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General Chapman’s Last Stand


Good fences make good neighbors. Or maybe not.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Something there is the doesn't love along that sends a frozen ground swell under it. Robert Frost, one of the greatest american poets reading mending long. I let my neighbour no beyond the hill, and on a day we made to walk the line and set the wall between us. They walked together down the border of their properties between his apple orchard and its neighbours, pine trees. Every spring they have two men, the wall falling stones to fill the gaps. The narrator asked his neighbor. Do they really need a wall to keep pine and apple trees apart? The only says, good fences make good neighbours spring as the mischief in May, and I wonder if I can put a notion in his head, why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it whether of cows, but either on our cows before
build a wall, I'd ask you know what I was walking in raw walling out to whom I would like to give a fence is Malcolm Gladwell, listening to revision is history. My podcast about things overlooked, misunderstood! This episode is the most famous line from mending good fences make good neighbours written in nice? in fourteen, as if it were yesterday the historic home of the? U S marine corps is the barracks Washington Dc. Eight deny streets near capitalism,
four May, until the end of August, every Friday night, the public is invited for evening per day. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the oldest posted, the CORE Marine Barracks, Washington D C, celebrating over sixty years of performing evening parade. It starts at eight forty five, precisely on the matter. Law in front of the commandant House Ritual of honouring the flag, the famous silent drill, the german people corps. Marines in the traditional white with dark blue tunics One hour and fifteen minutes of precision marching evening parade was the creation of general. Leonard, fielding Chapman Junior when he assumed the command of the Marine Barracks in nineteen. Fifty seven
Chapman believed Marine parades had become angry sized too many theatrical flourishes. Chick drills, frivolities, like the queen Ann, salute the small hats, the British favour the heavy double so choose with Cleats my policy was that we will be regulation. Chapman, and said we will be: U S Marine corps regulation we do everything in accordance with them. Winco regulations and will do it I admit it, and full of senior military leaders in my life do not I see those who represent an infinite
change a variation on the general theme of tall white guy generals are the product of one of the world's largest and most rigorous meritocracy is to get to the top. They had to be more disciplined than the disparate people and then at the next level, up smarter than the smart people. Then, at the level after that, more charismatic than the charismatic people and on and on all the way up to five stars. Generals are the winners of a single elimination tournament that goes on for thirty years Chapman was appointed commandant of the Marine Corps in nineteen. Sixty seven serve with distinction for for you, where's during one of the most difficult periods in marine corps history. He was a southerner who love Lincoln of Voracious reader and intellectual the man who did as much as anyone to bring the civil rights revolution to the marine corps. German was ones
interviewed by Marine Corps historian and by the end of their according which runs for hours. You want to follow him into battle. Towards the end of the war. When we were pulling out of Vietnam the decision that we were going to clean out shape upper shell cabinet shrink. The Marines from three hundred thousand two hundred thousand men like every moraine that he felt did not measure up made sure everyone who remained knew what the score was then I'd like my speech about tightening up the ring Goran, Lloyd, do to our standards got applauded. Every time and it was in such sharp contrast to what happening in the ocean, see the other services Lucian their standard
you know long, hair beer in the barracks, nay, especially Navy, especially here we want exam. The opposite directions: the Navy Lucian their standard. Certainly army tat. He would look like while she was very handsome he was ever Now the pictures of him when he was young and in a pretty incredibly dashing sort of man. This is the generals granddaughter Daniel Chairman, and he was oh very handsome when he was in his sixtys and Seventys and Tall we know is still have that military posture two m, also just in an incredible stamina, and he actually It was very fat to on on the golf course until you was in his eighties, you know he walked and carried as clubs, and he would really rib his buddy
about bad, and he would say you know they would ride on the card and he would say oh there, Moreover, they are writing a cheeseburger wagon in all, but he was he was he was walking and caring as club was the hallway general chow when retired, from the marine corps in nineteen seventy one, but he did, Take a lucrative job in the defence industry like so many ex military brass do. Instead he goes to his boss, the Secretary of Defence, and ask for help in finding another job in government. He gets his wish in there in seventy three he's named commissioner of what was then called the immigration and naturalisation service. The agency responses for securing the borders of the United States. Now. Why does he do that?
