Repost from the old site.
The movement for immigration sanity (IS) in the US faces serious obstacles, one of which is many of the people in the movement are a bunch of idiots, as far as I can tell. I just spent some time on anti-immigrant blog, and I was flat out told that I was not welcome in their movement!
I suggested that they needed to extend their movement beyond its narrow rightwing base to include Centrists, liberals and even Leftists, and I was told in no uncertain terms to get lost. Incredible or what? Who is welcome? Hard rightwingers only, I guess.
As it stands, the IS movement looks like a terrifyingly rightwing movement to most politically reasonable people. Hatred for Centrists, liberals, Democrats, civil liberties types, secularists, not to mention the Left, is rife. Your average IS blog reads like a combination of the militia/patriot movement, the Christian Right the White Nationalist movement and the John Birch Society.
A few minutes on one of their sites is enough to send most any Centrist, liberal, Democrat or Leftist running away screaming. There is not enough effort at all being made to expand the movement beyond its narrow, ultra rightwing, hillbilly, ignoramus, Yahoo and racist base. Extremist Christian kookiness abounds.
The few Democrats who are involved are very rightwing Democrats, more or less like the Southern Democrats of old.
You’ve read the polls. 70% of Americans outrageously support some kind of amnesty for illegal aliens. The IS movement is a narrow movement drawing almost all of its support from the Right and Far Right. Little effort is being made to bring Centrists, liberals, Democrats or even Leftists into the movement. In fact, liberals, Centrists and Leftists are sometimes actively driven from the movement.
The movement also seems to be populated heavily by very ignorant White Americans, the sort of stereotypical American Yahoo who hasn’t read a book since high school, can’t spell, can’t use proper syntax, and can’t write a coherent sentence. Great! A movement full of bigoted, fundamentalist idiots! Wonderful!
There are many possibilities for this movement. Any sane progressive who advocates for the workers ought to get behind this IS movement.
I went to a California liberal Democrat website the other day and saw a forum on illegal immigration. I was astonished that about 80% of them were stark raving furious, to the point of sputtering, about illegal immigration. There are no blogs or forums for these folks to go to, as many in the rightwing anti-immigrant movement will make them feel unwelcome.
There are some logistical problems in growing this movement. How do we tone down the racist boneheads so they don’t scare off the non-rightwingers? How do we get sane non-rightwingers and non-racists into a movement that is shot through with anti-Hispanic racism and White Supremacism from top to bottom?
How do we talk about the racist Yahoos and still manage to get sane people to join a movement that is swimming with them like fish at a trout farm? How to deal with touchy questions of race, IQ, crime rates and the like? Say we get an IS forum going. Quickly the rightwing crazies will pile on there and start belting away at liberalism and everything it stands for.
If there are any liberals on the forum, they are either going to run bug-eyed for the hills, or they will stay and fight the rightwingers. Pretty soon a forum which should be focusing on the common enemy degenerates into idiotic infighting. Just what La Raza wants! So what do we do? Institute some rules about no liberal-bashing and no conservative-bashing?
Set up different fora for liberals and conservatives? The last may be the best plan. What about class? Though most IS folks are working class, some are upper middle class. How do we deal with the inevitable blue versus white collar tensions that arise when each group pursues its self-interests?
As it stands, this is a movement that in some respects deserves to be defeated.
What’s the solution? Grow the movement. Liberals, Centrists and even Leftists need to be made to feel that they can be part of this movement too.
Repost from the old site.