One of the more telling responses to the humanitarian crisis at the nation’s southern border has been the readiness and willingness by right-wing conservatives to embrace Border Patrol despite — or because — its agents used horse reins to whip Haitian migrants in an attempt to keep them from crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.
That truth continued to reveal itself over the weekend when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott offered to help keep any Border Patrol agent employed if they are fired following the fallout from last week’s violence in Del Rio, Texas, where an estimated more than 14,000 Haitian migrants had been gathering in an effort to seek asylum in the U.S.
Abbott promised job security for any Border Patrol agent who gets fired.
“I will hire you to help Texas secure our border,” Abbott said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Abbott was responding to President Joe Biden vowing the Border Patrol agents who resorted to physical violence against non-threatening migrants “will pay.”
The Texas governor’s comments came as support has grown for Border Patrol from the right almost as a knee-jerk reaction to opposition from the left, seemingly ignoring the very real human lives at stake to prioritize a game of political jockeying.
The Border Patrol agents on horseback seemingly whipping the Haitian migrants evoked terrifying images of antebellum slavery, complete with angry white members of law enforcement rounding up Black people by criminalizing them and wielding weapons.
But that wasn’t enough to deter the likes of Candace Owens, who said in a tweet this weekend that “border-patrol-whipping Haitians” was a “Democrat hoax,” even though — of course — the video and photo footage from the incident exists for any human eye to watch.
Republican Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales tried to flip the racism argument on its head by claiming Biden’s vow to hold Border Patrol responsible was anti-Latino because of the number of Hispanics the agency employs.
“I want to remind this administration, over 50% of Border Patrol agents are Hispanic, and it’s clear that Joe Biden has abandoned Hispanics, especially on the border, and you’re seeing that now as he attacks Border Patrol,” Gonzales shamelessly said.
The narrative around even using a variation of the word “whip” has been assailed by the right, calling it a mischaracterization of what happened. Axios was even forced to update one of its news stories “to include comments from some journalists on the border who did not see whipping occur.”
Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert said Sunday that Border Patrol was simply “trying to do their jobs” and defended the agency.
“God bless our Border Patrol for still waking up every day to do a job the left is making impossible,” Boebert added.
To no one’s surprise, former President Donald Trump during a speech in Georgia this weekend also had glowing words for the Border Patrol violence against a group of people from a nation that he once referred to as a “shithole country.”
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted to “the men and women of the Border Patrol — We Have Your Back!”
The outpouring of support from right-wing conservatives for the use of violence against Haitian migrants at the border is undoubtedly political in nature in an effort to pile on the bad publicity for Biden’s administration, which has largely been blamed for the immigration debacle.
But to be sure, Republicans were applauding the unnecessary use of violence against a nonviolent humanitarian effort by people seeking better lives for themselves, a primary tenet of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
This is America.