At the end of our Mexico trip, Paul and I had an amazing conversation with a guy driving us to the airport. He’d lived in America for years, and eventually came back to Mexico. He obviously knew a lot of people who’ve lived on either side or even alternating sides of that border, and we were having this conversation in Mexico about to fly home to the US, while the U.S. government was shutdown over “border wall” politics.
How could we not get into the topic?
There was a lot of the usual “yeah, we’re embarrassed…” talk. But he also said something I’ve never heard from someone in another country about the state of America right now. Something I’d never really thought of. Something that was actually positive.
He said the outcome of the election was actually reassuring to him. Because growing up in Mexico and later moving to the U.S., he had culturally been led to believe that all white Americans were racist and looked down on Mexicans. “Turns out it’s only 30%,” he said somewhat shocked. While a horrifying stat for so many of us, it was actually a reassuring stat for someone living against all that racism. The fact that such an amorphous force was actually quantified in an election that was so explicitly racist and anti-Mexican in so many ways put boundaries around it.