the dangers in the world is to build a steel box around our individual selves. Impenetrable. Solid. Maybe padded on the inside, though. And our bodies in straightjackets because, after all, there’s always the threat of suicide.



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