Images confirm that Donald Trump has given new meaning to the idea that racism is ugly. Business Insider commissioned photographer John Darwin Kurc to capture photos and videos of Trump’s unfinished border wall efforts. While it is good news that construction has stopped (because elections have consequences), the sight of what remains of Trump’s xenophobic tantrum is highly disturbing.
The destruction of beautiful land and the threat to wildlife and vegetation, which ended after President Biden issued a seven-day wind-down proclamation on his first day in office, was substantial. Some of the construction took place on mountainous and other uneven areas. This required taking preliminary steps of carving access roads for trucks and blasting staging areas that now survive as useless, massive parking lots where pristine wilderness recently lay.
As one borderlands campaigner put it, “They are literally moving mountains for every new foot of wall they’re building in Arizona.” As if this weren’t appalling enough, it turns out Trump’s bigoted boondoggle carried additional perversities, shining an even brighter spotlight on the depravity of his failed campaign promise.
First, much of Trump’s wall was being built in areas that were far too dangerous and impractical for any human being to cross. Kurc describes one such section, for example, as a wall “standing as an island” between mountains “with nothing on either side of it.” He pointed out that this section has “half-dynamited hillsides that will just start eroding away as soon as it rains, destroying more habitat and wilderness land.”
Second, parts of the construction such as switchback access roads actually served to weaken border security. Even as Kurc flew his drone to take photos and videos, he spotted four migrants scaling the wall by an abandoned staging area. At other construction sites, newly built roads conveniently led to gaps, making the border much more easily traversable than before Trump took office.
Perhaps most alarming, however, is the fact that as President Biden’s inauguration approached, contractors raced to demolish as much as possible despite knowing the red light was imminent, according to an earlier report from Business Insider. As a result, new swaths of unspoiled nature got dynamited to prepare for miles of a border wall that the contractors and Trump administration officials knew would never get built.
Fortunately, President Biden was able to put an end to the blasts and drilling that scarred and ravaged once-beautiful American lands. The images of Trump’s pointless destruction must serve as a reminder of what happens when America elects an evil, racist wrecking ball as its leader. Although Biden is now in office, we must commit to future generations to do everything we can to ensure that repugnant beasts like Donald Trump won’t slither and slobber their way into the Oval Office again.