things that matter

This Undercover Reporter Traveled To The Border To “Hunt Mexicans.” Here’s What He Saw

Mother Jones Mag / Instagram / YouTube

“What are you doing down here?” the police officer asked. “Hunting Mexicans,” Yota replied.

CREDIT: MOTHER JONES / YOUTUBE

When Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer joined a militia, he did so to find out what was fact and what was fiction. What he found was that many facts of militia life are heavily rooted in the fiction of a warped reality, extreme nationalism, and the search for some kind of meaning. For the most part, militiamen seem to come from blue collar backgrounds — “roofers, electricians, heavy-equipment operators, welders” — each one looking for more out of life than living paycheck to paycheck. Organizations like 3UP, the militia Shane Bauer joined, offer this outlet, giving many of its members the sense of purpose they lack in real lives.

“For others,” Shane explains, “the militia provides a justification for violent fantasies of insurrection.”

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-3-31-01-pm
CREDIT: MOTHER JONES MAG / INSTAGRAM

From an outsider’s perspective, the militia experience looks like one big role-playing experiment. Adults dressed in camouflage, wearing face paint, playing hide-and-go-seek in the desert, excited for all out war with mythic enemies. Those who are attracted to this lifestyle tend to have a raging suspicion of federal government. People who lack their worldview are referred to as “sheep.” People who want to join are first subjected various torture-like scenarios to test their mettle and mental awareness. Many militias have a strict policy: “No crazies and no anarchists.” All of those who join the militia seem to share this common idea: The world is on the brink of some great catastrophe and they want to be ready for it.

“Some might believe what is happening is something biblical right now.”

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-3-07-27-pm
CREDIT: SHANE_BAUER / TWITTER

But no matter how much they prepare for excitement, there’s one thing that can’t be ignored: Border patrolling is kind of a boring existence. Lots of time is spent staring into the distance, looking for signs of cartels that may or may not even exist. They tend to be one step behind coyotes and migrants; their collective experience falls into the “dollar short and a day late” column. Any sign of life is cause for excitement. Once a militia followed a group of people who turned out to be scientists that were out counting bats. For now, these kinds of tepid misunderstandings tend to be the extent of their border patrolling. They live in an environment of “anything can happen,” though nothing usually does, and when the weekend is over, it’s back to their normal lives, where they wait.

Shane Bauer’s article is a great piece of insider reporting, and definitely worth a read. Check it out over at Mother Jones.

[H/T] Mother Jones: Undercover With A Border Militia


READ: Their Son Was Killed On Mexican Soil By A Border Patrol Agent And They Want Justice

This Latino Ballplayer Won Over America After One World Series Game

Entertainment

This Latino Ballplayer Won Over America After One World Series Game

Meet Francisco Lindor. He’s a 22-year-old shortstop for the Cleveland Indians.

The Puerto Rican rookie has been a standout for the Indians all year. Not just for his play — he batted .301 with 15 homeruns and 78 RBIs in the regular season — but for his youthful exuberance on and off the field.

That exuberance was on full display during game one of the World Series, where Lindor showed why he’s become a fan favorite in Cleveland. Before game one even started, Lindor had a smile on his face.

And in the very first inning, Lindor won over America — except Cubs fans — by winning everyone free tacos.

How’d he do it? Taco Bell was running a promotion with Major League Baseball: if anyone stole a base during the World Series, Taco Bell would give away a free tacos for a few hours.

Later in the game, Lindor and fellow Boricua Javi Baez had a little fun at second base.

https://twitter.com/CauldronICYMI/status/791125663445032961

After Lindor hit a double in the seventh inning, he had a chance to meet up with Javi Baez, an old friend who he used to play against in high school.

Lindor’s energy is infectious, especially in a game that is sometimes criticized for being too serious.

Credit: MLB
CREDIT: Credit: MLB

David Wallace, Lindor’s manager in the minor leagues, says he’s always got a smile on his face. “What you see from him on the field is real. That’s all Frankie,” said Wallace to the Cleveland News-Herald.

This moment, captured when the Indians were adding to their lead, sums up how much Lindor has playing the game.

And when game ond was over, Lindor remained humble.

Lindor and the Indians have their work cut out for them. The World Series is tied 1-1 and the Cubs have three games in a row at home.

READ: Meet The Latino Ballplayer Making The Postseason Exciting To Watch

Like this story? Click on the share button below to send to your friends!