EDITORIAL: How the wall hurts our state



Last week, Republican lawmakers in the West Virginia House of Delegates proposed an idea to send $10 million of the state’s money to help fund President Donald Trump’s border wall. 

$10 million.

Take a look at our state, and you will notice crumbling roads, full of potholes, in need of serious repair. You will see an abundance of schools that are underfunded; some of these schools have moldy classrooms that need updated. Just last year, public schoolteachers and school personnel went on strike to protest low pay and high health insurance costs, and the state had to seemingly scramble to find money to satisfy the teachers’ demands. 

Let us not forget about the opioid crisis here, either. Though our state is continuing to see progress, the fight is far from over, and additional funds would do recovery programs and those living in poverty a world of good. 

If you look even closer at our beautiful state, it is not hard to notice that most of the people here are not tourists. Additionally, the state’s population is continuing to decline. Fewer people are willing to travel here because of road conditions and because of the negative impressions we continue to leave in the news, most recently the news about our lawmakers and their eagerness to give away $10 million. 

Imagine how much good $10 million would do if it stayed in West Virginia. Yes, it is part of an almost $200 million surplus, but not a penny of that money should be spent on anything but bettering our state. Not when West Virginia is in such desperate need and deserves the attention of the politicians who care more about President Trump and the federal government. Perhaps if those elected to represent us took the time to listen to and understand our discontent, they would help us. They would not allow themselves to fund the wall and try to deny anyone the chance at the American dream, especially when so many West Virginians have to travel outside of the state to experience that dream for themselves. 

By using this money to contribute to a wall thousands of miles away, these lawmakers are, however inadvertently, creating another wall. This wall is between West Virginia and its once-loyal people, though it is more emotional than physical. Many people leave, and they do not return. A wall is built around their love and memories for the state they were born in, and this wall is funded by poor conditions and lack of respect from those in state government. This wall does not cast shadows on the ground; instead, it darkens the hearts of our people, and they realize they have had enough. They leave, and the wall keeps them away. This wall is permanent, and it is scary.

It is getting harder to love a state that does not seem to love its people in return.