John Lamb Uncovers Secret Plot!

John Lamb over at the Hispanic Nashville Notebookhas a piece about how local hospitals are saying that local Hispanics, especially undocumented ones, are not hurting the hospitals and Lamb makes mention of the fact that there’s no wide-spread TennCare fraud perpetrated by undocumented Tennesseans.

I think this only goes to show how nefarious this Mexican plot against our state is.  First, we learn that Mexicans are plotting to come to Tennessee and get jobs and fall in love and get married and have children, not because there are jobs here and folks tend to fall in love, get married, and have kids, but just so that their children can take school desks away from the other native-born real Tennesseans who would have needed them had they not been aborted.

And now we learn that Mexicans are coming to our state in order to steal our health care and ruin our hospitals, which they will accomplish by not using our heathcare providers in problematic numbers.

Now, you may ask yourself how it can be that Mexicans sneaking into our state and not being a drain on our hospitals can lead to the ruin of our healthcare system and I’ll admit, I’m not sure, but I’m confident there’s something nefarious at work here.


I think I’d make a terrible nativist.  It’s hard for me to even get through that much with a straight face and I’m pretty sure that to be a nativist, you have to be willing to go on for pages and pages, each post a thinly veiled account of your fear of having to live and work with non-white people.

I’m not sure why people feel that they have the right to live in a world unchanged from how they imagine their childhoods were and I’m not sure what we can do to overcome that.

I feel like one effective strategy is to try to meet them somewhat on their level (despite what Slarti thinks–I do get why people disagree with me.  I just think that in some cases, they’re so fundamentally wrong I don’t have to do them the favor of pretending like I see any validity in their point.) and I know a lot of folks who are worried about “the future of America” are worried about the country their children will inherit.

And so I try to say, look, here we have all these children, who are American citizens and we’re talking about either sending them to a country they’ve never lived in (in order to get rid of their parents) or separating them from their parents.  Isn’t it unacceptable social policy to heap suffering on American children?

But damn if they don’t turn around and try to argue that these kids aren’t really American children or that we should strip folks of birthright citizenship–because who still needs those Reconstruction era amendments anyway?–so that we don’t have to be troubled by those issues.

And I’m not trying to argue that the only problem is these waist-high Americans, you know.  That’s my starting point–to say that, hey, if you can see that these little guys need to be considered, can’t we also consider the little guys brought here as babies?  Can’t we consider the people who were themselves once children?

And maybe that’s too 1970s Sesame Street, but that’s kind of the shape of my argument, to say, hey, we’re talking about people here.

But it seems like we never get that far.

So, here’s this article saying, hey, that fear-mongering about folks ruining the healthcare system is just that, fear-mongering and you and I both know, sure as we’re sitting here, me on this side of the screen, you on that, that it’s not going to be good enough.

At some level, you have to address their talking points, but at some other level, you have to be aware that even if you could disprove every single point they have, they wouldn’t care.  They’d still be all “These people are here illegally and we must have rule of law.”

No matter how much you can show that these folks are not the aggressors, but instead are trapped between economic necessity and laws designed purposefully to exclude them from coming here legally, it’s not enough.

And, as the economy worsens and people become even more unsettled about their job security, we’re going to see even more outright hostility towards Hispanics (undocumented or U.S. citizen), I predict.

Honestly, I don’t know what to do in the face of that.

It’s like seeing the start of a landslide and feeling like all you can do is try to help some people, knowing that folks are being hurt and that it’s going to get worse.

Sometimes it feels like all you can do is say, “I see what you’re doing and it’s wrong.”

It’s not enough.

11 thoughts on “John Lamb Uncovers Secret Plot!

  1. I just think that in some cases, they’re so fundamentally wrong I don’t have to do them the favor of pretending like I see any validity in their point.

    Word to the nth, B. If someone says it’s lunchtime, and they serve you a shit sandwich, are you going to take a bite out of respect? Well, thanks to decades of well-funded and organized right-wing activism, that’s the question that people of good sense and conscience are continuously forced to answer.

    I’m all for being polite and respectful of others’ opinions when the situation merits such, but my responsibility as a citizen forbids me from acquiescing to obvious bullshit (especially hateful, eliminationist bullshit). Sometimes you have to say, “no, I don’t want to eat a shit sandwich.” Sometimes you have to say, “no, jumping off a fucking cliff is not a good idea, no matter how many times you say it is.” And sometimes you have to say, “no the Reagan Revolution was not good for our country, and yes, that old Hollywood hack was a despicable piece of shit.”
    I’m going to start responding to all pea-brained immigration bleating with the following:
    Creo que debemos eliminar nuestra frontera del sur.

