Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The war on immigrants

This is a good, angry essay by Steve Lendman on our current national dialogue on immigration. That is, if you can call it a "dialogue"; I'd suggest a better term is "spittle-flecked shouting match."

Here's a snippet, but read the whole thing:

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore." Once that was true, but no longer. Emma Lazarus’ beautiful and memorable words we’ve all heard many times and know well are fading into memory. If we’re honest, they should be removed from "Lady Liberty" and be replaced with something like: We’ll take your Anglos, especially well-off ones, and the ones we choose with needed skills; you keep the rest, especially your poor, dark-skinned and desperate. We needed ’em once for our homegrown sweatshops. No longer. We’ve got plenty all around the world. It now looks like we’ll make an exception though for the menial or toughest low pay, no benefits, no security jobs no one else wants. We’re still debating it and will let you know.

...Long ago we were building a new nation, needed lots of labor and threw open our doors. Now we can be as picky as we choose and even slam the door and bolt it, except for the special skills we need or the few privileged we always welcome who can jump the queue to get in. We still need lots of help to pick strawberries and cabbages, make beds and clean commodes and so far have allowed the undocumented ones who make it here to stay for that kind of work few others want. But racist and far-right lawmakers in the Congress with a pathological desire to guard our borders like Fort Knox and close them to people with dark skins we denigrate or label potential terrorists are in a dog fight now with less extreme but hardly moderate voices there. So far we don’t know who’ll win or if it will be a draw to be replayed at a future time. We do know that if even the best of the current proposals now being debated becomes law, future immigrants, those wishing to come, and the undocumented already here will be the losers.
It doesn't take much to expose the racism embedded in this nation's fabric, does it? For shame.