[Theme of the Week]
If you're a liberal, immigration is a weird issue. Yeah, it's a security risk, but no where near as serious as the ports. There are a host of social and economic justice issues, trade issues, and environmental issues, but they're relatively slow-burning. A liberal can turn her mind to the issue, but it doesn't seem particularly juicy. Righties? Immigration is the issue. I was watching it emerge through the labyrinth of conservative talking points until it seemed like a real issue (issues on the right often seem to flare violently from nowhere--remember Terri Schiavo?--before vanishing into the ether), but I didn't really understand it until this week that immigration had ascended.
On my other blog, BlueOregon, the Oregon Secretary of State's communication director, Anne Martens, posted her thoughts on immigration--"Brown is the New Black."
There has been more and more anti-immigrant sentiment lately. And by anti-immigrant, I mean anti-Mexican. I'm sick of it. It's time to call this what it is: racism.She posted it on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 21, and it got 21 comments that day--robust but unextraordinary. The next day, another 35 comments came in (again, unextraordinary). Somewhere along the line, the righties got a hold of it (Victoria Taft, a local screecher, other nuts, also here, and apparently a mention by local--and national--Limbaugh wannabe, Lars Larson), which ultimately led to a state Rep (Linda Flores--R, Clackamas) holding a rally at the state Capitol to rail against illegal immigration. This created a nuclear explosion on the thread, which has at this writing 151 comments--a record for BlueOregon.
Intelligent responses to Anne's critique included the usual misogyny:
"Where did they find this little small-minded left-wing bitch?"And also beyond-the-pale jingoism.
"Can you believe she lives alone with her cat?"
"She is an arrogant fool. That you haven't been fired for your anti-AMERICAN statements is no surprise. It confirms that Oregon law and U.S. law mean nothing to liberals."Clearly, there's something going on here among the righty crowd. This week, in coordination with the Senate's consideration, I'll look into immigration, including the right-wing fascination with it and why Anne was right about one element of the debate being deeply racist. Even for liberals, it should be an interesting topic.