Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Coyote Songs

 

coyote gramophoneAre leftist “blue check” verified Twitter users really that ignorant or arrogantly gaslighting all the rest of us? I am prepared to embrace the power of “and,” but the overnight reaction to President Trump calling out Biden and the Democrats on illegal immigration reinforces the evidence of two Americas in one country. Indeed, there may be many for whom “coyote” is a wily cartoon character and maybe a hip song by Joni Mitchell, but nothing more. That divide is part of a larger global compartmentalization, written on in the late 1990s, that has been greatly reinforced and accelerated by the rise of social media platforms. As the weekend starts, I offer a few thoughts on the divide and a short playlist to entertain and perhaps enlighten.

President Trump told the hard truth that human traffickers bring children across the US-Mexico border without their parents. These children, like the women, are vulnerable to rape and sale into sex slavery, and yet some women rent their children near the border as a dodge to keep adults from being easily returned by the Border Patrol. Everyone in the American Southwest and Mexico knows the men who actually smuggle humans across the border are called “coyotes.” The pronunciation is different depending on your native tongue, but the word is the same. The term has never been a good one.

The native cultures’ oral traditions have coyote as a trickster in their tales. This image holds true for the human variant, who promise much but often underdeliver or betray those who paid them to guide and smuggle them across the border. Yes, even the New York Times recognized that in a 2018 story on illegal immigration.

Because of the greater vigilance along the smuggling routes, between 80 and 95 percent of migrants bound for the United States used so-called coyotes in recent years, compared with fewer than half in the early 1970s, Border Patrol surveys of captured migrants found.

See the New York Times back in 2009 for coyotes and pollos (chickens):

Reports that 368 people were kidnapped in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2008 earned the city the dubious accolade of America’s “kidnapping capital,” and brought fresh attention to the slang terms pollo and coyote.

Yet this is a bit of the blue check leftist Twitter response to President Trump’s facts that hurt their feelings:

There is plenty of conservative commentary on this ignorance or perhaps gaslighting. See the Blaze and the Postmillenial examples. The Washington Examiner’s headline is:

‘Coyotes, dawg?’: Liberals unfamiliar with term mock Trump for using ‘coyote’ to describe smugglers at border

How could this disconnect exist, if it is real? I lived in Tucson for most of the 1990s. The high desert valley floor was for poorer people and the foothills of the mountains bounding the city, especially to the north, were for the wealthy. Among the wealthy, The Atlantic Monthly, when it was a real, serious monthly magazine, found a sub-group of globally connected people. This was in the early days of the World Wide Web and internet communications. Yet, there were already people who traveled from physical gated community to physical gated community around the world, having far more in common with each other than with even similarly educated people whose business and social connections were local or regional. The Atlantic writer reflected the concern, that turned out to be well-founded, that the internet would actually further stratify, rather than leveling society through a democratization of information.

The Boston, New York, Washington economic and cultural elite can travel to a bubble in hip-with-a-light-twang Austin, Texas, or new-age-y Sedona, NM, or Scottsdale, AZ, without ever being disturbed by a contrary opinion or inconvenient fact. So it is that they have, at most, heard of native people incorporating the coyote in traditional song, tales, and art. If a coyote is a human, that is only as a Joni Mitchell song metaphor:

If our miseducated bi-coastal elitists watched a bit of folk music and Austin City Limits on PBS, the learned ignorance would not be dispelled. They might have got a bit of coyotes as tokens of the wild and a mythical West. See Don Edward’s melancholy tale, complete with yips:

You would have to get deeper, more local, and really diverse to find this tale of death in the South Texas sun:

He steps out of the shadows, he won’t look in my eyes
His hand’s out to take all I’ve got.
He says that he’s smuggled a thousand good men
And he says that he’s never been caught.
So with seventeen other braceros like cattle
Packed in for that long final ride.
In the semi-truck crossing the border it’s dark,
And it’s hot as an oven inside.

[. . .]

The braceros are asking in whispers,
Why the truck stopped in the heat of the day?
At first sign of trouble, he’s left us all there
By the road and he’s walking away.

Coyote, coyote, qué hiciste cabron?
Coyote, man what have you done?
You took all our money and left us to die
In the heat of the South Texas sun.
Coyote, qué hiciste cabron? [what’d you do bastard]
Coyote, qué hiciste cabron?

Guy Clark wrote and recorded “El Coyote” in 2011, based on a true crime story from south Texas, where 18 illegal immigants were left to die by a truck driver.

The sealed trailer that transported at least 74 illegal immigrants in May 2003 was described by prosecutors at one time as a “rolling chamber of death.” Passengers clawed holes in the walls and punched out tail lights to try to get enough air to survive as the temperature rose and the air thinned.

The victims — from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic — died of asphyxiation, hyperthermia and dehydration. They included a 5-year-old boy and four teenagers.

