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Perhaps the Most Depressing Site in America


I’ve been in San Diego the last few days, drinking many many delicious unbalanced IPAs, all of first rate quality. God bless you San Diego brewers. Trips to Stone, Ballast Point (a mere 52 of their own beers on tap, not even counting the different flavored Sculpins and the like), Green Flash, Mission, and Pizza Port have happened so far and my flight isn’t until late tonight so I expect to hit Alpine and Modern Times as well. For that matter, I was commenting on a beer and public history panel at this conference. But life isn’t all fun and games and tasty IPAs. No, the San Diego area, like the rest of the United States, has its own history and history being made today deeply infused with the racism, misogyny, and violence that defines this nation. And so, I inevitably took a trip to see where the border wall reaches the Pacific Ocean.

This is just profoundly depressing. First, it’s dumb. It’s not as if people can’t wade across. I imagine partly for security reasons, the area on the US side of the border is a National Wildlife Refuge (hi cute roadrunner I saw yesterday!) which is great for the ecosystem in an overly populated area on both sides. But to be honest, one could probably time a quick run from across the border by watching the Border Patrol vehicles and hopping into the backseat of a car and then getting out of there by driving like nothing was happening. But the other side of the border, in Tijuana, is just normal. People are on the beach. They are having fun. They are eating much better food than whatever the gueros are consuming. It’s like nothing is weird or different. And on the U.S. side is a police state dominated by racism and white supremacy, policing by a highly militarized set of border cops racing up and down the border in their SUVs. Of course, Tijuana is poor and the U.S. is less poor. That’s why people come to the U.S. But that we turn what could be a tremendous boon to global human rights into a police state with a dumb wall sticking out into the Pacific while the waves crash on both sides of the border and the gulls and pelicans fly over freely helps demonstrate just what a monstrosity American immigration policy has become.

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