Over the weekend, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released specifics on Donald Trump's proposed border wall for contractors to take a look at. The agency posted two different options for contractors willing to take the job: one for a solid concrete wall, another for "a see-through component/capability" that is "operationally advantageous," (whatever that means).
As NPR reported, at the behest of the White House the CBP also released their aesthetic requirements:
"The north side of wall (i.e. U.S. facing side) shall be aesthetically pleasing in color, anti-climb texture, etc., to be consistent with general surrounding environment," the CBP says. There's no mention of the aesthetics on the Mexican side.
Or as Fox News helpfully summarized:
The thinly veiled racism here is remarkable -- the Trump administration wants a wall that looks shiny and beautiful on one side, and like a concrete prison slab on the other. Because why should Mexicans get nice things? With Trump's promise to put "America First", he can't even be bothered to extend simple courtesies to other countries, like shaking hands with their leaders, or consulting them over gigantic walls they are supposedly paying for. The wall itself is of course deeply racist and insulting to Mexicans, but Trump's new requirements simply add further insult to injury.
Perhaps this is Trump's not-so-subtle attempt to placate Americans with some good old fashioned xenophobia, because they are going to end up paying for the wall anyway.