Being heard of the Marine corps is a job of enormous prestige, the giant s in nineteen. Seventy three was a backwater. Why would someone takes such a big step down? It's not obvious until you think about what Chapman has just been through Vietnam. He ran the marine corps during the worst years of the war and what was Vietnam WAR about a border? The country was split in two with a communist government in the north and a pro western governments in the south and the north kept sending insurgents across the border to make trouble in the south. That's why the? U S went to Vietnam to secure the border. The Marines were in the thick of it. They were way up in the farthest corner of selfie at non right on the border with the north, a one point, the sex
defence, wanted a wall built along the border to stop the north Vietnamese from trickling in it was the job of the marine corps to build it, and they couldn't do it. They couldn't secured a border. Nothing worked. Chapman saw the failure first hand the trouble with Vietnam for the Marine Corps was that the army was in charge of the whole thing Chapman son Welton join the Marines and served in Vietnam and the Marines that were there. My dad had no technical control; in other words, he couldn't tell the twenty six Marines to leave case on and go somewhere else. General Chapman would make the law journey to Vietnam many times But all he could offer was moral support. This. In his oral history. When Chapman describes the orders that came to
from the Pentagon. When the? U S military, shipped out of Vietnam, each branch of the military was supposed to pack up and sent home anything worth more than fifty dollars. Job said. No, the Marines would bring home everything worth five dollars or more. Furthermore, I issued an order that we leave our spaces in Vietnam, ready for inspection, everything cleaned up all the trash buried. All the temporary billings knocked down and disposed of and we did then too, we left left everyone of are areas in Iraq. The ball condition ready for inspection. That's what Marine corps was reduced to in Vietnam being the best a tidying up behind them. How could someone like Chapman be satisfied with that if he couldn't defend the boy? of South Vietnam, then maybe running the I s would be his second chance.
Girls like nothing better than to be able to say yes, borders, secure, Mister secretary into the borders no secure. In the nineteen seventies a young sociologist named Douglas Massey became in is it in the subject of mexican migration. It was then, as now a matter of political significance, but Massey was struck by how Little was actually known about the problem nobody really understood exactly where migrants were coming from or exactly where they were going or for that matter, what they were doing, whence they got to the? U S and what happened to the families they left behind. Sociologists are the great note takers, the Social Sciences,
they used to projects that stretch out for years that even consume entire careers. So Massey decided be a good sociologist and study migration properly. He found a partner, a mexican anthropologist named Jorge Dorani, into two of begin systematically interviewing families of migrants around Mexico. We pick communities pick forty six communities. Every year we do. Complete household roster and collect basic social demographic information and everybody in the household plus detailed information on everybody's first and last trip to the United States and the total number of trips have taken. This survey is called the Mexican migration project after thirty years. Its massive millions of life years of information case histories, extraordinary detail. It's the gold standard. This has got to be one of the Oh world's biggest migration databases. It's certainly the biggest
less reliable Mexico. U S! Migration! When the government wants to know what goes on, I didn't go to the border patrol. Because their data lousy may come to the mixing immigration project in all. Your work with this project was You wanna crossed it, really surprised you. I guess what Surprise me in the last seven years when I first saw this was just how routine it had become and and how institutionalized this regulation was and how it was woven, India, the fabric of mexican life at the time how in petition lies the circulation, was the principal finding of the mexican migration project. Is it mexican migration to United States has a distinctive pattern. It's overwhelmingly circular it. What does circular meaning actually means they work seasonably in the United States and return home on an annual basis to be with their families to reach these workers there are they leaving their families back in my class
it's over one way. Male young young males and there the typical, pattern. You see you for several times to earn some money to help you back home. What made the back and forth circulation possible with the fact that, for most of the twentieth century, the border between Mexico and the nights AIDS was porous more of a line on a map, an actual border. The border patrol was a tiny force. In those years there, the walls, no surveillance drones. If you got stopped, you got turned around and sent back home, then you try to and our families made a family, the worst born and raised in the border area, Carlos momentous labour, organizer and former migrant worker. Talking about his childhood in ninety six, is growing up in war as Mexico. He and his friends used to swim across
the Rio Grande carrying watermelons that they would sell on the american side like the river, was a pond in their backyard. We see no Hayleigh says there. We were living in two different countries to US been children means dad. You know that we were living in a big city with two neighborhoods one side of the river one not of the river What momentous his saying in economic terms is that the cost of crossing was effectively zero. It was free and what happens when something is free. You use as much of it as you can Usually they leave in February March season, start picking up they return in December for the holidays. There's a big fiesta in migrant, sending towns Massey saying that
