Nov. 25, 2007
In The Reaper’s Line, retired Special Agent for the US Customs Service, Lee Morgan, II, details how the “War On Drugs” and stopping the rising tide of undocumented immigrants is being lost.
Morgan is at times almost lyrical in his writing, but is generally crusty and salty in his language. This lends authenticity to the book.
For a 31 year veteran of the Border in Cochise County and Douglas, Arizona, Morgan is surprising sympathetic to undocumented immigrants, and has a grudging respect for many involved in drug smuggling.
What Morgan does have time for is bureaucrats (he refers to them as REMFs, and one has to read the book to learn what the acronym stands for), vigilantes and people in positions of authority who abuse their authority.
In his chapter on vigilantes, Morgan explains how Roger and Don Barnett and other vigilantes have a racist agenda.
Morgan outlines how the Barnett’s bought a ranch along the border so that they could pursue their racist agenda. He also notes how being a ranch owner and actually being a rancher are two separate and distinctly different things.
He goes into detail how this is so hypocritical on the part of the Barnett’s because they secure a large part of their income from taking advantage of undocumented immigrants through a towing company they own. This is proven because Arizona courts gave a 1.3 million dollar judgment against the Barnetts.
What Morgan fails to note is that the Barnetts inherited their money from their father who started Barnett’s Propane, the largest distributor of propane in Cochise County.
Morgan gives details on how the Minutemen, Ranch Rescue, Posse Comitatus and other vigilante groups have organized hunts to shoot unarmed undocumented immigrants, just as they had gone to South Africa to hunt down people of color.
Morgan further explains why the US Attorney’s office and the state of Arizona won’t touch this issue.
Since Morgan’s book has come out, the Barnetts have sold their ranch. This would be good except for the fact that they sold their ranch to another racist with money.
The Barnetts sold their ranch to a former brother-in-law from Virginia whose mother bought him the ranch adjacent to the Barnett ranch.
While he had the contract to pick-up trash left by undocumented immigrants, the reviewer, heard the purchasers of the Barnett ranch refer to Mexicans as if they were using the “N” word. This is interesting, because the owners of these ranches (which encompass over 60,000 acres) don’t have a clue about ranching, and all their help are Mexicans.
The Reaper’s Line is a must read for anyone interested about current race relations in the US and Border Issues.
The Reaper’s Line can be purchased from Rio Nuevo Publishers (www.rionuevo.com), and is also available from Amazon.com:
The Reaper’s Line: Life and Death on the Mexican Border
By: Lee Morgan
Release date: 25 September, 2006