Cesar Munoz: This column may not be for you
These are just a sampling of comments following the first article in a series by the Denver Post entitled “Fortress America.” I have added some context in parenthesis. “I don’t care what it costs or what the difficulties are. Put a wall on the border and put the hammer down on employers! Seventy million dollars a mile is a small price to pay to avoid being integrated into Mexico’s backwards culture. And yes they will be integrating the U.S. They reproduce at many times the average citizens’ rate.” (For this American, the immigration issue is not about money.)”Xuck’en greasers!” (The term “greaser” goes back at least to the California gold rush) “The American Southwest was taken by force from you animal beaners in the Mex-American War of 1848. Your ‘gente’ could not have deported a burrito to a taqueria back then.” (The term “beaner” is typical of naming an ethnic group or nationality by the food associated with them. During World War II, the Germans were often called “Krauts.” A “taqueria” is a taco stand.) You can probably still access these articles and comments on their website: wwwdenverpost.com. The comments are highly informative – not regarding the immigration issue, but highly revealing about people’s perceptions on the issue. (Misperceptions is probably more accurate.) Even entertaining in a perverse sort of way, like watching slasher movies. You will probably be able to read similar comments to my column at http://www.summitdaily.com. Time for triage. It’s too late for a tourniquet for some. You cannot reason with some people. So we’ll just let those bleed. Fortunately, these people can be diagnosed fairly quickly, so it is important that we let them speak – then isolate (ostracize) them to rot in the very acrid and putrid bile they secrete. Unfortunately, their numbers grow and their contagion spreads. (Do you realize that Pat Buchanan’s book, “State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America,” made it to No. 5 on the Amazon political bestseller list in October 2006?) So triage dictates I attend to those who can be saved, to those who still possess the capacity to reason. Still, even if the sick ones remain a minority, one can never underestimate the power of a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign – remember Nazi Germany. (Even today people wonder how such a civilized and culturally advanced nation could sink to the depths of sponsoring genocide!)Today now, we hear a plethora of myths that permeate the debate on immigration. I can easily see how one’s “immune system” can be weakened by this barrage of misinformation, eventually failing and succumbing without a thought – and I do mean without a thought – about the integrity of the information. So here’s my prescription to ward off the pestilence of thinly disguised bigotry and boost your defense mechanisms. When you hear some pronouncement such as illegal immigrants take away U.S. jobs, ask for stats. Don’t let the conviction in the voice sway you – I call them demagogues for a reason. Nor allow yourself to fall for the cavalier approach where someone speaks with aplomb as if their statements are common and unquestionable knowledge. Chances are you won’t hear any stats or figures from Joe Six-Pack on the bar stool next to you. However, he might return the next day with some numbers. Then, just say with the proper inflection, “… and your source is?” If you’d like, you can launch a pre-emptive strike by issuing the following caveat before he/she speaks: “Bogus blogs and politicians are not legitimate nor reliable sources, especially blogs sponsored by political organizations with agendas.” If you want to take the offensive and give your own stats just drop me an e-mail. I’ve got stats, studies and books from reliable sources. My library’s always open. Until then, stay healthy.Cesar Munoz writes a monthly column about immigration issues. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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