The headline atop the BDN’s homepage certainly grabbed my attention: “LePage says 8 ‘unaccompanied alien children’ put in Maine without his knowledge.”
“Oh, my God,” I thought. “The federal government” — long suspected of hiding evidence of extra-terrestrial contact on secret bases in the Nevada desert — “has shipped the spawn of space creatures into our state without alerting the local authorities!”
Skimming through the article, I was further alarmed to learn that the governor of Texas intends to send 1,000 troops to the Mexican border to confront the onslaught of tens of thousands of alien tikes.
“The Martian invasion has finally arrived!” I yelled downstairs to my startled partner. “We need to stock up on Reese’s Pieces to keep the E.T.s at bay!”
Well, as you can imagine, I was plenty embarrassed when I read the article more closely and realized the “aliens” LePage was warning us about are actually poor little kids from Central America, not gator-faced gremlins from Alpha Centauri.
I was embarrassed, that is, for LePage and others like him (including his two rivals for the Blaine House) whose reaction to this human tragedy is to complain about its financial cost and find someone to blame, rather than scramble to find a way to help. I hope no actual aliens are watching this sorry spectacle unfold from the stars.
Imagine what it must look like to them…
They’d see a planet with two green continents floating in a big blue sea, connected by a thin bridge of land. The people in the lower half of the top continent are in a tizzy, standing in the streets holding signs and screaming, mobilizing military personnel to stand guard along a crooked imaginary line they consider almost sacred in its importance. The adults with their deadly weapons and sophisticated surveillance equipment are on alert around the clock to spot and capture frightened, hunger-weakened children who stagger across the invisible line in search of safety and motherly love.
People of many colors live on this part of the continent, but the ones most angry about these children’s arrival seem to be the flabby old pale-skinned ones who wear suits with tiny flag pins in the lapel. The aliens would eventually surmise that these big people are not actually afraid of the little people they capture and lock up in “detention centers.” They’re angry because the little ones were born on the isthmus connecting the continents, not inside the special section to the north defined by the imaginary lines (or on certain islands in the ocean, or a big chunk of frozen land in the continent’s northwest corner that used to connect to another land mass).
Furthermore, the isthmus children don’t have the special piece of paper (called a “birth certificate”) given to all the children born to parents who also have this special piece of paper. Although the people who have this certificate got it solely by happenstance of having slid out of the womb atop the right patch of the planet — and most use the certificate so infrequently that they don’t know exactly where it is — the fact they possess this special paper makes them think they’re more special than those who don’t have it. So special, in fact, that those without the proper paper should not be allowed to dwell in their midst, and must be prosecuted and sent back to their birthplace, even if all that awaits them there is death.
The angry white ones aren’t much concerned about the bloody violence and desperate poverty that compels the little brown ones to risk life and limb crossing the sacred invisible line. (These pale people often consider bloody violence a form of entertainment.) They’re upset about how many tiny green slips of paper (or electronic representations thereof) they’ll have to part with to give the children sustenance and shelter before forcing them to leave.
The three white ones vying to rule the northeast corner of this imaginary land insist the people who rule in a swampy city to the south should have to spend their “green papers” because it’s their fault the little ones are here and we can’t afford to take care of them. Meanwhile, they and their friends are collecting millions of green slips of paper to fool people into thinking they should be the one making these enlightened, compassionate decisions.
As I said, I hope the aliens aren’t watching. If they saw this, they’d feel no compunction about wiping the special members of our species off the face of this planet.