borderpatrol

I just came across a post at Sociological Images about an outrageously racist flash video game called Border Patrol.  They note that in the game, “you try to keep three types of Mexicans from crossing the border: drug dealers, Mexican nationalists, and ‘breeders.’”  Video game site Kotaku — which thankfully also calls the video game racist — gives a highly similar description.  As you’ll notice in the image above, which is of a heavily pregnant and barefoot caricatured woman crossing the border, she is also on her way to the welfare office.

But you may also notice something else.  Looking at the image, there are bullet holes in the sign that says “Welcome to the United States” (with a picture of a flag that seems to indicate an anti-Semitic message that the country is run by Jews — am I missing something?).  The woman in the game also looks like her head is in the cross hairs of a gun.

That’s right, in this game we’re not “stopping” Mexican immigrants from crossing the border without documentation by, oh, calling the police.  Or by using another horrific and degrading option like catching them in a net to send them back over the border.

No, players are shooting them dead.

So, what we’ve got here is a game that is horribly racist and promoting the murder of undocumented immigrants.  The game is also highly misogynistic, in calling women “breeders,” treating them like “welfare queens” (an equally racist and misogynistic stereotype), and encouraging their bloody demise.  Of course, no attention is paid to the extreme violence that women crossing the border are already subjected to.  Nor is there any attention paid to the fact that violence against women is committed at much higher rates against women who are pregnant.  Or even that “we should just shoot ‘em” is not an uncommon utterance out of the mouths of anti-immigrant types.

Because the people portrayed in this game aren’t seen as people by those who play it.

The game was created in 2006, but is getting attention at the moment because yet another public official has decided to radically fuck up and show their true colors through a racist email message.  Kennesaw, Georgia city councilman John Dowdy circulated a message promoting the video game as a fun away to pass the time and get out your anti-immigrant aggression:

Dowdy forwarded this game to [three Kennesaw employees] among other people, along with a message which read, “THIS IS WAY TOO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!! Makes you feel better anyway, I did my part today, I kept a few from coming over!!! GET READY — THEY ARE FAAAST! ! !”

Har har.  Imagining that you’re murdering people from a group already at a high risk of violence is tons of fun.

Dowdy has resigned, and employees of color from the same town have sued, alleging mistreatment by white coworkers, supervisors and elected officials.

Of course, regardless of how relatively lowly Dowdy’s position in government may have been, it’s impossible to divorce the violent anti-immigrant sentiments of public officials from the actual violent and abusive treatment that undocumented immigrants face at the hands of our government.  From what I can tell, it doesn’t sound like Dowdy was in a particular position to actually enact government-sanctioned violence against immigrants.  But the fact that he was personally promoting it and the fact that government-sanctioned violence against immigrants is a reality are indeed related.

We’re talking about an overall culture of hatred, promotion of violence, and complicity.  And in discussing this racist jackass, and this racist and misogynistic video game, we can’t forget that.

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{ 14 comments }

1 Christina April 18, 2009 at 10:31 am

Where in the HELL did the idea that illegal immigrants are all on the public dole come from? The truth is that not even LEGAL immigrants can collect welfare of any kind for years after naturalization. Citizens!

Argh. TANF? Nope. Food Stamps? Nope. Medicaid? Nope. Oh, if a woman gives birth, the baby’s birth can be paid for under Emergency medicaid, and the baby gets Medicaid since s/he is an American citizen, but I really doubt people are crossing the border so they can have a hospital bill paid. No Social Security–even if they are paying into the system as many are working under a false SSN. No disability. No unemployment. Nothing.

All of the social safety nets we take for granted, they do not have access to. It’s another example of how truth cannot trump racism.

2 Karen April 18, 2009 at 12:39 pm

It’s not surprising given how much the anti-Immigration debate has been taken up White Supremacists. It’s sickening that people in this country think promoting this sort of violence against immigrants is in any way okay.

Larry King did an interview on the border because of The President’s visit there and the American they had on kept going on and on about the necessity of building more fences and increasing the border patrol by 10,000 people. He of course couched this in terms of restricting the drug trade but engaged in plenty of brown scare tactics. My favorite was when he talked about all the “illegal immigrants” that were in U.S. prisons and how they were rapists and murderers. Because of course, that’s why people cross the border, to rape and murder in the U.S. It’s not the opportunities and jobs here, no, no. They’re here to rape and kill white folks.

Like I said, sickening.

3 SunlessNick April 18, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I’m not American, so I can’t add any doses of fact, but… Oh, fucking crap!

It strikes me that the “breeders” line, as well as being misogynistic, is also another racist element, as it evokes the demographic fretting of the anti-immigrant crowd.

4 SunlessNick April 18, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Though it ties together, as the fear or hatred of POC daring to have children is invariably slammed down hardest on the women.

5 whatsername April 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm

You hit on everything I would have commented on, except I love how the pregnant woman has armpit hair.

She’s got that ultimate feminine signifier, the pregnant belly, so we’ve got to counteract that some way to make it acceptable to shoot her… I know let’s give her manly armpit hair now she’s unfeminine and ok to shoot!

There’s a lot of sick shit going on in this game.

6 Stela April 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm

As Slanty from Slant Eye for the Round Eye has said in the past, “That’s some fucked up old white man shit..” and that pretty much sums up my feelings about this situation.

7 EKSwitaj April 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I wonder if the Star of David is less an anti-Semitic statement and more an attempt to suggest that the US is properly a Judeo-Christian nation? Either way, it’s repulsive.

8 SunlessNick April 19, 2009 at 3:38 am

I think they’d have a cross in that case.

9 Anna April 19, 2009 at 9:06 am

They can’t even keep their bigotry consistent.

10 Skwrr April 19, 2009 at 2:32 pm

(with a picture of a flag that seems to indicate an anti-Semitic message that the country is run by Jews — am I missing something?)
This disgusting thing just got a whole lot worse. I remember a filler article in Mother Jones about political flash games, and this sounds exactly like one of the games mentioned. The game in the article was produced by a Neo-Nazi website. The goal was to score 88 points.* I’m not curious enough to play it & find out, but MJ’s website might still have that article.
*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88_(number)#As_a_Neo-Nazi_symbol

11 Skwrr April 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm
12 Nyara April 19, 2009 at 5:39 pm

I honestly don’t know what to say. That “game” perfectly describes everything that is wrong with some people. Sickening.

13 Kacie April 24, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Oh. My. God.

AND I AM FROM KENNESAW!!!!

Just know that we are not all like that.

14 Deleron January 26, 2010 at 12:50 am

Id love to ask “Dowdy” if it would be same as fun a flash game where the point is to crash several airplanes into twin towers till they fall down. And you win when you score 911 pts… This freaking world sucks with people filled with hatred… even when not everyone is like that as kacie said. I fear most people is… somehow… at some topic. We dont even deserve to think of us as reasonable entities.

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