view from mars

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

it's still not okay

News about our boy Virgil has been slim pickins of late, with the exception of the ridiculously widespread AP piece quoting him saying:
"I say if you are here illegally and you want to fly the Mexican flag, go to Mexico and wave the American flag."
Those of us who know anything about Virgil weren't surprised that it was (1) basically nonsense and (2) kind of creepy.

Here's what he actually said, in a correction piece carried by all those same media outlets:
"I say if you are here illegally and you want to fly the Mexican flag, go to Mexico to fly the Mexican flag."
Virgil just loves rallying against "illegals" -- it's one of his busiest legislative areas. He has really done a lot of work trying to get that great-big-wall-on-our-souther-border inserted into one or another bill, and has worked with some real power players of the republican party to draft this legislation. Like Duncan Hunter:
Goode, R-5th, recently joined Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, to outline their proposal for a two-layer fence from the Pacific Coast to the Gulf of Mexico. The cost is estimated at $5 billion or $7 billion by different sources.
As Congress gets ready to tackle immigration legislation, the Hunter-Goode bill - even before it is introduced - has drawn praise in some quarters as a means to secure a porous border, and derision in others as being unworkable.
“We need (the fence) to stop the flow of persons just coming into the country illegally, and also to reduce the threat of terrorism,” Goode said.

"To reduce the thread of terrorism"? The 9/11 hijackers flew into this country using an AIRPORT. But good thing Virgil is on top of things instead of worrying about securing silly nuclear reactors or the chemical belt in New Jersey or our ports or holding our administration's feet to the fire for not catching Osama. Priorities, right? Like handing MZM millions of taxpayer dollars...

Last I checked, the Statue of Liberty -- you know, that American symbol-of-symbols welcoming people from all over the world to take part in our experiment in democracy -- said this:
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.
Let's get one thing straight. Big corporations who give tons of money to members of Congress for favorable legislation LOVE cheap labor. The immigration issue has nothing to do with protecting American jobs or terrorism. Think about that next time you eat a burger from McDonald's topped with a tomato picked by illegal hands.

So what's Virgil's deal? Why does he want to reject those "tired...poor..huddled masses" who risk everything to come here? Where are the soundbites blaming the true enablers of our illegal immigration problem? Instead of spending OUR MONEY ON A WALL ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FREAKING COUNTRY (as if that would really do anything), how come Virgil isn't focusing on forcing corporations to stop hiring cheap labor? I realize they are breaking the law -- that's why they were protesting. So that the law might be CHANGED (though, predictably, the corporate media dropped the ball and the hundreds of thousands who took to the streets were overshadowed by some silly minutiae.) It's funny how republicans are the party of law-and-order when it comes to sending brown people to jail or "back to their own country" but when the president breaks the law by authorizing warantless surveillance of American citizens, it's the law that needs to change.

It's not okay to blame people who come to this country to make things better for their families. It's not okay to say that they can't express their heritage however they want. It's not okay to deny people their freedom of expression or assert the superiority of American national heritage over that of another country. American national heritage IS heterogeneity.

Republicans love to drape themselves in the flag and claim moral superiority in this way. It's not okay. It's racist. And Virgil's made it a crown jewel of his reelection campaign.


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