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I’ve recently been thinking about what it would take for me to leave my country to go somewhere else. I’ve wondered what it would take for me to give up everything I own, everyone I know, my family, the familiarity I have with my surroundings, etc.
It would be a very difficult thing for me to do, even though I have the privilege of belonging to a race that will likely be welcomed in most places in the world. Even though I have the privilege of the means to drive or fly there. To come in the front door. To not be rejected out-of-hand due to my skin color. To not be assumed to be entering that country for the sake of taking something from those who were born there.
With all that going for me, I’m still here. Not because I think that America is the only place in the world in which I could live peacefully. It isn’t. Not because America is the only democracy in the world. It isn’t. Not because America is the safest country in the world. Or has the best health care. Or the longest life-span. Or the most honest politicians. It isn’t and it’s not. I stay here because this is my home.
Now, imagine if you take away all the privileges I’ve listed above. The privilege to be welcomed. The means to enter legally, through the front door. The privilege that assumes that I have something to offer the new country.
Imagine if, prior to leaving, I know that I will be rejected for my skin color, assumed to be stealing someone’s job. Imagine if I already know that I’ve got to walk, along with my family, through miles of deserts with little food or water. Knowing that after traveling for days in the hot sun that I might be caught and sent back. Knowing that I, or my family, could die trying.
And yet, I still came.
If some of us would try to imagine the love that these people must have for what we, in America, offer. Imagine what courage it takes for someone to make that journey, knowing that he might be sent back. Or, even if he makes it, knowing that he will be hiding from the law, hated for his nationality, ridiculed as lazy and only wanting something for nothing, like welfare or food stamps.
How many natural-born Americans would go to those extremes to be Americans? Immigrants, both legal and illegal, apparently love America so much that rather than ridicule them, we should be throwing them lifelines when they wash up on shore. Or border patrols should be searching for them to help them cross, rather than turn them away. We should have provisions for them to come and do the jobs that Americans have proven time and again that they don’t want to do, and thank them for it.
If you think about how much you must want to be in a country for you to risk your future at best, or your life at worst, then you understand that many of these immigrants are the ultimate American patriots-and we should be welcoming them.
I now that this may seem a bit insensitive to some, but I was thinking about the premise that “illegal aliens” take Americans’ jobs…
I’ve lived in two places in my life. New Jersey and Florida, both of which have more than their share of what are referred to as illegal aliens. In the 45 years or so that I’ve been part of the workforce, from unskilled car washer in a NJ car dealership to a business owner, General Manager and CFO of others’ companies, I’ve never, not once, had my job taken from me and given to one of the people in question.
So, it struck me…(here comes the insensitive part) if you feel as if your job is threatened by someone who barely, if at all, speaks English, has no resume’, can’t pass a background check, has no job history or references, few marketable skills, no driver’s license and little or no documented education…I can’t help but wonder, are you more frightened of them, or of your being reminded of your own failures? Might it have been your career choices and abject lack of value in the workforce that makes you so imminently replaceable by such an unlikely group? Does your expressed hatred of them mask a hidden disappointment in yourself? Do you find any embarrassment in complaining that those people could so easily take your job? Huh? Huh?
Here is a list of all the groups that I receive hate mail about. Most of it admonishes me for defending members of these groups. Most are also quite reductive in their sentiments. It makes me wonder if we, as Americans, pride ourselves on how many different groups we can hate. To wit…
.Mexicans are invading our culture and taking our jobs. They want what we got.
.Blacks are invading our culture, filling our jails, raping our women and destroying our music. They want what we got.
.Muslims and other Non-Christians, (except in some cases, Jews) are invading our culture, trying persuade us to face Mecca on our knees 5 times daily or some other weird religious traditions (unlike Baptists who drink snake blood and kill live chickens) such as grow beards and make our women cover up with hijabs and force us to follow Sharia law, secretly planning to launch terrorist attacks from within the country and want to convert us all to Islam. They want what we got.
.Communists are invading our culture and want to subjugate us to their failed system of government and make us all allegiant to a dictator. They want what we got.
. Gays are trying to convert us to their lifestyle and have sex with our children. They want to subvert our religion and destroy our families. They don’t want what we got, they got their own, thanks.
Please let me know if I’ve missed anyone.
The point is that when taken in context, we’re some hatin’ sumbitches, aren’t we? But we tell the world that we’re the peacemakers. I know that they don’t believe it, which is why so much of the world is perfectly willing to hate us right back, and we wonder why…
Are we that special, or that stupid?
On March 3rd of this year, Rudy Giuliani, ex-mayor of NYC, Republican Presidential candidate and 9/11 Tourette syndrome poster-child, said, “Putin decides what he wants to do, and he does it in half a day. That’s what you call a leader. President Obama has to think about things first”. http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/03/03/on-fox-giuliani-praises-putin-hes-what-you-call/198316
Soon after on Fox’s The Kelly File, Fox strategic analyst Ralph Peters referred to Putin as a “real leader” who, unlike Obama, “believes in his country”.
