Murrieta, California: Pride of ‘Murica!

Yesterday in Murrieta, California, a relatively small contingent of American citizens blocked a bus of children and mothers and shouted with zeal and animosity at them. This group was most likely organized conspiratorially by a mayor, Alan Long, who stated his pride for the group of protestors, apparently inspired by a discriminatory, hate-filled demonstration. Their message was basically to ship the women and children back to the other side of the southern border without compassion or guilt, abating ourselves of the problem of a legitimate humanitarian crisis without repercussions to the selfish members of this country that just do not want to share the wealth.

Pride isn’t the word I would use to describe yesterday’s scene. I would use the word shame.

Murrieta, California, a town willing to spook already-frightened children and ostracize mothers who seek refuge from pain and violence to themselves and their children, represents a shameful trend in our country. This trend is decidedly un-American, but it gains perceived momentum under the auspices of patriotism.

American ingenuity and pride does not stand for maintaining the status quo or taking the easiest way out of a problem. If this small group were to have its way, then that is exactly what we would be doing: taking the easy way out by kicking these women and children back whence they came, clapping the dust from our hands and pretending that these 50,000+ refugees just don’t exist…whatever it takes to shield tax-payers from having to share the benefits of living in the safest, wealthiest nation in the world…we don’t have to share things…’Murica is ours, and certainly we don’t need to change things to accommodate needy women and children…whatever it takes to ignore the necessity of changing our antiquated immigration policies and laws.

America has a history of discrimination, but we do not show pride of our intolerant history. We should not regress to identifying discrimination as some newfound American patriotism, when it is actually American dogma. This is not American patriotism, no matter what Republicans and Fox News attempt to paint it as.

The fact that this group actually had the gall to shout “U.S.A.” over and over again, like it was the World Cup game, instead of further traumatizing children as a taunt, sickens me as an American. The crowd assembled at Murrieta can go ahead and shout their hate to their heart’s content…certainly Americans enjoy the ability to assemble and freely speak…but do not presume to represent yourselves as the majority of Americans. Murrieta, California, you are not representative of this country. Thank God for those members of the San Bernardino community who went out of their way to welcome those buses after they experienced Murrieta…now that is something to bear pride for as an American.

Allow me to remind Murrieta of the plaque posted at Ellis Island, after reminding them that every single citizen of the U.S.A., unless from Native American descendents, comes from an immigrant family:

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

This poem is a wonderful literary representation of America’s genuine patriotic meaning…and further evidence of the merits of English literature study in this country. A part of any potential platform from immigration reform is to ensure that immigrants learn the English language before becoming U.S. citizens. I might agree, but maybe we should consider teaching the English language to existing citizens first, like the protestor at Murietta who wielded the sign that read:


This country suffers from a sense of entitlement, one in which we assume that we cannot share our country with others who would like to live here. Republicans are complicit with this entitlement, as they promote this tendency to backtrack, obstructing sorely needed immigration reform…along with making the vote harder for existing citizens, putting religious faith ahead of rational logic with decision-making, making corporate entities exempt from laws that apply to flesh-and-blood citizens, disallowing marriage equality, blocking medical care for more citizens, causing government shutdowns, and promoting war instead of peace…ARRGGHH!!!

I can envision a scenario of stark irony: if the Republicans take over the Senate and, say, a Ted Cruz becomes President in 2016, then groups of American mothers and children might attempt to escape perceived danger by trekking north, hoping to escape their country’s backwards policies in order to have a better life for their families. The country to the North might react by erecting an enormous wall, preventing the mass exodus across their border. Their patriotic chant of “Canada! Canada! Canada!” might symbolize their apathy for allowing thousands of refugees from escaping the harsh political climate that has become dystopian life in the Republican-controlled United States of ‘Murica.

{If you appreciated this writing and want to help support the continuation of this blog, please consider sending a donation to:

Scott C. Guffey
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Michigan City, IN 46360

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