Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Them pesky furriners

This is a comment that I posted over here: http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2009/07/stalking_dr_isis.php#comments

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Adrienne:

You live in a housing development with lots of foreclosures, rundown properties and roach infestations. This is the fault of immigrants, legal or otherwise, who got mortgages from banks that they should not have been eligible for? Uh, you think maybe the bankers might be culpable-as well as the assholes in congress who gutted banking oversight legisation like Glass-Steagall?

Why do you suppose "illegal day laborers" piss outside? Is it because they are not allowed in the library or are they animals? If it's because they have no manners than the most expedient course would be to arrest a few of them for public urination or provide some outdoor toilet facilities.

You say you can't translate your housing boards documents into spanish? And you don't speak spanish, apparently. I don't know how large a community you live in, but if you've got enough "illegals immigrants", as you like to call them, in your area, there must be at least a few of them who speak passable english and can read same. Have you tried working with them instead of your stupid, lazy, filthy, unamerican neighbors?

Actually, I think you do "viscerally" hate those immigrants that you think are somehow "less" than your grandparents were when they came to this country. It's not a reasonable reaction, it's a "gut" reaction and one that you buttress with your facts, figures and complaints against certain members of the group.

You ask:

"Pssst- here's a question for you. How do large numbers of people coming into the US from *one* area of the world and speaking a single language (not the English language)--and one country in particular--make the US more "diverse"?"

Think Germans, Jews, Poles, Italians, Greeks, Russians, Armenicans, Serbs, Scandinavians, Vietnamese, Lao and Khmer (not an exhaustive list). Of course many of their children learned to speak english. In fact, quite a few of them have gone on to have children and grandchildren who are white enough, bright enough and speak the language well enough that they can get theirs and say, "I really, really don't HATE those ignorant, filthy, funny talking people; but none of THEM should be allowed in my country."

You can cherry pick and quotemine all of the sources you like. I'm quite sure that if one digs deep enough they can find quotes by someone else with a pedigree of liberalism, like Barbara Boxer whose stance on immigration (as characterized by your quote) is in diametrical opposition to Ms. Boxer's. Cesar Chavez was a great man but hardly a saint.

You say:

"And yes, I will admit I first became interested in this issue when I started being negatively affected by it directly. But the more I've researched it, the more I've come to realize how deleterious large scale illegal immigration is...to the environment, to the native-born poor, to the economy...the list goes on and on."

How, exactly, have undocumented immigrants affected your life? Please be specific. Speaking of environmental impacts; it appears that Mr. Bush's backyard fence is creating some horrific problems for various desert flora and fauna that had no idea that they were either mexican or U.S. residents.

IF we could get rid of all the "illegals" then who would do the scut work that is so frequently their lot in this life? Who will clean the toilets at the ballparks, pick up garbage, work at the McDonalds in the "bad neighborhoods, fight our wars--today's native born, white americans? How much do you think trash collection, Big Mac's and tickets for sporting events and concerts will cost if we simply get rid of all of the "illegals". Working for lower wages, paying lots of taxes (sales, mostly) and spending most of their income--because they really have no choice, undocumented workers represent a huge cash bump in the U.S. economy. IF they could be magically swept off the board, do you really think that nothing else would change, and change in ways that you might term as "adverse"?

When I worked in Boston, a local chain of coffee shop/cafes was staffed, almost exclusively by foreign born workers. Many of them were Guatemalan and Colombian. Most of them also worked as cleaners in the same high rises from which their clientele descended to get their bagels and coffee. They were unfailingly polite, generally quite cheerful and extremely industrious. I spoke to them (their english language skills were not always great but we managed) about their families and their living situations. They were so happy to be here, for the most part--and they seemed always happy to work on their language skills with me or others who took a moment to chat when their work permitted. One young man became a manager of another store in the chain and when he finished his shift, he would come to the store in my building, pick up his wife and then, together they would go and pick up their children who attended a private, catholic school. After that, they would go their second job, cleaning offices. Lazy, indifferent, uneducated or unkempt--they were none of those things.

You seem to view the people you think of as "illegal immigrants" as a horde of invaders. I prefer to focus on the individuals that I meet and interact with. You say that these people have an adverse impact on your life. That has not been my experience in about 95% of the encounters that I have had. I wish I could say the same for native born U.S. citizens.

I know you don't care what I think. Likewise, I don't really care what you think. Neither of us is ever going to convince the other that their position is reflective of anything except their own prejudicial thinking. My prejudice on the subject of immigrateion tends in the direction of inclusion, yours tends in the direction of exclusion.

Posted by: democommie | July 7, 2009 8:36 AM

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I don't think that people really understand how much of a difference it would make if we had the lower end of our service economy jobs either paying much more per hour or simply not being filled. I don't think that most young native born americans are lazy--although they do seem to have a WEE sense of entitlement. I'm quite sure that most of the "illegals" are not lazy, stupid or criminal (aside from any immigration laws they might be breaking).

Tell me I'm wrong, but please don't tell me I'm wrong because some of the "illegals" are not good people. We just went through eight years of having a complete moron run this country, a native born complete moron, along with his cabal of native born fellow assholes.

2 comments:

Nancy Green said...

it worries me that so many people see a non-anglo last name and assume that the person is an immigrant, and sometimes assume that they are illegal.

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