Mexico was where family and routes were, it was cheap and close. Amerika was your money could be made easily and quickly. This is not the way say: jewish immigrants came to the United States. In the nineteenth century bidding go back to Eastern Europe. Every nor did the Italians who came over the same period. Entire villages moved on mass from southern ITALY to the United States permanently in the price of returning where they came from was not zero. Their homeland was not welcoming, and even if it were the cost of cross, The ocean was so high that it could not be done routinely, but mexican migration was different, Carlos momentous remembers, his grandfather, telling him that he wanted to turned to Mexico to Zaka. Take us so the there
Action to go to go back to me. He call will be to walk back to your real homeland to their rural communities that you left behind with families with your house. Story with everything the during an entity. This is not the story. The United States tells itself the inscription on the statue of liberty does not reach Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free for six months until you make enough money to go home again when we think of him emigrate. And we think of the jewish and italian model, permanence Second, think circular Immigration is very hard to measure. Border can Those are designed to count the number of people coming in, not the number of people leaving
because we assume the number coming in is what matters which it is in most cases, but not in the case of Mexico, because if a huge group of people, eventually, go back home again. The only number that matters is net migration, though to come in minus those who go home and thirdly, most employee circular migration is the result of a zero cost border crossing? It is what but when you can swim across the Rio Grande or walk from or is it Mexico to El Paso in Texas? So what happens to circular migration when the cost of migrating is no longer zero? One of the things that General Leonard Chapman heard when he took over the I s was that his predecessor had never left Washington D C
for someone coming from the marine corps. That was unthinkable. Leaders review their troops, so Chapman set out to visit every eye s field office close to four hundred of them all over the world, some with no more than two or three people Three years ago I got every single: what will happen? tremendous about travel into my truth: bell, pepper, very high regard modernize the agency. When it came to information management. He thought the ins was thirty years behind the Marine corps and set up a public affairs office. The first in the agency's history came a familiar face and Capital Hill and the more he learned the more alarmed he became.
There was ass. He put it a general laxity in the enforcement of immigration laws. For goodness sake, kid. Was swimming across the Rio Grande selling, are watermelons. Then going back home again, people were treating the border, it was just a line on a map it's easy to fire surrounded by a hundred Why not there's no machinery to stop One? Seventy three: when Chapman took over the I S, the cost of crossing the mexican border, was effectively zero. By the time he left in nineteen. Seventy seven it was not, and so a begins in nineteen? Eighty six comes the migration reform and control at which
to rises. The border then operation blockade, which stiffens up the border crossing in El Paso operation gatekeeper. Which difference at the border crossing in San Diego, the budget of the border patrol to an amid nineteen eighties and two thousand and ten increases tenfold, and then today, with the attorney general, The United States sometimes sounds like Commandant Jefferson sessions I have put in place. Is a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry on our south rest border. If you cross the border, lovely, then we will prosecute you is that simple, the cost of crossing the border has been escalating for a generation and it began with
Chapman we right now all drivers got their show. That always remember when I left three years later eighty five percent. In his ears in office. Chapman made two hundred and fifty speeches across the United States This is at the same time that he's personally visiting every in this field office and who sing the complete overhaul of the agency and making his argument over and again on Capitol Hill and giving hundreds of press interviews the United States when from it I s held by someone who never left his desk to agency, headed by someone who couldn't stay at his desk. He was relentless Waken America repel allow above all, Americans
think they had an illegal immigration problem. Leonard Chapman convince them that they did Here's an honest question: how are you supposed to know what to do with your money a few of us- are exposed to meaningful advice on how to manage our finances. Even further. We have the means to get professional financial guidelines. Betterment platform. It was built to do something radical. To give accessible financial advice. That puts you first, if you're, like most Americans, your money probably sitting in a savings likely earning you next to nothing? maybe you have an investment account that you're not really sure was to do it better, make it You make sense of what to do with your money. Resting involves risks have you know the ins and outs of the stock market to start saving more restarted? Cynthia Betterments technology. Your money to work, choosing the stock,
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National peace garden. It's a park straddling the border between North Dakota and the canadian Province of Manitoba. I go for long runs each morning with two friends. One day we noticed diner on the american side. So we hope the fence and got a burger, I say fence because the border net stretch, your prairie- was just a fence, the type that someone in the suburbs might have around their backyard on our way back to Canada was spotted by a border patrol officer He arrested us put us in the back of his car and took us to the nearest iron s office. We to put our names in a book underneath the big photo of President Jimmy Carter. I decided to be clever I wrote my name is William F Buckley. Then we got dropped off back at the border fence with stern lecture.
When I got home until my parents, they found the whole thing hilarious, but, as you can imagine, it left an impression that burger the diner was my first visit to the United States and they ended up in the back of a patrol car I first read Robert Frost Mending, while not long afterwards in school. The poem is it back and forth between a man and his neighbor over the value of their fence. One side says: good fences make good neighbours the other side, the narrator says, maybe not, it all depends on who the fences keeping in or out right from my first reed, I sided with the narrator, because all I could think of was offence. I just jump between Manitoba North Dakota,
we were fourteen year olds and the fact that there wasn't much of a fence between the countries at that point meant that we could do normal fourteen year old things like get a burger would have better fence. There have made us better neighbours, or would we have just gone hungry? Frost neighbour thinks good fences solve problems, and the funny thing about that problem is how many people agree with him, but do good fences make good neighbours, or do they just normal patterns of behaviour. So what happened? When the mexican border became a good fence, well, the historical mexican migration pattern was Young men came to America worked, went home, came back, went home again, that's what Douglas Massey documented in the mexican migration, project? Our data from mixer migration project indicate that between one thousand nine hundred and sixty five and one thousand nine hundred and eighty five
five percent of all undocumented entries were offset by departures, so the net enclosed small between one thousand nine hundred and sixty five and one thousand nine hundred and eighty five lots and lots of mexican migrants came to the United States without legal status. But almost all of them eventually went home, but then the border patrol was expanded. The crossing opportunities through El Paso and San Diego were shut down and migrants head to adapt. They shifted from the fortify crossings in El Paso in San Diego to the most brutal parts of Southern Arizona now you're on them. Hi desert, open desert its bitterly cold night boiling hot during the day, there's no water, and gets Mount and when you're out in the middle of nowhere more costly to stage a crossing. The financial incentive to come to the United States remains
returning home is now suddenly so risky that you don't do it every six months or every Christmas, or maybe even ever you stay. And as the male workers stay longer and longer family. If occurs, they send for their wives and younger children and those Our children are today's dreamers in nineteen eighty, what was the likelihood of a mexican migrant returning home after his first trip to the United States According to the mexican migration projects, data, it was about. Fifty percent by twenty ten zero. We built a wild keep mexican migrants out. In fact, the wall has kept them in people Who would otherwise have gone home states so long. They put down roots in March of twenty sixteen Douglas Mass
along with Jorge Rondon Karen Print, published a brilliant paper in the American Journal of sociology. Why border enforcement backfired in which they ask a hypothetical question? What would have happened if the United States had done nothing over the past thirty years frozen? The budget and staff of the border patrol at one thousand, nine hundred and eighty six levels allowed for some circular migration. The researchers estimate, the undocumented mexican population of the US would be a better Third lower a third lower than it is now. This is according to the people who know more than any one else about mexican migration who have access to one of the biggest immigration databases in the world and what is their conclusion that the attempt to solve the problem of illegal mexican migrants is what has caused the problem of illegal mexican migrants. You can just
here, the frustration in Douglas Mass he's voice. For me, I've been watching this train wreck in real time for the past two decades. Really I kept trying to tell people that when it comes to border enforcement. Less is more, and if you militarized the border, You can produce a larger and documented population. I said this before the house share, committing the sad judiciary, committee committee on immigration and what happens after Massey testifies. The same thing happens. Every time nothing and then the ranking minority member whose representative king from Texas gets up, and basically take your lion data and go home, because we know the truth is, were being invaded. We ve got to stop this mass. He says we need to do the exact opposite of what we're doing now when we raise the cost of crossing the border that
shut down circulation? If you wonder restore circulation, then you should make the border easier to cross, reduce the size of the border patrol dont increase it make it easier for migrants to get legal status, not harder. She wondered blower the number of Mexicans living United States given green cards in a lot of money and go home, she's, not that nice a place for people from Excellency's days and They have families here they get yours born kids day and if they They can come back home if we had kept things the way they were in the early nineties? Seventys the same daddy run border patrol the same ineffectual leadership, the same indifferent public. We wouldn't be hearing, our hair out over immigration. If there was ever a place for bad government It was on the Southern: U S border! But what do we get? We got the one
