Toxic Nativism

Bitching about immigrants is the habit du jour of the right wing. Actually, it’s always time to shit on 11 million people desperately trying to survive however they can by fleeing crushing poverty. We should greet them with open arms; after all, it is that imperative that we have based our country on ever since we were born as a nation. We are the paragon of the multicultural experiment. Sure, every new wave of immigrants did their turn in the barrel, ostracized, vilified-but eventually they were assimilated into the larger culture.

So why do we have it in for Mexicans?

I’ll hazard a guess and suggest that skin color has a lot to do with it. And we now fear that our cultural purity is in jeopardy just because Mexicans retain some of the trappings of their native culture. Every ethnic group does this, but it’s not OK for Mexicans currently. That’s unfortunate, because those “illegals” do some of the shittiest work imaginable. It’s the kind of slave labor that makes our country hum each day. Our grocery trip would be a lot different if we didn’t have immigrants to butcher, process, pick and pack our food. Your shit would not be clean. Your roads would not be fixed and your buildings would not be built. These are jobs that Americans do not want to do. Often they cannot do these jobs, because of location. No one is pulling a Tom Joad to split chicken breasts or harvest tomatoes.They don’t want to accept unsustainable poverty to protect the bottom line of Cargill.

Our “illegals” add incalculable value to our civilization. Yet we project onto them the worst characteristics and images possible. We say they are lazy. They eat up social services. They do not pay tax. They simply don’t pull their weight and that is unacceptable in our capitalist society. But it’s bullshit, if not outright racism. Every single time an “illegal” uses his money to live in America, he or she contributes to the macroeconomy. Every time they make a transaction they pay a tax, just like you and me. There are bad eggs, certainly. But what “race” doesn’t have those?

Anyway, this is a long way around to criticizing the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from our conservatives. There’s Ben Carson, who is privileged to the point that he has forgotten that he’s a black male or that he is a token for whitey. How is he the upstanding Negro and Barack Obama is not? Simply because he shares the stratified white value system. Anyway, here’s Carson’s defense of Donald Trump, the worst kind of capitalist pig going:

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson lamented Monday that the uproar over Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants indicates some people seem more interested in calling out violations of political correctness than discussing the issue of illegal immigration.

“It’s the P.C. police out in force,” Carson, a former neurosurgeon, said in a Monday interview with The Daily Caller. “They want to make very clear that this is a topic you’re not supposed to bring up.”

There’s a right way and a wrong way to discuss our immigration issues. Saying that they are rapists and criminals and that they are “killing us” is probably what the wrong way looks like. That is what people find truly nauseating, not the topic itself.

Last week, a 32-year-old woman who was shot and killed on San Francisco’s Pier 14. The shooter is believed to be an illegal immigrant with a lengthy criminal history who had been deported several times.

“It will be interesting to see what their reaction is to the shooting in San Francisco,” Carson said of Trump’s critics.

Has Ben Carson looked at a newspaper in the last few weeks? It would be interesting to see if he has a reaction to a white guy killing nine black people.

“What we really need to be talking about is how do we take care of our illegal immigration problem,” he said. “I’ve talked about that extensively. And the key thing is we have to secure all our borders—north, south, east and west.”

“And it doesn’t have to be a fence or wall,” Carson added. “That’s stupid. We have all kinds of electronic surveillance devices, drones, not to mention people. So we can do it. And then turn off the spigot that dispenses all the things that they are coming here to get. Then there won’t be any reason for them to do it.”

Oh, shut it. You’re such a piker. Ben Carson’s take on illegal immigration is about as sophisticated as mine is, and that is sad for a national figure. You want to use drones and guns against women and children, and take away real flesh and blood people’s survival mechanisms. That’s so classy and savvy. He makes like no one else has thought this shit before.

The truth is, we don’t and won’t do anything about our illegal system because the straight up business of this country knows the reality of the situation. Yet time and time again Republicans return to the well of racism and conspiracy. It appeals to our low-slung tendency to disparage the Other. Donald Trump is leading in the polls partly because of the terrible things he says about immigrants. That should give us pause, and we need to recheck the pulse of this hodgepodge culture we have shed blood and sweat to create.

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