Re-coloring the issue of border security

Lenny McAllister Contributor
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There’s nothing like a car bomb sitting in the middle of one of the biggest tourist areas in the nation to focus us back to what is important. Even though it was thwarted through the awareness of a private citizen and the thoroughness of New York’s Finest, Time Square’s May Day Surprise should work to be a galvanizing incident that gets the majority of the country resetting its priority wish for Washington. For once, perhaps both sides of the political aisle – including and especially those liberals of the far left that believe that every conservative initiative has some discriminatory intent driving it – will get behind the idea of promoting border security for all of the right reasons.

Saturday’s attempted car bomb said it so well, especially (and thankfully) because it was a near-miss that allowed us all to live and learn this lesson: securing the borders has less to do with keeping Mexicans out than it does with keeping terrorists out.

Granted, many of the details surrounding this near-tragedy will not come out for days, if not weeks, so we are not sure exactly who is to blame for the SUV bomb. And yes, it is also true that there will always be someone – somewhere – that will make “border security” a code phrase for “keeping more brown-skinned from immigrating to America.” However, incidents such as Saturday’s Time Square near-miss make the issue crystal clear.

The primary issue of border security and national safety – and its cousin issue of dealing with undocumented people in the United States – must be focused on keeping all terrorist threats outside of the American homeland. The wars fought by our brave women and men overseas must entail the entirety of the war effort on foreign soil. Any terroristic remnants of American opposition that finds itself on our soil, at this point of time and with our technological resources, runs the risk of being a fatal and inexplicable flaw in our tact and execution in these wars – not necessarily as a military force, but moreso as a nation under attack whose citizenry has shown the repeated ability to fall asleep at the wheel of sovereignty.

After the failed May Day Surprise, it will be tougher – and even unethical – for Democrats to paint the issue of tougher border control as a sidestepping political mechanism employed by Republicans seeking to avoid comprehensive immigration reform at this time. Keeping internationally-based terrorists off of our soil creates a level of safety for Americans, but also provides the avenues through which U.S.-based law enforcement can root out any treasonous plots schemed up by demented Americans or legal visitors amongst us domestically. A complication problem only becomes a huge mess – and a time bomb waiting to go off literally – without the first step in both national security and immigration reform in 21st century America being this: the United States adequately securing its borders, be it through use of fences, military, technology, or other resources deemed appropriate and efficient.

Just as the Tea Party movement is commonly seen – incorrectly – through the prism of racial dimensions, the issue of border security cannot be defined in 2010 through explanations of racial intolerance and immigration, especially after Time Square’s May Day Surprise. Border security may seem to be a racial issue or a fairness issue, but in actuality, it is an American issue. First and foremost, border security must center on American safety, not amnesty, racial profiling, or “jobs Americans just won’t do.” Any other viewpoint denotes a lack of focus on current event and current threats to Americans in the homeland.

Tragedy often has a way of revealing to us what is truly important. Fortunately, near-tragedies provide us a chance to learn the lesson of what is important while avoiding losses we cannot bear to endure again. Hopefully, we are prepared and willing to apply the lesson from Time Square’s May Day Surprise and deal with border security tactfully – not emotionally or divisively – lest we endure another “surprise”, one with potentially deadly consequences.

Lenny McAllister is a syndicated political commentator, podcast co-host, and the author of the book, “Diary of a Mad Black PYC (Proud Young Conservative,)” purchased online at www.tinyurl.com/lennysdiary and www.amazon.com. Catch Lenny with host Charles D. Ellison on “The New School” on the POTUS Channel (Politics Of The United States) of XM-Sirius Radio Saturday, May 8 at 7 AM and 1 PM EST (check local listings for details.) Follow him at www.twitter.com/lennyhhr and on Facebook at www.tinyurl.com/lennyfacebook .