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Don Corrigan


Could Advertising Help Pay For The Wall?


March 22, 2017
 
Our U.S. Department of Homeland Security opened up the bidding on The Donald's Mexican Border Wall on March 6. Already, more than 220 contractors have come forward.

 
Estimates of the wall's cost range from $12 billion to $38 billion. The really bad news is that the Mexicans are balking at paying for it. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has told President Trump that "Mexico — of course — will not pay" for this wall.

 
So, where does that leave us? Are taxpayers on the hook? Some readers have suggested that the contractors should pay for it by bidding for naming rights. However, I doubt that Leo A. Daly Architects or Caddell Global Construction or even Raytheon has the spare change to pay for the entire wall through naming rights.

 
I would suggest a more piecemeal approach. Think of advertising on the left field wall of Busch Stadium. Then, close your eyes and imagine the opportunities for advertising on a 1,500 mile wall. There would be room for Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede and her Lumberjack Adventure.

 
I think St. Louis should get in on the action with this advertising. The politically correct will find this a bit disturbing, after all, we are talking about blocking poor immigrants who are seeking a new life in America.

 
Admittedly, this advertising idea is a bit crass and outrageous. But we are living in the Age of Trump, which is undeniably a bit crass as well as a bit outrageous. So, let's go for it.

 
Besides, the experts say this wall is going to leak like a sieve. It won't stop determined border crossers. So, let's look at it as a kind of Welcome Wagon Wall – and St. Louis needs to advertise a big welcome on the wall.

 
Our Baseball Cardinals belong on the wall. No one has welcomed more Hispanics into the Gateway City than our Cards. For starters: Tony Pena, Luis Ordaz, Jose Oquendo, Julian Javier, Jose Jimenez, Carlos Martinez.

 
St. Louis also has a great Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HCCSTL). It welcomes Hispanic entrepreneurs with the proviso that St. Louis is in the Top 10 of "U.S. Innovation Districts." HCCSTL advertises St. Louis as: "Where You Belong!"

 
Our own local Chambers would do well to advertise our restaurants that specialize in Mexican flavors. I am not talking Taco Bell. We have some of the top Cinco de Mayo celebrations north of the border here in St. Louis at such locations as: Cantina Laredo, Canyon Café, Rosalita's, Hacienda, Milagro Modern Mexican and more.

 
Our local colleges have always welcomed international students. Some have Latin Clubs. WashU, SLU, WebU, Fontbonne and Harris Stowe should all be on the wall to welcome our neighbors from south of the border.

 
Yes, some will object to this advertising as a bridge too far, and a wall too tall. But ads welcoming newcomers may be the only way to make the best of Trump's goofy wall. To paraphrase the late President Reagan regarding Russia's Berlin Wall – "Mr. Gorbachev, it's time to advertise on this wall!"

On A More Serious Note

 
There's nothing funny about the hate speech that has accompanied the wall talk, immigration ban proposals and anti-Muslim prejudice unleashed over the past months on the local, state and national level.

 
Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, recently became alarmed at some of the language emanating from Missouri House members. She and the House Progressive Caucus issued a "Statement Against Bigotry, Hate & Anti-Semitism in the Capitol."

 
According to their statement: "We believe strongly that hate, bigotry, anti-Semitism has absolutely no place in the Missouri State Capitol ... We understand the First Amendment right of free speech, however to 'look the other way' and be silent as targeted hate crimes towards minorities, Jewish cemetery desecrations and bomb threats targeting Jewish and Muslim centers and schools increase nationwide is not acceptable."

 
Kudos to the Progressive Caucus and also to University City officials, who voted 6-0 to make the city "a welcoming community." Their action was in cooperation with Welcoming America, a group which holds:

 
"All people, including immigrants, are valued contributors who are vital to the success of our communities and shared future."

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