This morning, as I was sitting here pondering the meaning of life and whether or not it’s worth writing about it today, I came across an article on CNN about a huge python that was caught in South Florida. It seems that Burmese pythons, which are native to Southeast Asia, but thrive in Florida’s tropical climate, are invading Florida’s swampland and destroying the local wildlife. Teams of researchers are now tracking the movements of male pythons and hunters are being encouraged to remove the snakes.
The female snake that was caught weighed about 140 pounds, 17 feet long, and was developing 73 eggs. As there are currently over 100,000 pythons ranging in the Florida Everglades, capturing this python was a drop in the bucket in curtailing the snake problem. However, this snake is newsworthy because of her record breaking size.
Although I first read about the snake on CNN, I decided to read the Facebook post where the story originated. It probably shouldn’t have surprised me, but the comments quickly turned political, as someone joked that the snakes should be relocated to Texas, where they can help fortify Trump’s “wall”. Suddenly, the thread erupted into insults.
I started to screenshot the comments in this thread, but eventually gave up, as I realized it would take forever to cut out all of the names and profile pics…
There were many more comments like this… many of which indicated that Americans like the idea of feeding migrants to huge pythons. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, although this news comes up on the day that Kirstjen Nielsen, who will forever be remembered as the woman who put children in cages down at the border, is also in the news for resigning her position as Secretary of Homeland Security. The news reports that Nielsen had not intended to resign; she had gone to a meeting with Donald Trump to discuss an agenda. But apparently, Trump feels that Nielsen isn’t “cruel” enough and, evidently, he encouraged her to resign the post. I wonder if being affiliated with Trump is going to be worth it to Kirstjen Nielsen in the long run. She joins a long list of people who’ve washed out of Trump’s administration.
I wonder if the people who favor feeding “illegals” to snakes have actually thought about what they’re proposing. What if, hundreds of years ago, the Native Americans treated the invasive white people from Europe in the same way Americans are treating people at the Mexican border? Does it occur to these folks that the snakes aren’t picky? If they’d eat migrants with brown skin, they’d just as quickly feast on entitled white people.
It just blows my mind, reading commentary on Facebook about how many people don’t see the irony. Most of the people who were commenting on the “good idea” of using an invasive snake species to eradicate migrants from places like Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico, don’t see that white people from Europe were once migrants, too. And white people totally took over the United States and changed it from what it was. White people introduced concepts that were completely foreign to the natives and they turned the United States into a culture that was originally based on European ideals. At least the “brown” people are actually from America.
Well… I suppose I’m just as guilty of getting political. It seems like everything is political these days. I have never seen so much polarization between the left and the right as I’m seeing right now. I have friends and loved ones who admire Trump and identify as conservative. More than a couple of them have complained about “illegals”. It makes me wonder if they ever think about how they’d feel if that kind of vitriol was directed at them. I know most of these folks aren’t “bad” people. They love their families and want the best for their friends. And yet, they see migrants fleeing violence and poverty as less than human and deserving of becoming a snack for a giant serpent.
As for the humongous snake… well, I guess she was just doing what snakes do. The pythons were probably brought the the United States by white people, looking for make a buck. How else does a Burmese python end up in Florida, where it can breed to the point of killing off all of the natives? In the article I just linked, it’s said that the history of the Burmese python invasion comes from Hurricane Andrew back in 1992, when many zoos, exotic pet stores, and wildlife refuges were damaged during the storm. Many animals, ranging from mountain lions to monkeys, were able to escape into the wild. The Burmese pythons were especially able to adapt to Florida’s climate, which is ideal for them. Some owners were also irresponsible and unprepared to take care of the snakes, which can get to be huge. So they turned their pets loose.
I hate to equate huge snakes with human beings, although some people certainly behave in a reptilian manner when it comes to having regard for their fellow man. It seems to be lost on some of the people proposing that the snakes be used to fortify Trump’s wall that underneath the flesh, we’re all basically made of the same stuff. Most of us want the same things– safety, security, health, happiness, and to be left in peace.