[Editor's note: starting this afternoon, we're going to have occasional posts on BurkaBlog from our talented summer interns, including the author of this post, Annie Melton. --EG]
As I have written several times before, I am very concerned about the idea of a "surge" along the Texas-Mexico border. My main reason is this: It is a bad idea to have a paramilitary operation that includes a large number of private citizens. That is what is going to happen if there is a surge.
On November 10, 1991, black smoke rose from a house and into an early-morning sky over Fort Stockton, a small town just west of the Pecos. A 44-year-old woman with big green eyes paced her front yard in the fall air, hysterical, wearing nothing but the nylon nightie she slept in. Through the picture window that looked onto the street, lit with orange tongues of fire, the person she was closest to in the world—her uncle Bill Roscoe Richardson—lay inside, dead or dying.
Thanks to the reality show Border Wars on the National Geographic Channel, we have been privy in recent years to dozens of hours of footage of Border Patrol agents on the job: mucking through river cane, patrolling endless desert roads, and collaring an awful lot of would-be border jumpers. The agency’s public relations people have given Nat Geo’s cameras impressive access—at least when it comes to images they want us to see.
I'm stunned that Rick Perry allowed himself to be drawn into a discussion of homosexuality in an appearance before the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, in the nation's most gay-friendly city. I thought he was far too seasoned a politician to make that kind of blunder. Apparently not. Here's what Perry said:
"I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that. And I look at the homosexual issue in the same way."
Perhaps this should not come as a suprise because it reflects the thinking of the Texas Republican Party at large, which recently adopted a party platform that supports the legality of gay-conversion therapy. That platform reads, "We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy."
Perry discussing the Trans-Texas Corridor in Tyler in 2002. (AP/Tyler Morning Telegraph, D. J. Peters)
Marchers rallying for Medicaid expansion in 2013. (©Marjorie Kamys Cotera)
The governor touting the $10,000 degree program at Angelo State University, in San Angelo, in 2012. (AP/San Angelo Standard-Times, Patrick Dove)
A crowd rallying for education funding in 2011. (©Marjorie Kamys Cotera)
Perry at the GM assembly plant in Arlington in 2014. (AP/LM Otero)