Patriotism Knows No Weather Restrictions!


Writing in the Dallas Observer, Megan Feldman narrates some time spent with a group of still-motivated Texas Minutemen. For all the ink spilled on the group, few journalists ever give a sense of the kind of collective identity the Minutemen have built—or whatever it is that draws them out for deadly boring work. Volunteers are either written up as drifting losers or scrappy warriors; either they're watching the border because they've got nothing better to do or they're there because, faced with invasion, they can do nothing else. Feldman at least includes a few details that hint at a sense of crazed play and self-conscious performance. Here's the state director of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps inviting Feldman to meet him in a Krispy Kreme parking lot:

"Pursuant to our policy of not giving specific 'when/where' information to non-volunteers, I cannot divulge anything to you, yet," he wrote. "I will call you on your cell phone at 6 a.m. and give you the information with which you will be able to meet me. I cannot, until then, even tell you in which city we will meet. Wear clothing appropriate for the weather conditions. The watch will be held rain or shine, for patriotism knows no weather restrictions."

Watching some laborers line up for work later that day, one volunteer translates the immigrant reaction:

"If all of us leave, no one will be here," the laborer says. He is a bit unsteady on his feet, as if he'd been drinking. "Do you like Mexican food?" he asks. The volunteers nod. This satisfies the man, and he turns and crosses back to the other side of the street. "I know you love enchiladas!" he calls over his shoulder.

One of the Minutemen walks over to Kirby and repeats what the laborer said.

"That just shows their mentality," the volunteer says, indignant. "He's basically saying Mexico has already taken over Texas—whites are already the minority."

From "I know you love enchiladas!" to "We win, Whitey!" It's impossible not to see this as an elaborate role-playing exercise.

Whole thing here.