Rainbow Fascism at Home and Abroad

Some years ago, when I was a consular officer in the once-notorious border city of Tijuana, I spent a few days in Mexico City on my way back from a temporary assignment in Matamoros, another border town just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas. At a social function, I was cornered by a typically irate group of young Mexican intellectuals, who proceeded to lecture me on the evils of my country, in particular the manner in which (they claimed) we brutalize Mexican illegals caught crossing into the United States. After a few minutes of the standard exposition—genocide, racism, imperialism, and so forth—I posed a question: "In light of all your complaints about us, why do you Mexicans treat Guatemalans caught crossing your southern border the way you do?"—it being common knowledge that beatings, torture, rape, and even murder are prevalent.

My interrogators were astounded—then enraged. With a mixture of wounded pride and arrogance, they stormed back at me: "But, it's not the same thing—they have violated the laws of la patria!" The fatherland. Their fatherland. It was evidently clear to them, as Mexicans, that their fatherland was something as dear to them as the word implies. It was equally inconceivable to them that I, an American, might feel about my own country the way they felt about Mexico (maybe because, in their experience, Americans typically do...

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