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The dangerous white lie about migrants of color that is hindering America’s greatness

If the migrants were white, things would be very different right now in America.

We would never have heard anything about building a wall during the 2016 Presidential campaign. It would not have become a Republican rally chant, a Conservative hashtag staple, a MAGA t-shirt favorite, a Donald Trump fixation.

Republicans would not be forever declaring a “national emergency” at our southern border. There would be no talk of the lawless streams of bad people currently “overrunning” us.

Republican politicians would not be continually working to create connections between exhausted, desperate families — and drug dealers, rapists, and gun runners.

No one would be blasted with teargas or deported from hospital rooms or hounded at workplaces. If the migrants were white, children would not have been taken from the arms of their parents and placed in cages like animals.

A single human being would not have been allowed to die from clear neglect, or there would have been universal white outrage and immediate alterations made. People would not be denied healthcare and hygiene products and the most basic level of human decency.

If the migrants were white, Evangelical preachers would not be pounding their pulpits and leveraging their social media platforms in passionate support of an inhumanity that Jesus would be sickened by.

Our white neighbors would not be buying into nonsensical ghost stories about the advancing horde coming to take their jobs and rape their children and live off the Government. Fox News would not be incessantly perpetuating fear and intentionally manipulating gullible people about the violence these opportunistic people are supposedly unleashing on us.

Other white people would not be experiencing elevated suspicion and bullying and contempt from strangers who might be related to these “malevolent border invaders.” The Government would not be talking about “rounding up” thousands of these caucasian lawbreakers and weaponizing agencies in that service.

If the migrants were white, Donald Trump would have never said a single vile word, never generated one incendiary tweet, never uttered a lie-riddled stump speech, never given one damn about “defending America” from this apparently dangerous threat.

If the migrants were white, they would be treated like human beings by white Americans.
They would not be sanctimoniously lecturing scared, hungry, tired people to “do it the right way.”

There would be compassion and kindness. There would be welcome and generosity. There would be shades of gray to be seen. There would be creativity in seeking solutions. There would be no lazy stereotypes and racial slurs. We would be doing so much more with our resources and our time to address actual human rights atrocities and national emergencies.

If the migrants were white, Republicans would suddenly find vast resources, and working hearts. The white Evangelical church would embrace its calling to care for the least of these, and recover its soul. White America would less able to disguise the prejudice and racism it is still so afflicted with.

But the migrants are not white, which is why they will continue to be made into the convenient monsters by white leaders in power who want to distract from their own grievous malfeasance while stoking the irrational fears of suggestible white people.

They will continue to be painted as the enemies of a portion of Americans who cannot exist without having one to rail against. They will continue to be the targets of a single, terrible, dangerous white lie that is hindering America’s greatness.

John Pavlovitz

Library of Congress

The original version of this Op Ed was published on johnpavlovitz.com

John Pavlovitz launched an online ministry to help connect people who want community, encouragement, and to grow spiritually. Individuals who want to support his work can sponsor his mission on Patreon, and help the very real pastoral missionary expand its impact in the world.

About The Author

John Pavlovitz

John Pavlovitz is a 20-year ministry veteran trying to figure out how to love people well and to live-out the red letters of Jesus, both online in this global community.

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