Build the wall

The chants of “Build the wall!” at the president’s political rallies began over four years ago. The wall was to keep out “bad hombres” with the famous promise that it would be paid for by Mexico. In fact, very little of “the Wall” has been built, and Mexico has flatly stated it will not pay a dime for its construction. Moreover, the wall with Mexico seems to have lost its rhetorical luster as a political siren call. The latest news is about portions of the new wall falling down in a windstor (Links to an external site.)m, or being sawn through with $100, battery-operated reciprocating saws (Links to an external site.) you can buy at Home Depot.

Walls are nothing new, of course. Empires have built walls for ages. The Romans built Hadrian’s wall in north England. The Great Wall of China, one of the wonders of the world, is one of its most popular tourist attractions. Berlin was once cut in two by a famous wall (Links to an external site.). The wall dividing Palestinians from Israel (Links to an external site.) is constantly modernized to make it more vicious and more impenetrable. Some of these walls were built to demonstrate the might of a powerful empire. Some of these walls were built to deprive human beings of freedom of movement.

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Read the articles and listen to the podcast (see links below). For your reading response, write at least three (3) paragraphs inspired by this topic. They should total at least 300 words. Here are some ideas–but you are encouraged to think independently:

  • Why are walls really built? Do they actually stop people from crossing borders?
  • The fact is that an impenetrable wall along our border with Mexico would be not only fabulously pricy, it is impossible: any wall will eventually be climbed over, cut through, or tunneled under. Why do so many people want this wall built? What purpose does it serve?
  • How does human psychology, American history, and our political stew explain the fantastical appeal of a wall to keep out strangers?

Now do your own research. You must cite (include links) to at least two other sources of information in your response. These may be news articles, essays, academic material, images, videos–any medium that contains ideas and information that you critically examine and utilize.

I want to see you be creative and inventive. I want to see an exploration of ideas. Again, you can find other examples of walls and borders and analyze them. These need not be international boundaries; how about the cinderblock walls people build around their houses? Again, I love examples from countries outside the U.S.

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