Today’s episode of The Current manages to capture the absurdity and complexity of the wall issue. In places, clearly there is a real problem and the wall is a necessity. But, as the incredibly charming pro-Trump rancher interviewed in the first part of this segment makes clear, the wall won’t be enough in those difficult places unless it’s backed up with way more patrolling.
In other places along the U.S./Mexico border, the wall is clearly unnecessary. In still others, it is both unnecessary and an ecological disaster waiting to happen. By the way, see that adorable Texan ocelot in my featured pic: it is one of the many rare species threatened by the wall. Threatened, too, is the Texas Indigo Snake (Drymarchon melanurus erebennus). Our younger son is named after this snake.
This is radio at its best, one of my favorite episodes of The Current ever. And I listen to them all. My friend Kristin Nelson, the producer of this episode, really nailed this one. Of all the great dialogue to be found in this episode, this is perhaps the best:
MARIANNA WRIGHT: If they get all 33 miles which were funded, about 6000 acres are the remnant of native habitat, habitat that supports all life here, not just the things that can fly over a wall like many birds and butterfly species, but not all of them, but all terrestrial life. We are home to four of North America’s wild cat species including in the Ocelot which is an endangered species. Only about 70 of them are alive in the United States. We are also home to threatened and protected species like the Texas Lizard, the Texas Tortoise, the Texas Indigo Snake. And once this wall which will be 18 feet of vertical concrete slab, with 18 feet of steel bollards on top. Once this 36 foot tall wall is in place, all terrestrial life on the other side of the wall will drown in the event of a flood. And we’re not a valley. We are a river delta. So flooding occurrences are fairly common.
ANNA MARIA TREMONTI: Donald Trump says this has to be done because there’s a crisis. What do you think of that?
MARIANNA WRIGHT: Well I live and work on the river every day. We receive over 6000 schoolchildren a year. Those are unaccompanied minors whose parents signed permission slips for them to go with their teachers to frolic in the wilderness, on the banks of the Rio Grande River. Every year we do a sleepover under the stars with Girl Scouts on the banks of the Rio Grande River. We don’t see any danger or any crisis at all.