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  1. OldPhil Coolidge

    Good essay. Also rec’d for Joni performing at the Last Waltz.

    • #1
    • October 23, 2020, at 7:24 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. tigerlily Member

    When I first saw this I thought it had to be satire. To tell the truth, I still don’t know what to make of it. This has been a subject much discussed and debated at the national level for the last 15-20 years.

    • #2
    • October 23, 2020, at 8:03 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. kedavis Member

    Well, on the plus side whenever the Sub-Beacon guys get back together, they can tell us what “coyote” meant back in the good old days at Georgetown.

    • #3
    • October 23, 2020, at 8:21 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Jon1979 Lincoln

    If you are part of the “Every Child Gets A Trophy” generation, where there are no wrong answers, there’s really no need to find the right answer if it’s not something immediately important to you, because you are already so, so very extra-special no matter what your answers are. So in this case you know not only that you don’t have to know what the word ‘coyote’ is slang for, you don’t even have to back down from your position or be embarrassed for not knowing what ‘coyote’ is slang for. And especially not if your uninformed outrage about Trump’s use of the term would be totally negated if you admitted you were in error.

    • #4
    • October 23, 2020, at 9:04 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. kedavis Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    If you are part of the “Every Child Gets A Trophy” generation, where there are no wrong answers, there’s really no need to find the right answer if it’s not something immediately important to you, because you are already so, so very extra-special no matter what your answers are. So in this case you know only don’t have to know what the word ‘coyote’ is slang for, you don’t even have to back down from your position or be embarrassed for not knowing what ‘coyote’ is slang for. And especially not if your uninformed outrage about Trump’s use of the term would be totally negated if you admitted you were in error.

     

    • #5
    • October 23, 2020, at 9:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    Well here is photographic proof of the coyote bringing the baby across the border:

     

     

    • #6
    • October 24, 2020, at 1:51 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Charlotte Member
    CharlotteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Seems like this goes on the same list as changing the definition of sexual preference, and court-packing = filling SCOTUS vacancies.

    When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.

    • #7
    • October 24, 2020, at 5:33 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. Blondie Thatcher

    Some of these “blue checkmark” folks probably don’t have a clue what Trump meant (looking at you Mr. Hogg) but some of them do. Those that do think their followers are too stupid to know what he meant and that to me is worse. Haven’t we always said this crowd think “the masses” are too dumb to know anything. Unfortunately, I think they may be correct in some cases (again, I’m looking at you, Mr. Hogg). 

    • #8
    • October 24, 2020, at 6:15 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  9. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Good grief, I remember hearing the term in the meaning under discussion here in the 80’s in the midwest. What planet have these people been afflicting with the pestilential emmissions radiating from their diseased and deficient minds before they came here?

    • #9
    • October 24, 2020, at 6:54 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    People who don’t know what human coyotes are must be watching the wrong television shows. If you faithfully watched Breaking Bad or Justified, you would know what they are.

    • #10
    • October 24, 2020, at 11:24 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    When I first saw this I thought it had to be satire. To tell the truth, I still don’t know what to make of it. This has been a subject much discussed and debated at the national level for the last 15-20 years.

    We don’t have a very smart “journalist” class. Their idea of generating news stories is to spend their days browsing Twitter. That’s why they were so useful to the left. As Ben Rhodes happily remarked, “They literally know nothing.”

    • #11
    • October 24, 2020, at 12:50 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  12. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Humans see the coyote in an unfavorable light because of revenue losses. Specifically, coyotes hunt and kill livestock, and other large animals in packs.

    In earlier harder times, those revenue losses would mean the loss of livelihood, making survival very hard.

    So humans have been hostile to coyotes for a long time.

    • #12
    • October 24, 2020, at 1:29 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Blondie (View Comment):

    Some of these “blue checkmark” folks probably don’t have a clue what Trump meant (looking at you Mr. Hogg) but some of them do. Those that do think their followers are too stupid to know what he meant and that to me is worse. Haven’t we always said this crowd think “the masses” are too dumb to know anything. Unfortunately, I think they may be correct in some cases (again, I’m looking at you, Mr. Hogg).

    Yes. that is why I suggest embracing the power of “and.”

    • #13
    • October 24, 2020, at 4:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Good grief, I remember hearing the term in the meaning under discussion here in the 80’s in the midwest. What planet have these people been afflicting with the pestilential emmissions radiating from their diseased and deficient minds before they came here?

    To the extent it is real, I suggest they truly live in a separate cultural bubble, or series of connected bubbles around the world.

    • #14
    • October 24, 2020, at 4:28 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Good essay. Also rec’d for Joni performing at the Last Waltz.

    I thought that rendition the best of those available on YouTube.

    • #15
    • October 24, 2020, at 4:29 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Dotorimuk Coolidge

    There’s also “Coyote” by Rank and File (early 80s), but no good video clip that I could find.

    • #16
    • October 24, 2020, at 5:39 PM PDT
    • 1 like