Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Boy, it's been a long while since I wrote one of these, hasn't it? Let me just dust off the keyboard here and...
So, hi everybody! What brought me back into the atmosphere of blogging (or "blogosphere" as I've heard one too many times)? The fact that yesterday, I was accused of aiding terrorists! WHOOPEE!!!
Right now, the hot button issue (especially in the wonderful world of Southern California) is illegal immigration. There's a new bill in legislation, and it's causing quite a stir. Should illegal immigration be a felony? Is it too harsh of a bill? Should we send them all packing back to Mexico or should we work to make them citizens?
Yesterday, Brey and I get into a discussion with someone about this particular issue (which we are, admittedly, not as knowledgeable and passionate about as we probably should be). The discussion quickly escalates into a debate, and finally turns into us just trying to figure out what this woman's argument is.
Here is the basis of her argument: "I am against illegal immigration, but I find the bill to be too harsh." Fine. That sounds fair. It seems like this discussion is going to be a breeze.
But then she pulls this: "What I hate is that I lose jobs because I'm not bilingual. I don't think it's fair that I'm losing jobs to people that refuse to speak English."
Now read those two sentences again. Once more, just for effect. You spot the inconsistency, don't you? So did everyone else in the room...except for her. No matter how many times we pointed out that to be bilingual you had to learn English, she was convinced that her way of thinking was quite clear and to the point.
Then the rest of her arguments are just an array of contradictions: America should be a mix of cultures, but all signs should be printed in English. You can speak your own language, but you have to speak English. Mexican immigrants are welcome, but they need to respect our country and follow the Caucasian language and culture. She cannot learn Spanish (because she apparently can't roll her r's), but it's impossible for someone from Mexico to have trouble learning English. It's a mix of what she really feels (Speak English, motherfucker!), and what she thinks she should say to us (Not that I hate Mexicans or anything...).
After refusing to accept that the Spanish language is not an illegal immigration problem (I'd blame that on living two hours away from Mexico), that forcing English on every citizen is a violation of the First Amendment (It's not Freedom of ENGLISH Speech. Just Freedom of Speech period), and that the number of languages you know is not discrimination when hiring (because she's going to sue them, whoever "them" is, and it's going to be "a landmark case"), she drops this one on us...
"Well, the case'll get shot down because of you two! This problem's going to get worse because of you two! The next time we're bombed, it's because of you two!"
Now, I'm trying to think of the right word here...Let's see, what is it?...It's on the tip of my tongue...Oh, yeah...
Suddenly, because we're pointing out the inconsistencies in her argument, and because we're saying that we shouldn't live in a society where everyone speaks the same language, we love terrorists! Oh, c'mere terrorist and give us a big juicy kiss! *MWAH* We're okay with you and your fundamentalist ways! Here, let me carry that backpack for you.
Because as we all know, terrorism is a language issue. None of the 9/11 terrorists spoke English (except for the ones that did, which is most if not all of them). And only illegal immigrants are the ones that cause terrorist acts in our country (including Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski, which certainly don't sound like names of white guys descended from European backgrounds).
And throughout this entire time, I feel inclined to tell her that I have not once stated what I feel about the new illegal immigration bill (because I haven't read it and therefore have no opinion on it). I want to point out that I agree with her stance on illegal immigration. I have the greatest urge to state that if we white people truly respected the country, we would have shown up learning how to speak Navajo and Cherokee. I want to question her when she says she hates the term "cultural melting pot" when describing America.
But who knows what might happen if we keep talking. Brey checks the clock and we politely excuse ourselves.
Here in Southern California, there are a lot of problems concerning overpopulation and heavy traffic. The finger for these problems tends to point at the Latino community. Whether this is fair or not I cannot say (and to be fair, this woman not only expressed her frustration toward the Latino community, but the Vietnamese-heavy community of Garden Grove. No doubt if the Middle Eastern population congregated in one specific area, she would have choice words for them, too).
It seems very easy to be angry with the Latino community in Southern California. When I was living in Idaho, a friend of mine visited Disneyland for a week and came back frustrated with Hispanics. He admitted that it seemed rather easy to turn into a racist living down there. A few years later, I moved down here and found out, thanks to not only this woman but countless others, how true that is.
I do not support illegal immigration, and I do recognize that it is a problem in this country. And yes, the influence of Latino, Asian and Middle Eastern culture all over the community is unusual for me, coming from a place where the only genuine piece of foreign culture was a small Greek restaurant on Spokane Street (I still miss their fantastic turkish cigars).
However, I blame my ill feelings about the language and cultural barriers on my natural human reaction to be scared by that which I don't understand. Should we deny an immigrant who wants to take the legal procedures to become an America citizen the right to practice their own culture or religion? And if an overwhelming number of immigrants populate one small area, should that area refuse to be tolerant of their language? Why should I, who has only 1/16th of true Native American heritage in me, claim that the English-speaking population is superior to the rest of the population?
But then again, that kind of inclusive, accepting way of thinking is what leads to buildings being blown up, right?
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