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16 Responses

  1. Alex
    Alex September 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm |

    This is a fabulous article.

    I have a running fascination with marketing and branding, as well as a fascination with the success of the Republican party. Their strategy and supporters have long baffled me, but I think you’re absolutely right–the “key” lies with their talking points.

    I couldn’t believe when I heard a recent NPR focus group member state (in all sincerity and with complete disdain): “[I support McCain] because I haven’t found ANYONE who can tell me what a “community organizer” is.” Something so inane, so easy to dismiss or refute, and yet–it’s stuck. It’s worked.

    People don’t want to do their research, so they need members of the hopeful group to provide a neat summary for them, if only to help convey the message and make it stick. It seems so cheap and anti-intellectual, but it works. If the Democrats or community organizers or social activists want to create support on a massive scale, I really believe this is what it’s going to take.

  2. danicaanddan
    danicaanddan September 16, 2008 at 4:06 pm |

    as far as the research thing goes and all that, I have a question. When people today say “they’ll be a strain on our resources” is that not a wholely different question now than it would have been at any time in American history up until the immigration reform act of 1965? With all the benefit programs we have now and the level of gov’t spending on entitlements isn’t adding more people now different than back then when people were on their own/at the mercy of charity/had to rely on their own groups? In a modern so called -welfare- state shouldnt someone first have to prove their value or their persecution before being let in? Do we owe something to people who just show up in our country other than emergency medical, a swift deportation, and fining any company they work for based on our laws? The benefit of labor provided by immigrants vs the costs of them being here is something that has been analyzed endlessly and one can find a study supporting pretty much any view.

    I am pro-immigration as my father immigrated from Ireland in the 40’s and it seems like the right thing to do but I can’t answer any of the questions above and they often get used against me. Any insight beyond what one gets doing the usual blog seach/google lookup of articles would be appreciated. Thanks and I apologize if its not appropriate to ask here.

  3. William
    William September 16, 2008 at 7:07 pm |

    Why not have an R.S.V.P. for immigration? You want to come to the states? Fill out a form, get a tax payer ID number, and have at it. Just let us know you’re here and kick in for beer money if you can.

  4. Pop Feminist
    Pop Feminist September 16, 2008 at 7:11 pm |

    BRAVO! I love this post.

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  6. Fatemeh
    Fatemeh September 17, 2008 at 12:28 am |

    Cher reminds us the simplest things are sometimes the best.
    Bangin’ post, Latoya. :)

  7. denelian
    denelian September 17, 2008 at 2:42 am |

    oh ye gods and little fishes.

    this is one of those conversations that is inherently de-railed. the built in assumptions are almost always the assumptions of privilege – “who DESERVES to come to OUR country!”, a morality lottery based on hours worked, or the idea of the “worthy poor” (as opposed to all the poor who are poor because they are evil lazy bastards). then the idea of limited resources – as if any random group of desperate immigrants is going to cause SUVs to stop being made. the inherent racism; european immigrants, sure, my great-great-whomever was from some european country! and canadians, cuz their just americans who like extra snow. but africans? asians? arabs?
    they have to PROVE they are being hurt in their home country. despite the fact that it is a well-spoken platitute that in the third world (everything except the north american and SOME of europe, to most people) your average MIDDLE CLASS family lives on less than $2 a day.wouldn’t that hurt ANYONE?

    sorry. this is one of my pet peeves, trying to get people to get over their xenophobia. it doesn’t help that i live in Columbus, where a good chunk of the Somalinian refugees ended up.

  8. Randomizer
    Randomizer September 17, 2008 at 9:51 am |

    Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I’ll piss on ‘em
    That’s what the Statue of Bigotry says
    Your poor huddled masses, let’s club ‘em to death
    and get it over with and just dump ‘em on the boulevard

    Lou Reed, Dirty Boulevard

  9. silly pedant
    silly pedant September 17, 2008 at 9:56 am |

    providing amnesty on our shores for oppressed people.

    Did you mean asylum? Or a shift to a more open immigration policy, which might involve an amnesty for existing undocumented immigrants?

  10. Harnessing the Power of Pop Culture at Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture

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  11. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe September 17, 2008 at 5:03 pm |

    An edited version of the poem:

    Give me Concerning your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me my best regards,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    (from a Tom Toles cartoon)

  12. danicaanddan
    danicaanddan September 18, 2008 at 10:33 pm |

    denelian,
    If we are going to have nation states at all, does it not make sense to have some sort of immigration policy? Yes the word deserve is a loaded word but can you explain to me why we owe more to someone who shows up within the borders of this country than someone who doesnt or cant? I cant see any reasonable explanation for that but good luck trying to sell the American people on extended worldwide outreach let alone doing more within their own country.

    The arguments I cited initially are sound, they arent necessarily rooted in xenophobia. People can look back at American history, at times when immigration was open and times when it was severely restricted and draw conclusions from that that arent racist.

    One of the questions is quite literal and as I’m more of a nuts and bolts person rather than an idea guy I wonder, what is owed to a person who shows up in this country? 18 year old male from Esfahan, Iran shows up in my hometown of Portland, Maine. What happens? What are our responsibilities? Not ideas but from day 1 what are we to give? Should we have any expectations of that person at all? I could speak to him but should he have to learn English? Is that necessarily wrong? One of the easiest ways to abuse immigrants is to exploit ones who cant understand English while simultaneously not providing resources in their native tongue, I dont see why we cant fix both of those, they neednt be mutually exclusive. If we find he had a felony in his home country should he be immediately deported? What about something less than a felony? All kinds of base level questions that rarely get addressed. Its not wrong to ask these questions. I dont think its constructive to label it as xenophobia when you don’t know who you’re talking to or their motivation.

  13. Magazine Milf » Blog Archive » Friday Funhouse: I’m Not Teasing! (Whereas Karlie and Agyness Are Totally, Pleasingly, Teased to the Be-Jeez)

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