Last week I wrote about the People’s Crusade that marched towards Byzantium. The sources described the dangers of a large caravan like that in the following language: “The People’s Crusade were a rough people, rude in manners, undisciplined and haughty, they committed very many other crimes.” They often got angry and “forcibly seize[d]…led away the herds of cattle and sheep.” And “other thoughtless persons drank beyond measure and violated the peace which had been commanded.”
This is important to keep in mind as news continues to arrive from the caravan. A passing comparison with the news about the caravan with the pertinent accounts of the People’s Crusade shows a strong comparison. The first caravan violently stormed a bridge at the border with Mexico, injuring six police officers and blaming them of racism. A second migrant caravan reported violence at the Guatemalan border with Mexico. The migrants threw rocks and used sticks against the Mexican police. Many people are dropping out of the first caravan citing the “misbehavior” of others in the group. Despite the thousand years of time between the two groups, the Associated Press story used a synonym for the thoughtless, rude, or undisciplined members of their group that occurred in the People’s Crusade.
In Mexico the main caravan has gotten into fights over food. This is particularly interesting as just like the People’s Crusade, the caravan was being provided with some food and transportation by local authorities, but at least some parts of the caravan fought the individuals and “forcibly seized” the food anyway. They have rejected offers for work visas and other incentives to stay in Mexico, apparently to seize food and go to America. The same group also panicked and ran down the streets claiming that one of their children had been kidnapped. These reports remain unverified, but suggest bad actors like cartels and human smugglers have infiltrated the group. It also suggests that this is an incredibly volatile situation where the mass of immigrants could stampede down the streets and react violently when they felt threatened.
This evidence of the dangers about this caravan is coming forth despite the fact that reporting is not always strictly honest and professional. Many groups are blatantly pro-immigrant and anti-American. They combine with American elites to scream racism over any concerns or objections, no matter how legitimate they are. But despite the media and elite attempts to garner sympathy for the caravan and essentially cheerlead for them, it is apparent that Americans should have sincere concerns over the caravans. The people in the caravan have violently asserted their will, attacked people who helped them, complained of human traffickers, and seized border crossings using force. America has not vetted the group for wanted felons, gangsters, and other criminals.
While the story about fleeing poverty and violence pulls at the heart strings, Americans have a right to be clear-eyed and wary about the potential dangers being shown in abundance through their violent travel. All of this is before we get to the comparisons with the People’s Crusade which showed the same behaviors and dangers of a volatile, undisciplined, group of people who often seized food and broke the peace.