Task 2a: The political conflict over the wall between the USA and Mexico

Outline of ‘Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall?’ by Tom Russell

Task 2a asks you to discuss the political conflict that has developed over the proposed building of a wall between the USA and Mexico, referring to the lyrics of the song "Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall?" by Tom Russell in Appendix 1.

Russell is an American singer whose music has country and rock elements. He released the song "Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall?" in 2006 as a response to the debate over controlling US borders, and specifically to ongoing attempts by politicians to strengthen the border between the US and Mexico.

The song begins by talking about the border between US and Mexico and how the government talks about building a wall and sending illegal immigrants back home. Russell compares this to the Berlin wall. The singer moves to the chorus in which he talks about the irony of building the wall. To build it, the US needs immigrants because most immigrants work in low paying jobs like construction, cleaning services, sales, babysitting, or in the food industry.

The singer states that he is not political and does not support any political party, and then moves on to criticize a consumer society represented by malls which, according to him, leads to inequalities on the job market.


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