The first time El Paso, Texas, broke my heart, I was 10. I was deeply grieved by the incredible poverty across the Rio Grande. I was wounded to know that my nation could be so unjust. As a teenager in Las Cruces, New Mexico, I grew to detest El Paso, both its outward esthetic and its moral inward esthetic.

The last time I was in the border region was during the outbreak of the Occupy Movement. In it, I was blessed to meet many passionate and compassionate people working for their ideal of what humanity should be. There was a great purity amongst people struggling to survive, and those individuals and groups dedicated to their aid.

So much of U.S. culture is mindless consumption, ever the desire to have more, and clueless to the costs of such greed.

We've a gilded president who has made a living exemplifying vacuous consumption; who exploited the innate racism of the Birther Movement to step into politics; who, in repeated utterances, as well as his acts as a president, has demonstrated either his own severe innate racism or his willingness to exploit racism. Now a notorious public liar expects the public to believe he's against racism and hate?

My heart goes out to El Paso. And my God protect it from its enemies, both foreign and domestic.

MICHAEL 'SASHA' MILLER

Astoria

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