Wednesday, January 21, 2009


In the months leading up to our presidential election back in November, I was being inundated with e-mails from various uber-conservative, right wing, terrified-of-losing-their power (read: afraid of respecting the dignity of every human being) groups.

Since the election, it has slowed down somewhat; and now that our new president has been sworn in, I'm hoping it will slow to a trickle.

One of these groups calls themselves ConservativeActionAlerts. They are absolutely terrified that they are going to catch some kind of colored homosexual female generated cooties, and seem to be convinced that the Mexicans are infiltrating our great country to steal our jobs and put them all out of work (um . . . when was the last time the leaders of any of these groups were out picking strawberries or cleaning rooms at the local hotel?).

So anyway, I received another of their Screaming Meanie e-mails this evening. But before I deleted it, I just had to share the title:

Amnesty For Illegals Aliens Is Back!

I have nothing to add to that statement . . .


~**Dawn**~ | 6:53 AM, January 22, 2009  

Respectfully, we had two illegal aliens working for my employer several years ago, under SSNs that were obviously not theirs. And they were *not* making chump change either. I can say they worked hard, showed up every day and never complained no matter what they were asked to do. Of course when it was discovered that they were not here legally, they had to go. I wish I could say I was a big enough person that it didn't bother me, Rev, but given the way things are where I live, it kind of did. It affects everything from my auto insurance premiums to the cost of my health insurance here, not mention that in a struggling Central Florida job market, those two positions, could have been held by someone else for those 6 months. Now, I do not blame the new administration for that nor do I think it's fair to say that it will embrace the pratice of illegal immigration, until I actually see it happening. But I cannot say that it doesn't bother me that it happens, generally speaking. I will totally understand if you opt not to approve this comment, but I had to point out that it doesn't just take away low-paying jobs that no one wants. While it may not affect the people that send you those emails, it does affect good honest hard-working people in a lot of ways, myself included. (And now I back away from Controversial Topics, which I rarely touch with even a ten foot pole.)

Reverend Ref + | 10:02 AM, January 22, 2009  

Dawn, you make some good points; and I won't deny that there are abuses of the situation which are likely to have some serious repercussions (auto insurance premiums to the cost of my health insurance here . . .), which you mentioned in your comment. I certainly don't have the answer to the problem of illegal aliens, but I have a sort of semi-constant wondering about the issue.

The U.S. has, for generations, seen itself as "a light on a hill," a place where the beacon the hope of a better life shines brightly throughout the world. Lady Liberty holds a tablet that reads

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

The myth of our nation practically begs for the unwanted of other nations to come here.

The reality of our nation, though, says otherwise. Aside from the fact that the English, French and Spanish were illegals themselves (which is a whole other topic), our history is full of nativist movements and xenophobic legislation designed to keep the "Other" out (think especially the Irish and Chinese at two points).

So I often wonder if, in keeping with the myth, how it would work if the U.S. adjusted the immigration laws so that it wasn't such an arduous process to become a citizen. Would more people be willing to go through proper channels if those channels were user friendly? I don't know; and I don't know if that's the right answer. But I wonder.

And the number one thing that bothers me about those e-mails I receive isn't their "us first" attitude; it's their level of, what appears to me, irrational fear. They take the fear of the Other to a whole new level. They thrive on fear and they attempt to generate action (reaction?) through the fears of losing cars, homes, jobs, and (most importantly) "our way of life." And then they attempt to use that fear as a Christian principle. But fear isn't a Christian principle. Over and over again, we are called to, "Be not afraid."

And finally . . . the real reason I posted this, was because it is these same people who often say, "If you're going to come to America, then you need to speak English." Okay, fine . . . but if you're going to thump that drum, the least you can do is get your syntax correct on your screaming headlines.

And that was the real reason I posted it; because the headline made me go, "Oy."

~**Dawn**~ | 10:16 AM, January 22, 2009  

I agree. It's a darn fine mess, no matter which way you attempt coming at it. Part of me wants to say that if we can't provide for the people who are already here, by whatever means that might be, for heaven's sake, it may be time to think about this "welcoming everyone" image we have. I mean if you're coming here, tired, poor, homeless...well...heck you might stay that way once you get here too, the way things are. So many spin-off issues on this topic bother me too--those I mentioned, as well as people who show up here now expecting a handout unlike their predecessors a century ago who showed up here willing to work hard, as well those who demand "we" respect their customs, cultures, traditions, etc yet do not wish to reciprocate. It's not fair to drape everyone under that blanket statement though. Neither do I understand the fear mentailty--I don't fear it so much as I just wish there were a way to handle it efficiently, gracefully, compassionately, without having it taken advantage of or thrown back in our faces.

I have to admit though, you make a valid point with the illustration of those demanding English be spoken when our own "native" people don't. It's too bad these email-senders aren't also looking for solutions rather than just finding enjoyment in causing a stir with no real intention of being proactive. And also? They should definitely proofread before donning their "holier-than-thou" attire.

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