“And it’s a big wall. It’s a strong wall. It’s a wall that people aren’t going through very easy. They’re going to have to be in extremely good shape to get over this one. They would be able to climb Mt. Everest a lot easier I think”.
Addressing a Law Enforcement conference on February 13, 2019, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, in a bid to explain how big and strong the wall is, compared it to Mt. Everest, and said the latter would be easier to climb.
Now what would make him compare a 30 feet wall with spikes to the dangers behind climbing Everest one cannot fathom, however, the remark besides attracting ridicule, also insults the feats of thousands who have climbed Everest. To climb Everest is no joke, many (many) lives have been lost in pursuit of the triumph of scaling the world’s highest peak. Besides, a mountaineer has to undergo rigorous training to get on top of the world, and there is always a ‘probability’ of no return. To them a 30 feet wall with the right gear would be a joke – a feat conquerable in minutes.
While the journey leading up to the southern border and for many miles after crossing the border is said to be ‘one of the most dangerous journeys’ ever taken, the purpose of making that journey and the purpose of climbing Everest is incomparable. The families making the long journey across borders are fleeing their homeland to an alien nation in search of better opportunities – unlike Everest, it is no expedition. Therefore, comparing Everest climbers to the migrants is not only ridiculous, but insensitive too.
However, his desperation can be understood. The United States could possibly be heading towards another shutdown – if Congress again refuses to give his administration the funding for the wall. Trump is seeking $5.7 billion for 234 miles of steel fencing, Congress is looking to give up to a quarter of it – $1.4 billion for 65 miles of wall. Who will get what they want? We will have to wait and see.