David Bennion: January 2008 Archives
"I still can't believe this is happening in
So said the sister of a
Thomas Warziniack was born in
Minnesotaand grew up in Georgia, but immigration authorities pronounced him an illegal immigrant from . Russia
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has held Warziniack for weeks in an
detention facility with the aim of deporting him to a country he's never seen. His jailers shrugged off Warziniack's claims that he was an American citizen, even though they could have retrieved his Arizona Minnesotabirth certificate in minutes and even though a Coloradocourt had concluded that he was a U.S.citizen a year before it shipped him to . Arizona
Fringe views that still exist today (which I won't dignify
with links) condemning King as a dangerous radical, a socialist, and a
communist, were the views of much of the mainstream press during the 1960s. King was viewed as such a disruptive force
In researching a forthcoming post, I stumbled across this remarkable video about rural Kenyans who have gotten the rights from the corporation that owns the Simpsons to produce and sell handmade soapstone carvings of characters on the show. They receive $6 for each carving, which they use to support and educate their families. The spokesman from the group is very pleased about the work and the impact it has had on the community.
But then we find that the carvings can be sold in the
As an educated Westerner, objectively I have little to complain about compared to most people in the world. But when thinking about the trenchant problems people in the Global South face and will likely face for the rest of their lives, lately I’ve been dangerously short on optimism. It’s just so depressing. It’s easy to understand why often the first response to such widescale suffering is to pretend that these challenges don’t exist or that they’re primarily unsolvable and of people’s own making.
So it lifts me up to see people like videoreporter Ruud
Elmendorp, who made the piece I’ve embedded here, publicizing daily life in
Later update: Ok, hopefully it'll work now through YouTube. Embedding the clip through Typepad proved to be beyond my meager abilities.
You might have read about Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE)'s Gestapo-like tactics in raids at workplaces and homes in New Bedford, Long Island, and elsewhere around the country: sometimes kicking down doors in the middle of the night, other times gaining warrantless entry into homes by misleading the residents inside, using ethnic profiling, trampling constitutional due process rights that apply to both citizens and noncitizens, labeling people with minor convictions from decades ago "criminal aliens" for PR purposes, moving detainees from state to state without notice for the explicit purpose of disrupting legal representation, and using children as bait to catch and lock up entire families. I guess this is what restrictionists mean when they talk about "rule of law."
there's more--I thought I'd share a few recent developments in immigration
enforcement in the
Here is the key passage in Sam Roberts' NY Times article for my purposes today:
With Mr. Spitzer's political capital depleted and the governor hardly eager to embark on another unpopular crusade
By "unpopular crusade," I'm speculating that Roberts
primarily means Spitzer's attempt to fulfill a campaign promise to reinstate
Hillary Clinton's recent dip in the polls ahead of the primaries has also been attributed by many to her "gaffe" on the same subject in a debate a couple months ago.
Political capital is ineffable and notoriously volatile. Much of a politician's room to maneuver
depends on which narrative our media gatekeepers decide is suitable for
consumption by the masses. Those
gatekeepers are often easily misled as to the prevailing temper of the
public--witness the "Village's" continuing support
for the War in
This ongoing disjunction between reality and media narrative has not arisen organically--it has several causes, among them: fear of being labeled soft on national security, fear of being caught by surprise again after 9/11, ignorance of the substantive details of the issues at hand, weariness of being tagged with the now-pejorative "liberal" label, coziness with power brokers in government and business who profit from the machinery of war, and simple groupthink.
I propose that savvy conservative activists have perpetuated a similar con on the gatekeepers: the Great Immigration Swindle. Through a decades-long coordinated effort, groups calling for more restrictive immigration policies, or "restrictionists" for short, have positioned a media narrative once considered racist and extreme as fully mainstream.
Here are the component parts of the Swindle: