A 13-year-old speaks truth to fear

The letter below, published in the Austin American-Statesman and written by a 13-year-old classmate of my daughter, Caroline, pretty well sums up the waste and futility of building President Trump’s wall along the southern border.

The writer, Joaquin Bartelli, represents part of a future that no amount of wall-building is going to stop or even slow down. Trump tweets bigotry and fear, while Joaquin tells it like it is.

Our country has a lot going for it. But it will be a better place in which to live for everybody when Trump is removed from the White House and young people like Joaquin are old enough to vote. Joaquin is a U.S. citizen, the son of U.S. citizens, and like millions of other citizens he is proud of his Mexican heritage. Here is his letter:

Border wall a bad idea for these three reasons

I am 13 years old and I am Mexican. I think that the border wall is a bad idea because it’d be expensive, ineffective and its message is so negative. The wall’s cost would be in the billions, which is too much when it could be going to better causes, like feeding starving children or helping the homeless.

On top of that it will be ineffective at keeping people out. People would still be able to climb over it, dig tunnels or otherwise find a way past it.

Most importantly, the wall sends the hurtful message that “Mexicans are not welcome here.” I can’t help but take it personally. The president may want to keep Mexicans from coming over the border, but he did not realize that message is being sent to Mexicans already here. Does he really want me to leave?

Joaquin Bartelli, Austin

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One Response to A 13-year-old speaks truth to fear

  1. Irene Andrews says:

    Excellent points, Joaquin. I live in Texas and I am a white, 64 year old woman. You absolutely belong here. This is your home as much (or more) than it is my home. I agree with you and feel the hurt the wall’s message sends. I wonder how we Americans would feel if the rest of the world told us to stay out of their counties. The day could come when Canada and Mexico tells us: you put up walls, now stay inside them! No travel for y0u! Lock yourselves in and throw away the key!
    Keep speaking up. Keep fighting for equal justice under the law. Have hope. I have hope because YOU ARE THE FUTURE OF THIS NATION. I am so thankful for the youthful generation that is guided by fairness, kindness, and non-judgmental, open hearts and open minds. Be well and stay strong young man. Thank you for being you!

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