Another conservative pundit praised Putin because “he likes to hang out with his shirt off and tells the West if you mess with me I’ll kill you all.” Even half-term, half-wit Sarah Palin compared the conservative’s hero with President Obama and said, ”people look at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil, and our President wears mom jeans and equivocates.” (How ridiculous! Since when does Sarah Palin use words like “equivocates”? I’m still trying to figure out what “refudiate” means.)
Another Fox analyst said, “In Putin, you’ve got a big strong guy, muscular and shirtless on a horse who wrestles tigers, (they have horses who wrestle tigers?) while the President wears mom jeans.” It is unclear why conservatives are obsessed with mom jeans, whatever they are, but it is likely an effort to compare President Obama’s diplomacy-first foreign policy with a big shirtless leader who subscribes to the George W. Bush foreign policy of pre-emptively invading sovereign nations; the conservative’s idea of a “real leader.”
Yet, as of now, the ruble has plummeted 50% against the dollar this year, both Apple and General Motors have suspended sales in Russia because of staggering inflation (remember when we were supposed to get that?), Russians are once again finding themselves on food lines and Russia is a pariah among nations due to its invasion of Crimea and Ukraine. Leadership, bitches!
Oh and, in case you hadn’t noticed, oil is down almost 50% (remember when high oil prices were blamed on Obama? We’ll take the praise now for the low prices, thank-you), the Dow is approaching 18,000 and the American economy is booming. But Obama keeps his shirt on and wears mom-jeans. Oh yeah and he, ahh, err, “thinks about things first”. What a wimp, am I right? I mean, who wants a leader who thinks?
Hmmm, I wonder who’s on Fox today? Maybe Dick Cheney telling us he’d torture again in a minute, Mitt Romney telling us how bad a job Obama is doing on the economy, and Jeb Bush (with his wife, who is a Mexican immigrant), telling us how all those Mexicans should be sent home. Or, maybe Marco Rubio (who’s parents are Cuban immigrants) will tell us why its un-American to help Cubans, (you know, as compared to Iraqis, Syrians, Israelis, Afghanis and everybody else).
Yup, Fox reports and you decide. They report reductive, fear-mongering, racist scare tactics, and my Repub friends decide to keep watching and believe everything they say.
To all you people who conveniently forget all the things that are said on Fox that are ignorant, fact-challenged and just plain old lies, don’t worry. I’ll keep reminding you…
Because as long as you keep watching and believing, someone needs to.
Aren’t you tired of listening to these idiots who continue to treat you like one?
So, right after the election, co-dolts John Boehner and Mitch McConnell both whined how the President wasn’t cow-towing to their whims, with the justification for that expectation being that the American people had given the Repubs a “mandate” by electing so many of them to congress and state governorships.
I guess that makes sense, since the Repubs were so cooperative after the American people gave the Democrats a “mandate” when they elected Barack Obama-twice! Seems only fair…
Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, the latest Repub led investigation into, you guessed it, Benghazi, was released late last night, you know the night that you release information to the news media that embarrasses you, hoping that since the weekend is coming no one will bother reading it. Yes, the latest Congressional investigation, lead by Repubs, found no wrong-doing on the part of the administration, Hillary Clinton, the CIA or anyone involved. Nothing. So, now we have this investigation as well as that of convicted criminal and Congressman Darrell Issa, finding no wrong-doing regarding Benghazi.
I’m expecting a very well publicized, heart-felt thank you to Barack Obama for commencing what the Repubs have been too cowardly to do for nearly two years, that is, pass a law on immigration reform. After all, now that Repubs have, for the umpteenth time, been revealed as the cowardly, low-IQ, uninformed, gullible, reductive, third-grade reading level, gun-worshiping, Duck Dynasty and Cliven Bundy defending, malodorous racists that they are, what else would Fox “News” have to talk about? Well, now they can talk about how weak Obama is, while at the same time trying to reconcile that with the fact that he is defying the do-nothing Congress and actually governing, showing that he’s more concerned with doing his job than looking good in front of the camera, and that he’s got bigger balls than collectively every Repub who’s ever lived.
Hey, I haven’t heard much about Obama’s birth certificate lately. Anybody got anything new on that? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
What better way is there to avoid the burden of thought, the demands of rationality and the challenge of rectitude?
When those of us for whom veracity and truth require too much work, thought and time away from watching professional sports to be of value, we simply replace those efforts with an all-encompassing word or phrase. This not only allows us to identify with those others of the synaptically challenged who need these intellectual shortcuts, but it makes us sound relevant, informed and, I guess, hip. Most of these words, when reduced to their essence, are simply euphemisms for Evil and Good.
