Over 50 years ago, my grandfather built a house for his family in a small farming community in Idaho. He passed away over ten years ago, and my grandmother passed away early this year. I expect the home will be spiffed up, sold, and the proceeds divvied up among my grandparents’ nine kids. I love my grandparents’ place, and I have many wonderful memories of times spent there with family. But here’s the key point: when it is sold, the property will no longer be part of our family. Generations from now, future great and great-great-grandchildren cannot confront the future owners of the property and demand that those people get off “their land.” It will not be their land, as any claims they might once have had by way of family ties were severed when the property was sold.
This concept of losing one’s right to a property that has been sold has a direct bearing on the marching illegal immigrant masses who claim that the lands of the American Southwest were stolen from them. To those people who claim the Southwest was stolen, I point to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase.
Those Americans who march with others who claim this land was stolen are idiots. Since they are Americans, this is their land. Those marchers who are Mexican have no more claim on this land today than my future descendants will have on my grandparents’ property once it is sold. They are operating at the moral equivalent of a two-year-old’s concept of property: since I want it, it is mine.
But it’s fun to march holding a sign saying “Continente Robado” (Stolen Continent) or “All Europeans are illegal on this continent since 1492” or “If you think I’m ‘illegal’ because I’m a Mexican, learn the true history because I’m in my homeland.“
More fun than being right, apparently.