When a conservative makes any sort of argument that is slightly less extreme than abolishing ICE, they are accused of being racist. The accusations of racism are even louder when those arguing for enforcement of border laws or a wall can point to crime rates, amounts of drugs, and other items that should cause any reasonable people serious concern.
That’s why it was so interesting to read that at least one town in Mexico has turned into right-wing radicals because they called a migrant caravan risky and violent and barred them from entering the town. This stands in stark contrast to a year ago when they provided food, water, transportation, and health care for the migrants passing through town. Just like they did on the border, the caravan forced their way into the town anyway, which suggests the locals were right to be concerned.
It’s possible that the Mexicans are racist. Many white Americans mock southerners as being stupid white trash, so dark-skinned people can have negative stereotypes of different dark-skinned people. But there is so much more that suggests they are being reasonable in the face of demanding and dangerous caravans. As little as a year ago they were providing a great deal of aid to the caravan, so it’s tough to believe that the same people and politicians suddenly became racist.
Instead it’s much more plausible that they are feeling what conservatives are warning about: they are being invaded by a group with at least a small percentage of violent people that are draining the resources from the town. They probably feel like their kindness is being taken advantage of, and these migrants are not deserving of such special treatment. I bet they wish they had a nice, big, beautiful wall to keep the undesirables out and their own people safe.
Economic migration and those fleeing persecution and violence are important. But the violent elements and seemingly rapacious caravan turned ethnic and socioeconomic allies into opponents who end up repeating supposedly racist Republican talking points.