Friday, November 02, 2007


It seems to me that Americans have been scared into believing that immigrants from all over the world have become a national security threat. From Latinos who are, falsely perceived to be, taking jobs away from Americans to Muslims who are, falsely perceived to be, seeking to destroy the west. These are misconceptions that have been fed into the mainstream media, carefully crafted, so that fears of the unknown, fear of the few are the prevailing feelings through our society.
Through the media this fear has been fueled. With much fanfare there are news reports both in print and on broadcast of immigrants breaking the law, being jailed and being accused and tried of funding terrorist over seas. At no point here am I denying that crimes have been committed by some immigrants that have crossed our borders but statistically this has happened no more frequently than it happens with those born in the U.S. This can be seen in a recent article, by Eric Herman published in the Chicago Sun-Times on 10-29-07. Ronal Weitzer, a criminologist at George Washington University, was quoted as saying that aliens “are not over-represented [in jails], despite the conventional wisdom that they are much more involved in criminal activity”. So where do these misconceptions come from?
It often seems that there is a large outcry from media sources and web sources, like Hannity and Colmes, Bill O’Reilly and Jim Gilchrist's Minuteman Project, these are only a few of the sources that fan the flames of fear. They do this by screaming at the top of their lungs every time an illegal immigrant commits a crime, by claiming that they are criminals as soon as they step foot across the border. They do it by howling that organizations such as CAIR have been unindicted co-conspirators to alleged crimes, mind you this means that there is no evidence against CAIR, unfortunately this also means that CAIR has no means to clear its name in a court of law.
The hysteria that surrounds the issues of immigration puzzles me. It is as if there is some confusion as to why immigrants come here. It is as if we, Americans, have forgotten how we got here. One way to look at how the first “Americans” came here is to look at it as refugees. Immigrants coming over seas to make a new life for themselves. So why can’t we remember our own history and allow others to share in that history? A good friend of mine once told me that our parents want us to have everything they couldn’t have. That is why “they” are coming here, to give their children what they could not have.


Post a Comment

<< Home