Words like Hero, Patriot and Ally tacitly identify those being spoken of as those who do that with which we agree. Yet, Evil, Terrorist and Enemy tend to tacitly identify those with whom we must contend, correct, re-educate, imprison, or kill. You know, those other guys.
Evil is a convenient way to identify those who harm and kill those with whom we agree, yet Good is an antonym, or a way of identifying those who do the same to those with whom we do not. When someone we like kills someone we don’t, that killer is often identified as good, whereas when those who have been killed by our guy return the favor, they are called Evil. Yet the things they’ve done are exactly equal.
Few would defend a black kid killing a white (or any color) cop. Obversely, we have Ferguson, Missouri, where a white cop killed a black kid and where over $300,000 has been raised to defend the cop, yet the memorial fund for Michael Brown currently totals about $130,000. Good and Evil. White cop, black kid. Except for the fact that the only thing we can be certain about in this case is that THE KID IS DEAD.
Barack Obama has been called a terrorist (Evil), yet Ted Nugent, Cliven Bundy and Phil Robertson have been called Patriots (Good). If I need to explain that irony, I, ah, err, well, you got me beat on that one.
Saddam Hussein was called a terrorist by many who enjoyed repeating the word and by some who likely couldn’t spell it, but he wasn’t. He may have been a dictator, murderer and all-around bad guy, but anyone who understands what the word terrorist actually means realizes the difference. To all the others it was simple. Since terrorists are bad, everyone who we think is bad is a…terrorist. See? Saddam Hussein and Barack Obama-terrorists! Simple!
There are even good (Christian) and evil (Islam) religions, depending on whom you ask. Even within the same belief system, there are good (Baptists) and bad (Catholics, if you ask many Baptists). Within Islam, Sunni and Shia will debate, or behead, those who are of the other camp. You know, the good guys versus the bad guys.
The Minuteman Project refer to themselves as Patriots because they claim to “close holes that allow illegal entry of drugs and people into the US”. Notice how they toss in the word “drugs” to legitimize themselves, even though they do absolutely no drug interdiction, since drug smuggling is way too sophisticated and too large in scope to be done in small quantities by kids walking across the desert. What they actually do is keep poor, hungry people from entering the country, to keep them from taking all the lawn maintenance, kitchen staff and child-care jobs that us white folk are just clamoring for. They are protecting us from all those evil Mexicans who have propagated terrorist attacks upon us, you know like when…well, I can’t think of any right now either.
Basically, this group, like those who showed up at Clive Bundy’s ranch, are just a bunch of Tea Party apologist gun owners who are disappointed that Obama’s re-election never caused the violent people’s uprising and revolution they were so confidently and longingly predicting, and since they spent the food money on all these extra guns, bullets and desert camo formal wear, they need to show their friends and wives that they are not the mouth-breathing, violence-loving imbeciles that they appear to be. They need to find a reason, any reason, for being armed to the teeth and fully strapped when they go to the Piggly Wiggly to buy Pampers. But I digress…
Yup, its easier to label someone with that which comports with your poorly-thought-out, black and white, good and evil, anti-education, good-ole-boy view of the world than it is to actually spend a minute or two thinking about it. Just like sports. There’s always an easily-identified good guy and bad guy; the good guy, of course, being the team that you, for some arcane and simplistic reason, support. The colors, the mascots, the team symbols and other shiny objects all being those which make you feel at home.
There is actually a book written by Tim Green called Football Hero about a kid who wants to be a professional football player. Curious word, Hero. Al Qaeda used it to describe those who brought down the World Trade Center on 9/11. We use the Exact. Same. Word. to describe our 9/11 first responders.
And, apparently, people who strive to get into the NFL.
Interesting irony, that. Makes one wonder if anyone will actually do the math and reconsider their use of these simplistic words.
Nah. Who the fuck am I kidding…
Examples of foreigners and immigrants allowed to stay in the US, and take American jobs, by simple executive order of the President. Not by act of Congress, not by request of the states, but by that Constitution destroying socialist President who is just trying to gin up more Democratic votes!
1. 200,000 Nicaraguans given asylum
2. 150,000 Cubans given asylum after the Mariel boat lift
3. 150,000 Salvadorans allowed to stay past their visa expiration dates
4. 500,000 green card holders from South America allowed to stay if they enlist in the army
5. 2,000,000 Vietnamese (our enemies) allowed to enter the US and stay without passports or visas!
Ok, ok, you know me better than that, right? You know that all of the above are examples of other Presidents using executive authority. Yes, that thing that Repubs call “shredding the Constitution” to allow various people in the country under extraordinary circumstances.
In order, the Presidents were:
4. George “Cowboy” Bush
5. Carter, Reagan, GHW Bush
So, when Barack Obama does it again, (and he’s going to, soon), and your Repub friends cry “Socialist Dictator!”, just show them the above. And note that God’s right-hand man, Ronald Reagan, did it more than anyone.
Hey, I’m only here trying to help