guy. You couldn't do that government. The man hunted by his country's failure- build a wall in Vietnam. You came out, will comment about the long range, a green thing. There's a fascinating moment in General Chapman's oral history. His interviewer asks about Rachel troubles that rock the marine corps in the late sixties, the civil rights movement. At its apex, there was a near race ride, a camp platoon fistfight among soldiers in Vietnam. Black Marines wanted to be treated with the same consideration as White Marines Chapman's response, maybe his most memorable pronouncement all Marines, our green, not black, not white. The color of the uniform is what matters backed up by a directive unreal
discrimination sent to every officer under his command. He even made a solemn on a ruling on the prohibition against black soldiers wearing their hair and in Africa Hair he said was hair. The concern of the Marine Corps was not with its four. Only with its length. What that, within those limits on rincon style, is higher anyway. Won't do yeah, that's what it's so that, if you If a black Marie wanted to have an after all, there was no more than three inches long was needed drove around five. Why not and the evening break to participate in the, being paraded eighth and I used to have to be a perfect spent
men of military manhood more than six feet tall, no glasses and White Chapman says what kids be a perfect specimen of military manhood and black. He desegregated evening parade that got him hauled before Congress. Committee full of angry Southerners Chapman describes the experience with typical understatement. As a quote: interesting few hours, but I'm a deep sigh nor myself, and so I was able to battle them with good effect, unquote I'm here if he were here today, would you make it that way we talk about immigration with a debate is changed. I'm not sure what he would say. This is checked Vince Granddaughter Daniele. Again we really disliked complaint. And you know he would always say if anybody was well Ok, what are you going to do about it? You know he was in
audibly pragmatic. So I think that he would prove I believe you a lot of the current conversation. As just bunch of noise without a solution. So what was his solution than General Chapman did what came. Naturally, he in full the law he drew the line he made a cup. Created issue clear. He didn't like the idea of you, no man, illegal immigration, but at this time. His views had none of the tone that the immigration- debate has now. He he just didn't covered in racial or ethnic terms. I never heard talk about it like that or or attack the kind of emotions that you hear people attaching to it. In the current debate, General Chapman travelled to every corner of the United States and stood
in that deliberate ramrod, straight Marine corps way and told the american people plainly and clearly what needed to be done. Can I fault him again? I wish there were more people like Letter Chapman, especially these days is that, in some cases, complicated things are best left unclear and were better off letting whatever it is? The dozens of a wall, penance course something there is that doesn't love along the way sit down, could sales them. But it's not out actually and I'd. Rather, you said it for himself I see him they're, bringing a stone grass firmly by the top in each hand like an old stone savages. And darkness as it seems to me not a words on land, the shade of trees, I'll go behind his father sighing and he likes.
We thought of it so well. He says again: good fences, my good neighbours, provision is, history is a panoply production senior producer his meal about with Jacob Smith and Camille Baptista are added. Is Julia Barton Blonde Williams is our engineer fact: checking by Beth Johns. Original music by Luis Kara special thanks, a sea Valdez for capturing the sound of the evening Pray for the audio Robert Frost, thanks to the National Council of Teachers in English and thanks as always, twenty bowers and Commandant Jacob Whisper, I'm
I think the only time I can remember him really getting angry with me was when I kind of blasphemed the constant China and I dont know why I would do that except. I was a teenager on July turn. Twenty fifteen, a young woman named Sandra Bland, was stopped by a police officer on a high in rural Texas. Then everything went wrong. I've written book called talking to strangers. It starts with that encounter, but I didn't just right. For the page, I recorded an audio book as well. New kind of audio book that allows you to hear the voices of the people. I talk to and come with me to the places I go because you shouldn't just listen to an audio book, you should experience. It talking to strangers the audio experience available now, where ever audio books or sold.
Transcript generated on 2020-01-12.