Let us be clear, walls are nothing new. They have been in existence even before Christ was born, and some 49 countries have built walls along their borders since the fall of the Berlin wall 25 years ago, joining the 16 that existed previously. Besides, analysts of history mostly seem to agree that walls do not work in and of themselves, that they need supporting systems to be effective. The wall around Jerusalem, built by Nehemiah, required Bible study, prayers and obedience to God, in order to be effective.
Some have argued that if walls truly worked the way they are supposed to, then the Roman Empire, surrounded by Adrian’s wall, would still be in existence today. And the walls of Jericho, built by may never have tumbled down.
For the record, too, there is already 700miles of wall along the 2000mile US-Mexico border. Whether that has worked, or any other wall for that matter, is still quite debatable because people devise ways of going over, under, around and sometimes through walls. “Where there is a wall, there is a way” said Mr Stone.
So what do walls actually do? For one, they are considered to be a show of political force by the builders and owners. As instruments of defense, they have become ineffective against aerial attacks. As lines of demarcation, they are effective in holding on to disputed territory, and especially in places where there is a lot of squatting or where plots are small and land is scarce.
Walls fail miserably as elements of separation, as people find ways to mix and mingle, and even to marry.
There are literal and metaphorical wall; walls that are made with words. These are the invisible ones. They are not physical structures that can be broken down; but yet they cut to the core.
Sometimes, too, walls become testaments to man’s folly.