Don Bauder 1:30 p.m., April 27
Friendship Park re-opens as Emnity Alley
Renaming marks new era in U.S.-Mexico relations
Dozens of people gathered on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border yesterday to protest the proposed closing of Friendship Park, the narrow strip of land dedicated by First Lady Pat Nixon in 1971 as a meet 'n greet zone for people from the two countries. (Incidentally, there is no official record of Nixon musing, "I guess the grass isn't always greener" as she looked south toward Tijuana.)
Now, it looks as though their protests have been heard. San Diego Sector Border Patrol Chief Paul Beeson had notified the group Friends of Friendship Park last month that sequestration cuts would lead to closure. But today, he announced that instead, the park would be "re-named, re-purposed, and re-opened as a legal no-man's-land for the working out of international grudges."
"Immigration reform is being embraced by Republicans who used to be so rabidly anti-Mexican that they wouldn't even purchase a delicious Gordita from Taco Bell," noted Beeson. "The tide is shifting, and it's a brown tide, and it's coming this way. Even Republicans know that you can't get elected without votes. And since Latinos are pretty much the only people breeding at replacement levels these days, the Latino vote can no longer be pandered to and then cheerfully ignored."
In such a climate, said Beeson, "a place like Friendship Park isn't really necessary. No longer will separated families have to pose for poignant photo ops. No longer will Mayor Bob Filner have to say, 'We have to get rid of this [barrier] so we can touch each other, so we can see each other, so we can sing to each other, so we can dance with each other.' Although technically, we could touch, see, and sing to each other even when the fence was there. Still, he was right about the dancing."
Instead, said Beeson, "the park's unique structure - fenced on both sides, well-guarded by federal agents from both the U.S. and Mexico, and straddling the border - makes it an ideal 'law-free' zone for the resolving of conflicts between citizens of our two nations. You know - two men enter, one man leaves, that sort of thing. Our new spirit of cooperation is bound to produce new frictions, and we'll be glad to have a way to settle our differences without spilling any more blood than is necessary."
More like this:
- The friend at the gate is gone — Nov. 4, 2014
- Burrowing neighbors trigger near Mexican stand-off — April 21, 2014
- Friendship Park to remain open at the Border — April 5, 2013
- Border Angels — Dec. 7, 2006
- Best of 2000: Best Example Of How Far We Haven't Come With Mexico — Dec. 28, 2000