Monday, February 26, 2018

Too cowardly to express raw hatred for immigrants, foes slur them as criminals




     I hate Mexican immigrants. Whenever I hear someone speaking in Spanish, I want to scream. Bottles of hot sauce set out on restaurant tables annoy me. The mere suggestion that the United States is becoming increasingly Hispanic sickens and offends me.
     None of the above is true.
     At least not true for me. In fact, I feel exactly the opposite of each hateful sentiment expressed in the opening paragraph.
     Then why say it? Because these opinions, though rarely articulated, are held by many Americans. I wrote them out to show that it could be done. Frankly, I wish it were done. Because, being unable to state their true feelings, perhaps out of an appropriate if unrecognized shame, they instead make claims that are far worse.
     Take Jeanne Ives, the Illinois state legislator running against Bruce Rauner in the Republican primary for governor.
      Her campaign has produced a number of TV commercials playing upon the fears of Illinois voters. One particularly offensive piece of propaganda features a man named Brian McCann, who talks about how his brother Dennis was killed by a drunken driver named Saul Chavez. He leaps from the specific to the general.
      "Thousands upon thousand of people have been victims of murders, all manner of felonies, rapes, because of illegal criminals that are in this country and we want them removed," McCann intones gravely.

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17 comments:

  1. It looks like the Republican gubernatorial primary between Rauner and Ives should prove interesting. A county by county map can be constructed identifying the pockets of Republican racism. Racist will select Ives, versus those who are concerned about the economic future of Illinois. Curious to see where the voters in Wayne County fall on the scale o' hate.

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  2. Unfortunately the right specializes in the I-am-rubber-you-are-glue technique, throwing back our keen observations with dreary regularity. Everything that doesn't emanate from Fox is "fake news" and we on the left "hate" Trump and despise his followers. They're right about the last one. Reason left the building long ago.

    john

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  3. To me the most disgusting aspect of the Jeanne Ives candidacy isn't even Jeanne Ives herself. She's disgusting, certainly, but she's like the frozen snake in Trump's metaphor: She can't help herself and doesn't know any better.

    No, who's truly disgusting is Bruce Rauner, for not calling her out, even though he undoubtedly does know better. It would be uplifting and ennobling if he would appeal to Republican primary voters along the lines of, "This is not who we are. We're not haters. I call on my fellow Republicans to reject these naked appeals to bigotry. We will not win elections by setting Americans against each other."

    Instead, what is Rauner giving us? Lame, farfetched attempts to tie Ives to Mike Madigan, the source of all evil and woe in Illinois. It's the one trick this pony has, and he may have worn it out by now.

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    1. "This is not who we are. ... We will not win elections by setting Americans against each other." So, you want him to lie, Scribe? ; )

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  4. Trump's anti-immigrant sentiment is so clearly rooted in racism that his defenders should be deeply embarrassed. ( I know they're not, they're too stupid or sociopathic to feel embarrassment.) His wife is an immigrant and his mother was, too. His mother. Oh, but they're whitefolk so they're okay...

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    1. Lucky for Trump it's not 1922. Melania is Slovenian. She would have qualified for the "hunkie" racial slur. A lot of Trumpians would not have tolerated her.

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    2. Is Brian McCann really as stupid as he sounds? Drunken drivers who kill are all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, faiths, and ethnicities. Had Dennis been struck by someone Asian or Middle Eastern, he would still be just as dead. And what if he had been killed by a Norwegian? Or even worse...a fellow Irishman? Or perhaps a Jewish guy? Oops, better scratch that last one, since "we" all know that Jews are not drinkers--or white.

      When a young clown on his phone ran a red light and T-boned my car, I was too upset with the loss of my vehicle, and what easily could also have been the loss of my spouse, to give much of a damn that the other driver wasn't Caucasian. Funny how color-blind you get when your wife is being loaded into an ambulance. Maybe I just answered my own question...and Mc Cann IS that stupid.

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  5. Hello Steinberg,

    "offensive piece of propaganda" Hmmm, your paper covered my brother's death, but failed to cover how the killer was allowed to flee to Mexico. Oops. I guess that's propaganda as well. Let's have a discussion about real murders to real people in history. I'd call but no e-mail or number.

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    1. My email is the easiest thing in the world to find: nsteinberg@suntimes.com. I'm sorry for your grief, but lots of people have losses without becoming tools for haters. I'd be happy to discuss that with you. On the record. For the paper.

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    2. Mr. McCann: Exactly what could ICE have done in this case? The only thing they can do to undocumented immigrants is deport them, which would have put the killer exactly where he is today, in Mexico.

      If anyone "allowed" this man to flee to Mexico, it was the judge. If you want to argue that the judge in your brother's case should have ordered the defendant held without bail, that's one thing. But saying that there was some connection between his undocumented status and his ability to flee, which somehow makes it necessary to hunt down undocumented immigrants en masse, is naive at best.

