Thursday, November 16, 2006

Illegal Aliens From Another Planet

Now here's a topic that has created "strange bedfellows," to quote one friend. Seems more of you want to know my take on "illegal aliens" than on just about any other topic besides who's going to run for president in '08 (and who could win, who's going to win).

As for illegal aliens, note the words: illegal and aliens. Good old-fashioned, red meat and Freedom Fries pounding Americans are not beyond feeling privileged, and that quickly translates into latent if not outright racism. Yes, need their cheap (read: slave) labor or not, live anywhere near them or not, shooting the sentimental breeze about America as "the great melting pot" OR NOT, it's really just an "I don't feel so good today, and me and my kind are better than them." Like many seething Muslims and in-your-face Jews, too many Americans are suckers for the "God's chosen people" schtick, no matter that their ancestors were immigrants. They'd say that their ancestors were not (most likely) illegal aliens. They were DESTINED to be Americans! "They EARNED it!" By contrast, these frustrated remote-controllers would say the new breed of border bashers aren't lofty minded citizens, not even orderly immigrants under the law, the radio heads would say, they're pirates. They're outlaws.

There ARE actually many reasons to be concerned about the illegal immigrant situation, many good reasons to consider the complexities and inexorable forces involved. But deep down, at heart, what we hear mostly is just the spouting off of misdirected bile, at root tribalism and racism and xenophobia and other fears all over again.

Such Mama And Apple Pie Hotheads don't seem to realize that using one's supposed virtues as swords negates their value as virtues. Radio blather and the newly gutterized "News Talk" are ripe for anger and bile, not subtlety, not even sense. No high school debate team would stoop so low, but then it is a small minority of callers to radio shows who sound as if they ever got out of juvenile detention.

To get down to it, the fear behind these anxious tirades, people here, actual citizens of the first and tenth generations, are in tight spots like mad for their jobs and dreams of ever increasing incomes. They're leveraged to the hilt, meaning they've got wads of credit card debt hounding them already. And they want somebody ELSE to blame for their anguish.

Somebody else to blame.

Taking responsibility is a lot harder than griping.


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