The ‘Racist’ Canard

One of the things that bothers me about the line of argument pursued by proponents of amnesty, and the concomitant policy of unrestricted immigration, is that the people who employ it so reflexively resort to labeling their opponents “racist” for believing that this country should have a non-arbitrary set of standards governing who is and is not allowed to permanently settle in this country.

The curious part of this accusation is that it is almost invariably lobbed at  individuals who express concern over the porous nature of our Southern border, which has become a haven of sorts for rival narco-gangs, kidnapping rings, and bandits of one sort or another. The theory here is that these concerned Americans want to “militarize” the border for no other reason than to sate their own innately racist desires. That they are merely provincial bigots who despise Mexicans and other Latin Americans who come here purportedly in search of a brighter future.

Forget for a moment the fact that Mexican-or for that matter, Hispanic-is not by any standard definition a “race.” Forget also that there are tens of thousands of OTMs, i.e. “other-than-Mexicans,” apprehended and detained by border and Customs officials  annually, many of them people whose identities can’t be verified, and who come from Middle Eastern countries that our very own State Department classifies as sponsors of state terrorism.

What’s truly remarkable about these flippant accusations of racism is how divorced they are from reality. The Hispanic community-like any other large demographic group residing within the United States-is divided over the issue of immigration and the propriety of accepting millions of illegal aliens-many of them potential economic competitors-into our midst. Just as many other immigrant communities are concerned about our heedless rush to open the doors to everyone who can plead their case to stay in this country without establishing any firm criteria by which to judge the validity of the case itself.

Not only is this the case here, it’s true north of the border as well:

http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/03/10/martin-collacott-immigrants-want-less-immigration.aspx

A similar poll taken before the most recent British parliamentary election showed similar views held by many East London residents who came from South Asian backgrounds, e.g. Sikhs, Hindus, and others who were not the archetypal white, Christian racist demagogued so heartily by those in favor of open borders. The “bigoted woman” former Prime Minister Gordon Brown vigorously denounced-once well out of ear shot, or so he thought-who expressed trepidation over the newcomers from EU states who had settled in England was in fact reflecting the concerns of her East Indian neighbors living in London.

Now, whether or not these concerns are born out statistically in the unemployment rate is not the issue at hand. Rather, I bring up these surveys merely to clarify the reasons why many Americans are opposed to the post-1965 elite consensus that large scale, unfettered immigration and de facto amnesty for millions of illegal aliens is an enlightened policy decision. And opposition to that consensus-as illustrated by the aforementioned examples-has nothing to do with some reactionary, ingrained racism dwelling within a handful of white, Christian troglodytes, as imagined by our opponents.

These concerns are shared not only by many Americans who are legal, permanent residents and naturalized citizens, but also globally by many of the same people our side is accused of callously disregarding for racist, atavistic reasons. Perhaps, but it seems a curious sort of racism that encompasses such a variegated, multicultural panoply of individuals.

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