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  6. If you're waiting patiently in a long line on the expressway to get into the ramp Lane that goes on for a mile and it's going to take 20 minutes when you get up to the ramp and some car has come down through the other lane and jumps in front of you in the line it's pretty aggravating. Nobody likes this . now some people honk their horn flash their lights pull up close to the car in front of them and won't let that guy get in which basically is the reason that the line is so long and that everybody's waiting extra time .well except the guy who went all the way to the front and then cut in.
    Nobody likes this and the person who cut in is an a******.
    Some people are like the guy flashing his lights and pulling up close to the car in front not letting the guy pull in.
    Some people say ah what the hell he must be in a hurry what do I care.
    This is how a lot of people feel about illegal immigration the same way they feel about the guy cutting in line on the expressway pretty damn aggravating.
    Does that really make them racist and full of hate? I don't know. you can be aggravated with illegal immigration and not be a Racist Prick.
    And just be aggravated about something that really shouldn't be happening. everybody should get in line wait their turn act like civil people no matter how big a hurry their in or how important it is to them to get there quickly. Don't you just wish the cops were there to give the guy a ticket?
    I mean he deserves one right? If you're annoyed that somebody jump in line to get in the country before the people that are waiting through the process why do you have to be dedicated and called names. And if you're unfortunate enough that somebody who entered the country illegally harms someone you love why isn't it right anger? The whole thing's been politicized beyond the basic facts. But it doesn't change the fact that to immigrate to America you're supposed to fill out the paperwork and not just climb over a river bank. Right? And just because you're here and you've been here for a while and you're a decent person working a job and raising your family does that mean you don't have to go back home and get in line? I'm sure you think I don't get it I'm sure that's exactly what people are going to say you just don't get it okay you're right I don't get it. Unless they change the situation to open borders where people can come and go where they please . You haveYou have to laws. Or what kind of a society do we have? One where you get to pick the laws that you choose to obey?

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    1. On the whole, one of the more cogent comments on this topic I have seen. I don't agree with a lot of what you say, but it sounds at least somewhat rationale.

      I do have a question for you. Why did you use the phrase "climb over a river bank"? There are a lot of ways to enter this country and not just from the south. A high percentage of undocumented immigrants are from Europe, for example.

      I am not calling you a racist, but your choice of words is interesting. It seems that most of the people who on your side of the issue seem to focus on Mexican or Central American undocumented immigrants. Why is that?

      Also, yes, if a person is killed by a drunk driver who is also an undocumented immigrant, of course that person can be angry. Angry that the person was driving drunk. That is what caused the death, not the person's undocumented status.

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    2. I chose the phrase climbing over a riverbank because generally when discussing racism their is a component of skin color involved and I wanted to indicate migration from the south as compared to mostly white people coming from other places .

      I think that even if it is Latinos from Mexico, central and south america that are being focused upon for their illegal entry into the country, Americans who object to this migration aren't necessarily racist because of their objection.

      I'm not on a side John. I am a proponent of open boarders . Here and throughout the world. That's why I mention that in my screed.

      If a person is harmed by anyone it is assumed if proper risk management were employed it may not have happened . We tend to paint with a broad brush . Thus all drunks are indicted when the person doing the harm was drinking it follows that if that person was Hispanic or migrated illegally that broader group can be blamed .It's bigotry, possibly racist and if it was a man sexism is possibly a factor.

      Slamming people and imagining them to be stupid because they don't see things exactly the way you do seems to be standard operating procedure on the left and the right .I'm tired of it .like I say not on either side

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    3. It isn't rational, it's deceptive. Because the people who are the most indignant are not immigrants going through the legal process, resenting those who cut in line, to use FME's metaphor. It's American citizens safely here, pouring their invective on those they feel they can safely condemn.

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    4. It's likely true the people who are most indignant are not immigrants going through the legal process. But there's no way of knowing really what the percentages are. And you have to admit that people trying to immigrate to the US are kind of up against it and might not raise their voice in the midst of the process fearing that they could Scotch up the works and not be allowed to get their permanent residency status.
      My point is that immigrants who go through the the process legally wait in line. People who complain about these immigrants are xenophobes. People who complain about immigrants who jumped to the front of the line are looking for order in society and for people to follow the laws. I understand that our immigration process is broken and needs to be repaired but everybody complaining about it isn't off base. There are some valid complaints about this entire situation. If you use your own personal circumstances for political purposes I'm not sure that you shouldn't be under scrutiny. Why can't that scrutiny be reasonable and conducted in a decent manner? I just think the more civil discourse the better off we all are. Is that irrational and deceptive as well?

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  7. I'm with FME on this one. I don't want to see any group being denied, in a general way admission to the country. "No Muslims, they're all terrorists", nothing like that. Make application, get vetted, partake in the lottery..if you meet the requirements, welcome aboard. It's the illegal part that I don't like. Illegal; against the law and therefore punishable. Break a law, get caught and you suffer consequences. And keying on the southern boarder is unfair for sure. No one sneaks across from Canada? Or sticks around when the student or work visa expires? Just follow the rules I say. I hope that doesn't brand me as racist. But anti-illegality? Yes.

    One other thing. Mr.McCann lost his brother in an awful way. No matter his stance on the matter he is grieving. Grief is tough to handle, there's no one way. But please understand his grief and don't call him names. That just seems cruel.

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    1. Of course, there is no talk of not punishing those that came in illegally.

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