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Don’t Look Now…

July 25, 2011

I felt intimidated by that little baby.

As I was sitting in the waiting room of the United States consulate here in Merida, something caught my eye.  Taped awkwardly to the bare white wall behind the cashier’s window was a printout of the photo to the left, paired with this scripture from the New Testament:

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.”

– Matthew 11:28

This rather ungracious public display of power was both a reminder and a challenge; a reminder that the playing field is not always even, and a challenge to anyone who dared say anything about it. 

This was not some encouraging or inspiring scripture quote someone hung in their office or cubicle.  This was a statement to all who dared enter the hallowed halls of the United States consulate.  My first instinct was to complain, but realizing that, when all is said and done, I am completely reliant on these people, including whoever this person is who decided to emblazon the words of Jesus Christ on the wall of the cashier’s desk for all to see, I decided to keep my mouth shut.

Displays like this in federal buildings are nothing short of intimidation, because all Americans and Mexicans entering the consulate know that we are more or less at their mercy, and the last thing I need is to show up on the no-fly list because I opened my big yap.  After all, what proof could I get?  You can’t take cell phones or cameras into the consulate, so it’s my word against theirs.

I nervously passed some hushed jokes back and forth with Hugo about the cost of labor in Mexico and how easy it would be to hire a full cast of actors to entertain those of us sitting in that waiting room with the drama and gore of a full-on Passion Play.

And after the joking was over, I breathed a sigh of relief that Hugo left his Star of David necklace at home.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. MilitantRubberDucky permalink
    July 25, 2011 5:29 pm

    Hm, I think this would be more fitting for an American consulate:

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    But what do I know.

  2. July 25, 2011 7:57 pm

    That is truly a strange graphic to see in the American Consulate. Is it their idea of a joke? Are they mocking the Mexicans coming there for visas?

  3. July 25, 2011 10:35 pm

    Beryl: I didn’t read it that way. Can you explain your reasoning?

  4. Alex permalink
    July 30, 2011 9:39 am

    Professon Kinbote:
    Not wishing to speak for Ms. Gorbman, but might she be referencing the raging debate in the U.S. about the sneaky messicans and their anchor babies? I know its just scandalous the way that Hispanic actress Penelope Cruz and that Hispanic actor Javier Bardem snuck into Los Angeles to give birth to their child. Next thing you know, Cruz and Bardem will want to have their son request green cards for them once he turns 21 years old! The way these people fuck, 21 years from now, Cruz and Bardem will be grandparents!

  5. July 30, 2011 10:42 am

    My reasoning is that quite the opposite sentiment is true.
    “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.”
    First of all, it is a false invitation as they are not welcome in the US at all. And if they go there without benefit of documentation, they are sent back if they are caught. It is a ridiculous and insulting thing to have on the wall of a US consulate in Mexico.

  6. Alex permalink
    July 30, 2011 12:07 pm

    Hey, how about if there’s another possibility? What if this poster is meant for the Consular personnel, and not for the public they serve? What is it just happens that there’s some Jesus Freak on staff who put the poster?

    After all, Mexican put up Virgin of Guadalupes in their work places without it being an effort to convert visitors to their offices. Just a thought!

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