On The Eradication of Love by the State: How a historically blended border city faces hard choices between growth and solidarity

Today I read this Facebook post by Brownsville and Rio Grande Valley native Claudia Michelle Serrano. It hit me in a soft spot because she articulated something I’m constantly trying to express in my artwork.   The idea that undocumented and documented border communities are linked, they are friends, families, students, neighbors and so much more. Here it is with her permission:

“Clearly Brownsville should be a sanctuary city, yet it’s never really been said. Now we have a dilemma where all this growth and development for the city can be undermined by state and federal regulatory policy that will remand police to arrest those they deem as undocumented.

Do you think the city commissioners, or any department of the city dependant on the money to continue their projects will defend the undocumented when their growth completely depends on government grants in funding?

I don’t think so. I think this city has to make a hard choice and I kinda think they may turn their backs on the undocumented people here….

When they say the echoes of colonialism run deep, this is what they mean. This specific situation right here. I know many undocumented people I call friends…they ain’t no different than actual citizens here. It’s just that imaginary line…

The irony is that Brownsville celebrates Charro Days, a shared border celebration of culture and financial cooperation that existed before walls in the 20th century.

The State is eradicating the love in this community and I’m sure we aren’t the only ones. Is money more important than people? I guess we’ll see.”

Woodcut on paper installation (4′ x6′) on San Fernando Building in Brownsville Texas by Celeste De Luna, 2016


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5 thoughts on “On The Eradication of Love by the State: How a historically blended border city faces hard choices between growth and solidarity”

    1. Well, see, that’s the thing about it…we’re not immigrants. We are in our ancestral lands which happen to be a part of an intercontinental, millennial trade and medicine route that connects the “US” to “Mexico,” to “Canada,” and beyond.

      Language and government legitimacy is and has been used as a tool of war against our people for generations. They have called us many names. In Texas since the 1830s under Governor/”President” Mirabeau Lamar many things were outright legislated that made identifying as Native American punishable by death and protected by law.

      This is not just political or about trade with Mexico. The wasichu, which comes in all colors now, the ones who walk with irreverence, greed, and disrespect for human and natural life, know full well they are on our medicine grounds. This is a holy war.

  1. One of his famous quotes to the Texas Congress in 1838:

    “The white man and the red man cannot dwell in harmony together. Nature forbids it.” His solution: “It is to push a rigorous war against them to their hiding places without mitigation or compassion.”

    Mirabeau Lamar

    Many of us they now call Mexicans have always been here. Before there was United States. Before there was Texas. Before there was Mexico. Many of us have been here or along these routes since time immemorial.

    Let us not be divided by the tongue of the wasichu. We remember our place here.

  2. Settler colonialism – that’s the most appropriate term for the wasichu linguistic war and war of terror against us and used to justify continued occupation of our ancestral homelands. It’s pervasive and strikes deep in the psyche. This post runs deep.

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