The Crises At The Southern Border & Two Southern Universities

When I made my way to Athens, GA last week to teach a course on recycling at the University of Georgia’s adult learning program; Sirius radio was my comforter under a warm pre spring morning. C-Span was covering the lunatic Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) convention up in Maryland. Like anything in life the moment presented the fallen state of a paradigm of the ‘incomplete.’ An ‘incomplete’ stated by each voice coming out into my front dash signifying a spectrum of truth sliding toward madness and falsehood with each new sentence vacillating back into sound reason at times. Apropos was a common theme of securing our southern border and all others in a more ‘low key’ logic. Somewhere around that time in the hours before and after I was taking in the culture war screeds of a sector of America; a 22 year old former University of Georgia and current Augusta State nursing student was being murdered by an illegal migrant from Latin America, there in Athens. A few miles down the road from all that was going on in my car. A tragedy which I learned the next day had come days after another UGA student had committed suicide. A life non the less just as important as the second one.

Zed, a University of Tennessee-Knoxville instructor at their Center for Professional Education and Lifelong Learning and a former engineer and now entrepruer; laughed at me fairly hard when we role played in his ‘Negotiation 101’ class during my third course at UTK on that late September Thursday morning in 2022. We were role playing a job offer and my perks needed to be whitled down according to his experience. I quickly was able to come within the confines of what he was teaching to us students. The one main truth I came away with from that class is what reformed Christian theologians have stated for centuries. Life is imperfect, the world is fallen and we will seldom come away with complete and perfect results in getting what we want out of life. So, one of the most basic principals in regards to negotiation is to NEVER try to come away with NOTHING! This is the principal most in congress fail to understand and this is WHY OUR CONGRESS HAS BEGAN TO SUCK ON A HISTORICAL LEVEL.

In a perfect world liberals would understand that we need to secure our borders and DEPORT anyone, IMMEDIATELY, yet HUMANELY if they are not criminals who is not here legally! In that same perfect world conservatives would understand that migrants don’t just pack up and go for a life threatening stroll through the jungles of South America, Central America and the deserts of Mexico to pick exotic plants for medicinal purposes (like I did in Gatlinburg, TN during my first course at UTK’s adult learning program). They don’t risk extreme weather conditions and dangerous crime syndicates unless there is a ‘crises’ reason in their lives to do so. Americans worried about our crises at the border are often too heartless to realize these people are living one out everyday in their home countries. They don’t understand that corrupt and ultra wealthy American special interests are often excerbating poverty in those countries because they are either exploiting resources there or are helping install corrupt regimes for their own benefit that further escalate the issues driving migrants out of those nations. But of course who needs to hear sound logic like that, when it’s a bunch of bleeding heart ‘globalist socialism.’ Now, that’s not to say criminal elements with better means are coming here for nefarious reasons. Absolutely they are! That’s what conservatives get right about some draconian measures. Yet, when you spend the money you’re going to have to invest in the apparatus of separating the two types of entrants and treat them accordingly.

In my hometown of Gadsden, AL. we have Lake Gadsden. A resevoir Alabama Power created in the 50’s for hydroelectric use. Due to erosion people often build seawalls to counter the waves that roll in. Lake Gadsden was always significant to me as a child because its winds blow unhindered over open water for about a mile. Sometimes the chop can get up to one foot. Loving going to the Gulf, it was a way for me to pretent I was already there when we couldn’t drive the five hours to get south. I still drive by it now and see those same waves bouncing up against the walls that were once beaches or rock cropings, only to be rebuffed back toward there origin in open water. To me that is a fantastic analogy for our migrant problems. Lord forbid, we ever drain Lake Gadsden, but doing that would be the only way to stop waves from pounding land owner’s property along our lake. Negotiating across the isle to help drain countries in Latin America of their corruption by holding corruption here in American accountable with their activities in those nations while having a more sensible and hard line policy by immediate deportation seems the best to me. Spending money on helping these nations remove corrupt leaders is sound thinking in my mind. I only made an 18 on my ACT.

I big line of logic on capital hill is that we need to stop giving money to help police problems on foreign soil. Tax payers don’t want it. Can we solve every problem in the world? No way, we certainly can’t afford fiscally. Yet, as a Christian who values human life and feels called to alleviate suffering where I can, YOU DAMN WELL BETTER BELIEVE I DON’T MIND MY TAX DOLLARS GOING TO HELP UKRAINE AND ANYWHERE IN LATIN AMERICA THAT CAN HELP KEEP PEOPLE HOME LIVING A PRODUCTIVE AND HEALTHY LIFE! AS A MATTER OF FACT I WANT MY TAX DOLLARS GOING TO THAT.

Another thing I learned in that ‘Negotiation 101’ class at UTK was that even though you may not always get the ‘full monty’ concerning your goals you should strive for it. So, we should exert safety measures for every American against foreign encrouchment everyday. Yet, we also should get at the root of the problems in those places that are causing those problems to come here. You CANNOT have one outcome without the other. A good negotiation aways has trade offs. That’s the basic principal of it. It’s time to tell American oligarchy to take a hike! I know that’ scary! I know it means losing money and losing an election potentially. But, I know it’s addressing the worry about ‘the sanctity of life’ here and abroad! It’s helping keep our citizens safe. Any discourse contrary to it, is just hypocrisy.

Luanne, one of my students in my UGA recycling class last week, was the one who volunteered my offer to role play a hypothetical moment at a srap company recycling scale. The lesson was for her to negotiate to get more money for herself, yet to realize she must not come away with nothing. She did well and showed me what I wanted to see. These are the lessons I learned and taught at two southern universities. I hope they are that simple for all other Americans to see. I’m sure Zed up at UT would’ve been proud!



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