Thursday, September 8, 2011

Editorial- The GOP, The Right, & Xenophobic America

By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON D. C. -- During the course of the GOP presidential debate last night on MSNBC, an advert aired  that literally made me reflexively get quite angered as its message sunk in.
Here's the "blurb" describing it:
More legal immigrants reside and settle in California permanently than in any other state. The flow of workers has not stopped since the recession hit. The policy is having a particularly insidious effect in states like California, with millions unable to find a job and unemployment rates topping 12 percent. As a result, California has been forced to borrow $40 million a day from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits. At the same time, the Federal government continues to flood California with legal immigrants and temporary workers with no calls for an end to foreign workers in sight.
The TV ad, airing on both broadcast and cable networks, illustrates the lack of attention to legal foreign workers by first presenting the word "illegal", since illegal immigrants has been the primary media focus. The spokesperson then separates the word "legal" out, saying, "But what about these workers; legal foreign workers?" The commercial ends by combining the letters to form the word "ill" to describe California's economy and joblessness, partly attributable to legal and illegal immigration.
Now, here's the thing about that ad that really annoys me- I'm about as lily white as it gets and I am from Canada and no, I am not here illegally thank you very much. Still I am not a U. S. citizen and yes I am on legal permission, but if the person in the ad had his way and I was gainfully employed he'd willingly show me the door and send me back to Toronto.
Actually, I suspect that although the advert very carefully doesn't veer into racist territory, I'm pretty sure that if my skin colour and last name didn't sound quite "white," then it would be a no-brainer and this spokesperson would be calling out for my removal.
I find this advert offensive and quite obviously another disingenuous effort from a blatantly right wing group to marginalise yet another minority population in the United States. Rather than focus their efforts to actually engage in productive measures that could create the very jobs that they are accusing "legal" immigrants of usurping, they'd simply rather point their fingers in a fear mongering attempt to demonise persons who in some cases have spent a lifetime to achieve the so-called American Dream.
Xenophobic? Yes and not only that, their rather draconian "austerity" financial and economic measures that they've successfully implemented are the precise reason that these so-called "legal" immigrants have some of the jobs that this onerous advert is whining that should be held by "native" American/Californians. Simply? The GOP and the right attack education first. They cut programmes and educational spending programmes that would guarantee American schools graduating workers with the skills needed to compete in today's global and highly competitive marketplace.
The truth is that in study after study, the United States has ranked lower and lower amoung countries whose educational standards of achievements are backed by those governments who invest in education, rather than adhere to a policy of non-stop spending reductions in education. The Americans quite frankly are churning out young persons who cannot compete for employment with those companies who require highly educated and skilled workers. In the case of California alone, one need not look any further than Silicon Valley and the tech industry for examples of needs by American corporations for educated and skilled workers and cannot find them. Conversely, this is also the reason besides higher employment costs that many companies have turned to relocating overseas for these same skilled workers and cheaper labour costs.
Does one win an argument with these folks on this? No, they are quite frankly ignorant and would rather blame others than display any willingness to resolve any of the underlying problems. Lest one not see this clearly, this advert is applicable to all groups of minorities in the United States, those of colour, LGBTQ, and yes, women too as the right's assault continues on the women's reproductive rights. The theme is very much the same.
It appears that the right is infuriatingly unable to grasp even the basic premise upon which this very republic of theirs was founded upon, which leads me to believe that the Statue Of Liberty for all intent is little more than a quaint anachronistic symbol of a country that is culturally fractured badly and one wonders if it's beyond repair.


Trab said...

So what's next? Ban travel between states to protect the job base? Maybe that stupidity should be carried to the level of cities, protecting the rich in jobs cities from insidious invasion from the unemployed in other cities?

Tim Trent said...

The New Colossus

By Emma Lazarus, 1883

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me 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,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"