In Defense of Our 'Border'

Because my hobby is surfing obscure website nobody cares about, this week I happened upon this recent offering by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

If you're not familiar, the S.P.L.C. is one of those groups who did good work in their day (the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965), but, having run out of dragons to slay, are now casting about for reasons to carry on with their anti-white-racist mission in an era where a black President presides over a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate while the wealthiest, most admired and most powerful people on Planet Earth include Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell, Tiger Woods, whatever Sean Combs is calling himself these days, and the black writer on 30 Rock.


Chris Burgard "Border"

The S.P.L.C. has become a good illustration of the old adage that if all you have is a hammer pretty soon everything starts to look like a nail. The group operates from a presumption of racism, i.e., the belief that every white person is a racist until they prove otherwise by adopting a Somalian orphan, personally spitting in David Dukes' beer, and/or shopping for clothes at Target like Michelle Obama does. All of which made the S.P.LC. a very unlikely source for an objective review of Chris Burgard's spectacular documentary Border.

Frankly, it's hard to imagine how anyone could have seen Border and then written the scathing review that the S.P.L.C.'s Larry Keller wrote. (I was going to say "any English-speaking person," but then I realized how that would sound). Then again, Keller barely touches on Border itself, mostly confining himself to casting aspersions on the character of filmmaker Burgard by mentioning that Chris is a former ballet dancer and Ferris Bueller stunt man, that he has cats named Smith and Wesson, and that-- are you sitting down?-- Burgard grew up in Wisconsin and yet likes to wear cowboy hats and ride horses!!!

Now, why does this sound familiar? Oh, yes. Now I remember: a favorite trick of Lefties is to disparage men of action they despise and fear by calling them cowboys. Remember that notorious cowboy Ronald Reagan? You know-- the guy who won the Cold War? Earth to the Left Wing: AMERICANS LOVE COWBOYS! PRETTY GIRLS LOVE COWBOYS! MOST LITTLE BOYS IN AMERICA WANT TO BE COWBOYS WHEN THEY GROW UP! KNOW WHO HATES COWBOYS? BAD GUYS! So just for future reference, if you're looking for something to call a guy to get the American people to mistrust or dislike him, try "community organizer."

The reviewer also calls Burgard a "nativist," which according to the dictionary means "one who wishes to preserve or revive an indigenous culture,"... "one who would protect natives from immigrants," and "one who would favor the rights of natives over those of immigrants," which I guess makes me a nativist, too. Come to think of it, that would make most Americans nativists. Not to mention our Constitution, which must be a nativist document because it charges the President and Congress with defending our borders from foreign invaders, which is what Border is all about.

What Border is most decidedly not about is xenophobia, racism, or being anti-immigrant, as any English-speaking person (there, I've said it) who's actually seen the film could tell you. Border makes it clear that the illegal immigrants themselves, for all of their lawlessness, are the real victims here-- along with the ranchers whose property (and even lives) are endangered, the small border towns being bankrupted, and the American people whose security and native culture has been under assault for decades by a federal policy of unrestricted, unregulated immigration.

You can quibble with the fine points of Border, if you wish. What you can't quibble with, at least not truthfully, are the film's basic themes: that illegal immigration victimizes, and even kills decent, working class people on both sides of the border every day and that the bad guys are the coyotes who bring them across, the businessmen who profit from it, and the gutless politicians who don't care. Which is why you would think that the Southern Poverty Law Center would be more supportive of Border's powerful message about poverty-stricken people at our southern border breaking the law: the words "southern," "poverty," and "law" are right in your name, folks! Wake up and read your own letterhead!

And while you're at it, next time you decide to review a movie, try focusing on the film itself rather than just doing a hatchet job on the director. You wouldn't want people to start calling you a hate group. Just imagine how that would sound.


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