July 23, 2008
North Carolina: Hate Springs Eternal
Sadly, the debate over immigration is not always polite, civil, and constructive. This article describes the increase in threats against Latino leaders in North Carolina because of their stance on immigration. A law student (I am not printing her name so she does not get any e-mail "protests") writes that "[b]eing back in N.C. I'm having trouble determining whether `the atmosphere' has changed, or if it is the reporting."
The story reports that North Carolina's Hispanic leaders have been subject to death threats:
"A pair of the state's most prominent advocates, Andrea Bazán and Tony Asion, say that for the past several months, each time they have spoken publicly, they have gotten a raft of profanity-laced messages, some of them exhorting them to return to their home countries and others denigrating Hispanics. Several legislators say they have also gotten messages recently that cross the line into racism, and one got a menacing voice mail."
I am always surprised to receive hate e-mails, voicemails, and negative comments on the blog (some of which I do not approve the posting of because they include racial epithets -- including one last weekend directed at one of my fellow bloggers). But such responses to immigration commentary is commonplace. A few weeks ago, political pundit Ruben Navarrette Jr. shared some of the hate mail he gets when he writes on immigration. And his commentary often generates comments like this:
"Mexico is a toilet and the government is ruining the lives of its citizens. Everytime the US tries to pass rational laws, some whiny Mexican group will cry racism and threaten boycotts."
Immigration generates strong feelings. I wish that we could develp a better way to discuss the real issues and , if necessary, agree to disagree without resorting to mean-spirited name-calling.
July 23, 2008 | Permalink
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"I wish that we could develp a better way to discuss the real issues and , if necessary, agree to disagree without resorting to mean-spirited name-calling."
How about actually having people in newspapers that support enforcing immigration laws? No one is employed at Navarrette's paper or most others that meet that category. It is little wonder that people shut out from hearing their point of view fairly represented in the news media would react angrily and unfortunately often ill advisedly.
Posted by: IH | Jul 23, 2008 6:31:46 PM
KJ, I would support an open forum, live on-line discussion with our fellow readers of this blog. Perhaps you could think of a way to host such an event(s). It would, in my opinion, perhaps be constructive to talk through some of these issues through a live "point-counterpoint" format. Civil discourse and respect should be encouraged. If an hour or two were scheduled for this exercise, I am sure that we would have a lively debate. I realize that it would be an intrusion on your time, but judging by the hours that I see you post on this blog, it seems that you are working most of the time anyway!
Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Jul 24, 2008 7:57:49 AM