Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Illegal Immigration: A Very Uncomfortable Undertone

Nick Gillespie, Editor-in-Chief of Reason Magazine, discusses the magazine's August-September cover story on immigration. According to Opinion Journal's Political Diary, the essays inside "focus is on the various political, economic and social arguments informing today's raucous [immigration] debate. But what really recommends this current issue are the half-dozen vintage late-19th and early-20th century illustrations that accompany the text." Gillespie:

"Conservatives like to bleach the racism out of the immigration debate, but that's always been part of it," said Mr. Gillespie, noting that Irish and Italians weren't considered white at the time and that political cartoons of this era often depicted the Irish with distinctly simian features. "These images should haunt this debate more than they have. All of the assimilation patterns point to Mexican immigrants being totally indistinguishable from others down the road. But the way these people get talked about as invaders, as rats, as mice, as bugs -- it's something that needs to be countered in a way that only history lessons can."

Unfortunately, Political Diary requires a subscription. I recommend the newsletter -- only $3.95 a month and well worth it.


Blogger Harold C. Hutchison said...

My, my... isn't it amazing what you discover when you dig deep enough? The same old arguments come back after being discredited time and time again. 

Posted by Harold C. Hutchison

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 1:10:00 PM  
Anonymous BlueBuffoon said...

A quibble, I know, but I prefer the more precise "xenophobia" to "racism," which has been systematically been drained of all real meaning by its overuse as an epithet. That being said, the undertone remains just as disturbing.

This month's Commentary magazine features a measured view from Linda Chavez on the "Realities of Immigration" that includes a similar point, as well as poll results that show that the vast majority of Americans support a comprehensive reform effort over fence-buildikng

Posted by BlueBuffoon

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 3:10:00 PM  
Blogger LonewackoDotCom said...

Gillespie is an idiot. If you want to know two reasons why, look up "Appeal to Tradition" and "Guilt by Association".

On a lighter note, completely and absolutely unrelated to the present subject:


Posted by IllegalImmigrationIntroduction

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Yah, well, racism/xenophobia's not going away soon, and SOME of us actually have reservations based on far more solid grounds.

See, e.g., and click on the links to get to the source for a much more comprehensive discussion. 

Posted by dad29

Thursday, July 20, 2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger terrye said...

I read some of the debate that accompanied the immigration bill passed in 1924 and it was amazing how little the rhetoric has changed. And yes, there were people openly questioning whether or not Italian and Polish Catholics an European Jews could ever assimilate and be real Americans. Just change the nationality and the arguments, social and economic and political are much the same. It should be remembered that following the passage of the bill the Republicans became a minority party for a generation.  

Posted by Terrye

Thursday, July 20, 2006 1:58:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home