Thought Experiment

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know nothing.jpgA propos the BroderDouthatWill-et al. judgment that Arizona legislators and their constituents aren’t to blame for trampling the Constitution and ratcheting up anti-immigrant prejudice because the real responsibility belongs to Washington for failing to provide adequate border control: Shall we similarly excuse the anti-Catholic bigotry of the Know-Nothings because Congress failed to halt Irish immigration during the Potato Famine?

Extra credit: Should the aforesaid be considered examples of “situational ethics”?

  • I always thought that Republicans wanted government to be small, because government is bad. Yet, government is not bad when white baby boomers need Medicare nor when petty drug users of color are sent to prison or when unleashing the cops on brown people. Funny thing is that if Republicans were really skeptical of government and its misuse they’d probably have more Latinos (particularly immigrants). Why Latino immigrant leave their home countries? Lack of opportunity and governments that are not responsive to their needs. As such many immigrants are probably skeptical of government power. Instead of exploiting this anti-government skepticism, Republicans are unleashing the police state on Latino immigrants in a way not unlike many of the governments they have run away from. The impact is that many will probably leave. The problem is those of us who are citizens or who will become citizens, we now know that the GOP will do anything to use the government they supposedly hate to keep us down. In a two-party system, where do you go?

  • What is interesting is the complete support among white racists, many of whom hold strong sectarian Christian commitments (as I show in a paper which will almost certainly never be published, for policies designed at policing out immigrants. In contrast, they seem to have no stomach for policies which would provide “supply side” solutions—fining or imprisoning people and corporate agents who hire illegal immigrants. The assertion is that immigration is bad (because immigrants are dirty ethnic non-Christians–or worse, Catholics), all immigration is illegal, and it’s the fault of the immigrants. In reality, most immigrants are legal. Most are essential to the functioning of our economy. Many are non-Christian (especially the Asians). AND, beyond the first generation, most of these brown folk are citizens of the United States of America. But, the sorry fact is that they very rarely vote—or the Arizona State Legislature wouldn’t be full of right wing racist Anglos.