Speech Has Consequences

Much as students from Gallaudet are about to learn of the consequences of speech, so too is Marc Fisher, Post Columnist. While Turkey has banned insulting turkishness, and France is trying to ban denying an Armenian genocide at the hands of Turkey, we have our own crisis of viewpoint here in DC. Check out this recent Marc Fisher column on Culpeper, VA, and about several of the residents who are struggling with the large influx of hispanic immigrants:

Jenkins realizes that the moneyed arrivals from the north are not going anywhere. But maybe, he says, just maybe, something can be done about those from the south. “It’s a much easier issue, because it’s black and white,” he says. “I don’t get it when people say immigration is a gray issue. You’re either legal, or you’re not. We need to help them be legal. I’m not for anything harsh. If they’re willing to come forward and go through a process, we have an obligation to assist them in every way. But I’m about rules.”

This article absolutely infuriated restauranteur Michael Landrum, owner of Ray’s the Steaks and Ray’s the Classics, who wrote in to Fisher…

There are some views, beliefs, arguments and ideas so repugnant, despicable and abhorrent (if history has taught us anything) that they have no place in civil discourse–no matter how attractively they are presented–for their goals are the dehumanization of others…. [T]o present them publicly–especially under the guise of journalistic responsibility–without unequivocal condemnation gives tacit approval to, and makes one complicit in, their propogation….

Why not mention in your piece that all of these arguments were exactly those made by the early National Socialists and that the orgnization and tactics of the Minute Men mirror exactly those of the Brown Shirts? That would indeed reflect the reality that truly exists as you so nobly state is your purpose….

Landrum also asked Fisher never to come to his restaurants, ever. It strikes me that the situation in which our area may find itself is one in which no one will like or enjoy the outcome. Herndon’s training its small-town cops to enforce immigration laws, and I suspect they will not be the only DC area community to do so. Are we going to find ourselves in a witch hunt for illegal immigrants? A sort of “legal holocaust” as Landrum wants you to believe this might be?

It’s clear to me that people actually do believe in a frozen 1950s image of America, much like Mr. Jenkins of Culpeper, but as time advances, and as history records our acts, I’m sure that deporting illegal immigrants will be recorded as a mistake. The time has come for another amnesty. Let those who have come here illegally but have committed no crime other than that, be allowed to remain here, pay their taxes responsibly (even back taxes) and move forward.

4 Comments so far

  1. CY (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 9:46 am

    OK, it’s real simple, the first person in an argument or debate to call the other person a Nazi or Hitler…loses. Unless their actually committing genocide, then I guess it’s a fair comparison. And no, requiring people in America to obey the law is not genocide.

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 10:34 am

    CY, while I’d generally agree with you here, I think we’ve gone past the point of upholding the law. If we were upholding the law in this day and age, we wouldn’t have 13 million illegal immigrants here. The time has come for an amnesty followed by stronger border security.

  3. Don (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 12:37 pm

    Well the War on Illegal Immigration is going to be just as unsuccessful, punitive and expensive as the War on [Some] Drugs has been, so get out your checkbooks and leave your civil rights at the door.

    Unlike the WOSD, though, this one’s easier to attack intelligently… if we really wanted to. The immigrants are here because the work is here. Want em gone? You don’t have to arrest them – just enforce the law ON EMPLOYERS. Which we actually do notably less now than 8 years ago.

    From the Aug 2005 GAO report on workplace enforcement:[PDF]

    “In fiscal year 1999, INS devoted about 9 percent of its agent investigative work-years to worksite enforcement, and in fiscal year 2003 ICE devoted about 4 percent,” and “the number of notices of intent to fine generally decreased from 417 in fiscal year 1999 to 3 in fiscal year 2004”

    Not that the fines are all that big a deal compared to the costs of legal labor:

    “Employers who knowingly hire or continue to employ unauthorized aliens may be fined from $275 to $11,000 for each employee, depending on whether the violation is a first or subsequent offense. Employers who engage in a pattern or practice of knowingly hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized aliens are subject to criminal penalties consisting of fines up to $3,000 per unauthorized employee and up to 6 months imprisonment for the entire pattern or practice”

  4. wayan (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 1:57 pm

    Oh and let’s be very clear – this isn’t about legal or illegal, its about old and new. New being different, strange, and seemingly poor. New now growing in size and no longer hidden or trying to hide. New finding pride and place. New threatening the status quo.

    The USA is changing, always has been always will be, and this isn’t a new debate (read about past immgration waves), only the words change.

    New was Italian, Irish, Polish, etc. New is now Mexican, Latino, “illegal”. etc

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.