It’s not a perfect analogy, but let’s say you live in a little village on one side of the interstate, next door to the most awesome bar imaginable.
Say that your buddy John lives on the other side of the interstate, directly across from you and the bar. But it’s rural nowhere, so, if he’s going to actually drive to the bar, he’s got to go ten miles down to the nearest exit, cross the interstate there, and then come ten miles up.
Then, he sits at the bar and gets drunk and has to drive twenty miles home, when his house is just across the road there.
So, he shouldn’t do it. It’s dangerous and it’s illegal, but he crosses the interstate on foot.
Y’all wish he wouldn’t, but you can see why he does.
If he’s sitting at the bar, no car in the parking lot, do the police have a right to arrest him? He’s not crossing the interstate at the moment, but clearly, he got to the bar by crossing the interstate.
Would it be weird if folks at the bar started thinking of John as not having a right to be at the bar? Would it be weird if they started thinking that John was taking up a space at the bar that belonged to someone who didn’t cross the interstate on foot?
Now, here’s where it gets important. If the police aren’t interested in stopping John from crossing the interstate, do the people at the bar have the right to prohibit him from doing it? Would it be okay if they shot him?
I assume we’re all in agreement that, if the penalty for crossing the interstate on foot is a fine and possibly a little jail time, having people talking about opening fire on ole John is, perhaps, a little extreme.
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when coming into this country illegally was considered about on par with John’s crossing of the interstate. Sneaking across the border was a crime, but once you had sneaked across the border, you were, for the most part, done committing the crime.
That’s why, even until recently, illegal immigrants could get drivers licenses in Tennessee. That’s why they can get in-state tuition in some states. The crime had been committed, but if the border crosser could figure out how to reside here without committing any more crimes, he or she was mostly left alone to be a productive part of the community.
Over the past few years, the rhetoric has changed. Now we talk about illegal immigration as an ongoing crime. From the moment you enter the country illegally until the moment you leave, you are in a state of “illegal immigration.” Everything you do is wrong and might be criminalized because you are committing an ongoing crime. Your existence in this country is a crime.
I should point out that it’s still a crime with a punishment of either being sent back to your home country or, at the most, given a couple of years in prison. That’s it.
This “terrible” crime is punishable by a year or two in prison or being deported.
Is there any other crime a person could commit punishable by just a couple of years in jail that you’d be comfortable when people started talking about shooting the offender?
Do you think it should be okay for folks to talk seriously about non-police U.S. citizens shooting shoplifters? Tax cheats? Illegal music downloaders?
And yet, damn it, Kleinheider, there’s just such a discussion going on over at Volunteer Voters right now.
Donna Locke says:
As an immigration controller, I am fairly pessimistic on this issue at this point, as far as peaceable, political solutions go. I believe we had windows of opportunity to effect change on this issue through political means, but those windows have closed and passed. There are still laws and changes in laws we must pursue, but many years of inaction have now diverted the United States onto the path of another probable future. A path of eventual revolution. [Emphasis mine.]
Seriously. She foresees violent revolution in the U.S. because the government’s not doing enough to chase down folks who’ve done nothing worse than shoplifting?
The Blue Collar Republican is just as ridiculous:
We have plenty of laws, but no will to enforce them. I am afraid you are right about it being “too late”, but some are being patient and giving the process a chance. But make no mistake, many are arming themselves to do the job themselves if the government will not.
Really? The job is deporting people or putting them in prison for a couple of years. Is that what the Blue Collar Republican is advocating, because, I have to say, it seems to me that he’s not advocating that armed militias round up folks and fly them back to Mexico. It seems to me pretty damn clear that he’s explaining that soon enough folks will just start shooting people.
This is evil talk.
Let me repeat. This is evil talk.
Sitting around discussing throwing a tantrum so big that it includes violence against real live people because the government isn’t doing enough to keep the brown people away from you is evil.
And Kleinheider, damn it! Do you call either one of them on that eliminationist nonsense? No, you fucking “Good point. Very good point, in fact.”
What the fuck are you talking about? It’s a “good point” when the Blue Collar Republican insinuates that, if the Government won’t enforce immigration laws to the linking of jingoists, the jingoists will start shooting people?
That’s not a good point. That’s ridiculousness bordering on psychopathy. You don’t go around shooting people or even threatening to shoot people because the federal government isn’t dealing with them fast enough for your liking.
As of May 7th, there were just over six million people living in Tennessee. Just under six hundred thousand of us live in Davidson County. Three percent of people in the whole state are Hispanic. In Davidson County, it’s right around seven percent–42,000 people, give or take a few.
How many of them are here illegally? I’ve spent the evening perusing pro- and anti-immigration sites and I don’t think anyone can say for sure.
But we’re devoting a whole lot of energy and resources to locating these illegal immigrants and purging them from our community. Shoot, folks over at Volunteer Voters are barely satisfied with a purge. They have their guns ready just in case someone needs killing.
America, let me tell you something. We have a habit of doing shit like this. In this very state, on this very land. This is not new. When we wanted the land and resources of the Cherokee people, we reinterpreted our arrangement with them, rounded them up, and sent them off to some “homeland” out west.
Shoot, on the rare occasion when we freed slaves here in Tennessee, we required them to leave the state when we were done with them, even if Tennessee was the only home they’d ever known, even if their families were here.
And here we go again. We’ve decided that the Mexicans (and let’s not be coy about who we’re singling out. There’s a reason TnRIP is all “Nashville or Tijuana?”) have resources that we can justify to ourselves belong rightfully to us, so we’ve decided to change the terms of our agreement (immigrating here illegally used to be like shoplifting once, now we treat it like an ongoing series of armed robberies) in order to relocate them someplace where we can’t hear them when they complain about us stealing their shit and destroying their families.
And shoot, if we can terrorize the Mexicans who are here legally, too, all the better.
“No, Aunt B., it’s not about terrorizing all Mexicans, we swear.”
Oh yeah, how do you suppose we’re going to locate those illegals? We’re going to tolerate the continual harassment of all Mexicans, that’s how.
I mean, come now. We all know that 287(g) means that every Hispanic-seeming person who comes to the attention of the police in Davidson County is going to get run through the system.
I could forget my drivers license at home and just be given a ticket. You can’t tell me Tia B. isn’t going to be taken downtown in case she needs to be deported. What’s a ten or fifteen minute uncomfortable encounter with the police for me is going to end up being an all day thing for some people.
Keep ’em all afraid and all inconvenienced and maybe they’ll all leave–legal or not–our brown neighbors. At least, that seems to be the attitude.
And shame on you all for embracing it.
But you know what? Fuck it. Kleinheider’s all
However, just because the celebration seems hypocritical, we cannot avoid the fundamental questions that Fortuyn brings up. If he had every right to protect his culture and heritage from demographic annihilation, do we, as Americans, not have that very same right?
Seriously, what’s he complaining about? Our culture and heritage have a strong strain of forcibly removing non-white people from our midst. He shouldn’t feel any anxiety. He should be pleased to see we’re continuing that age-old American tradition of fucking as hard as we can with the weakest and most vulnerable among us.
I mean, shoot, if folks can talk openly about shooting people just because they’ve picked the wrong place to live–in a city in a state in a region that ought to know what happens when folks are talking that way–and not one person calls them on how evil they sound, well, shucks, America, I about don’t know what to say.
I’ll be practicing “Lo siento,” though.