  2. Well, Ex, maybe the conspiracy starts in Georgia. They ruin your state and then onto the rest of the Union. All I’ve got is that, in our state, it’s not a problem.


  3. Oh, but wait! One only has to peruse the AJC site to discover that said hospital has had financial difficulties for a decade and has been rife with political backstabbing and other nonsense and that local counties are so fed up with the financial mismanagement that they cut funding to the hospital.

    Which has nothing to do with illegal immigration, unless you’re suggesting that the illegal immigrants all took jobs at the hospital as accountants and mismanaged the funds.

  4. You know me – I place a higher weight on experiential evidence. :)

    I recently spent a long, long time in a hospital, and saw nary an Hispanic patient. Of course, they are sneaky little devils, so I’m sure many of them were posing as the caucasian and African American folks I hung out with in the waiting room.

    One thing to think about: TN has a higher percentage of private hospitals than many other states, and I would imagine if any overwhelming is being done, it’s at public hospitals.

    Finally, here I am wanting to transistion to professional writer in the second half of my life, and it’s obvious I have a long way before I’m ready. I literally suck at using illustrations to communicate my main idea. Both you and Kat totally misunderstood where I was going, which means – I suck.

    My intention was not to call anyone out, it was to illustrate for my readers the ideas behind the rules of debate. I tried to give them examples of people with very strong, well-reasoned opinions, and then I wanted my readers to imagine those same people arguing the other side. You and Kat were my examples because you are so good at arguing your side. I figured if they could imagine YOU arguing the other side, they’d get the picture :)

  5. Because God knows that urban tertiary-care hospitals never had any problems prior to the 1980s….

    I guess what really aggravates me most about the high-profile conservatives is the willful obliviousness to cause and effect. Why is it that so many people can’t make it in their country of origin and find that they’d rather take a chance on being shit on, underpaid, and kicked out of this one? Naming three things off the top of my head as contributory factors, I’d come up with US foreign policy from the 1950s on, regardless of the political affiliation of the executive or legislative branch, that weakened Central America economies while supporting anti-democratic governments; NAFTA (which has been a gigantic bust for everyone but CEOs); and an acutely mismanaged set of agricultural policies in the US that rewards corporations for running farms like factories. However, to hear the talking heads talk, you’d imagine that immigrants go through the considerable risks and hardships of their migration just to spite Americans. All effects without causes.

    You know what all this gung-ho BS about building fences and driving out them thar illegal immigrunts is actually doing? Moving the actual farms to Mexico. Good luck with that $4 a head pesticide-bomb lettuce, buddy.

  6. I interviewed people that work at or run county health facilities. I attended hearings on this subject, and listened as expert after expert said roughly the same thing. The hospitals view the uninsured as their biggest problem. In fact, at the local level, these health care providers said that the immigrants, who are used to paying for medical care at the time it is provided, make up a negligible percentage of those that do not pay.

    It is the same with the schools. I heard many lawmakers try to get school officials to say that undocumented kids drag down test scores, and they all said, sure, for about the first year, then, after they have learned english, they actually RAISE the overall scores.

    The problem with Exadors post is that it blames “illegals” for 31 percent. What if they were properly documented? What would change? The Primary wife worked at Grady, she told me horror stories about that place LONG before Georgia was a magnet for immigrant workers.

  7. When I worked in administration at a local inner-city hospital for 3 years, I never once heard a word said about “those illegals”…they were more concerned about the fact that they lost a contract with a MAJOR insurer to a competing hospital.

    In fact, that was the major cause of their drastic decrease in revenue within a year’s time.

  8. Slarti, I know what you mean. Unfortunately, well-reasoned opinions aren’t always what you’re going to face, especially when dealing with right-wingers. The right-wing approach is usually to keep throwing up bullshit until something sticks. If nothing sticks, then throw more bullshit and throw it harder. (As I’ve said before, I don’t think this is entirely an organic phenomenon.) When faced with this, you can try to be polite and give your opponent more credit for honesty and sanity than he is due, or you can save yourself the time and aggravation and call “bullshit.”
    My view is that right-wingers (I don’t call them “conservatives,” because too many of them are really radical reactionaries) have been given too much room to maneuver in the last half century, and they’ve done a bang-up job of running this country (and much of the world) into the ground. If we’re going to survive as a republic, it’s long past time to start giving these people spankings and time-outs (which is what you do with poorly disciplined three-year-olds) until we can clean up our political environment.

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