Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Are 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:
Tonight on blue checkmark twitter, they don’t know what coyotes are.
(This isn’t even half of all I found 🥴) pic.twitter.com/Jsh57jSBb1
— Sophia Narwitz (@SophNar0747) October 23, 2020
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.