Perhaps it is fitting the state flag depicts an extinct species of grizzly: Ursos Actos Californicus, which was completely wiped out within 75 years of the discovery of gold in 1848. The last grizzlies were seen in captivity in arranged fights to the death with bulls before wagering audiences. Then they were no more. We honor them in murals and as football mascots. We’ve built a mythology around them of an untrammeled Eden.
There are plans afoot to restore the grizzly to California, assuming the competing claims of other species and their affiliated lobbies can be satisfied, which they never will. We fight mightily to preserve bait fish and field grouse and feral cats. But people displaced by dirt cheap illegal labor? We are pitiless.
We applaud ourselves for our benevolence when we issue swipe cards and cheap cell phones to the dispossessed, as though this balances the scales of the injustice done to them by open borders. We leave them to lash up their pushcarts like Conestoga wagon trains and wander through their days tracing figure eights across the street grid and sleeping in storm channels. Our outrage, our public shaming, we reserve for those benighted rubes who have the exquisitely poor taste to call this Brazilianization of California by its rightful name.