Freedom Folks

Friday, March 10, 2006

Vignettes From The Reconquista

While attending the illegal immigrant reconquista march today I made a point of stopping every so often and chatting with observers.

I noticed this lady was crying so I asked permission to snap a photo and then asked why she was crying. She informed me that she had been working with "these folks" for a number of years and she wanted them to feel at home here.

Let me start by saying this was a very nice lady, she truly was. I'm sure those who know her would say she has an enormous heart.

But she's an idiot and indicative of a phenomena I noticed along the marches path. Upper crust white women lined the path and had a look on their faces I can only describe as a mother watching her child. It was a species of pride that galled my soul.

It was almost unbelievably arrogant, but arrogance cloaked in compassion. And this type of empty headed compassion is killing this country. We can't allow every person on the planet to enter so where do we draw the line?

Which leads us inexorably to our second vignette. I came upon a bank where most of employees had gathered on a raised brick planter to watch the march pass by. A gentleman in his mid thirties stood nearest the end where I hopped up to join him.

I asked him his thoughts on the march. He replied that he thought it was great, that these people definitely deserved to hold a march like this. He was waxing quite eloquent when he uttered an oopsie. He went on to say that we should welcome everybody.

I queried, somewhat astonished, everyone on the planet? It was fascinating to me to watch his facial expressions cycle through surprise to astonishment. I honestly don't think he'd ever thought it through before, that we can't welcome every person on the planet no matter how much the president might want to. My interviewee had just bumped nose first into a hard reality. I noticed over and over how many people merely recited cant whenever you asked them questions about immigration, nation of immigrants, immigration has always been good, etc., etc., etc.

Yet if you followed up and began asking hard questions such as "well, should we just allow a couple of billion people to move here then?" Their eyes would get big and they'd stammer for a bit before saying no. I'd ask, so where do you draw the line? They never had a cogent answer.

I think that really sums up the public debate on immigration in America today. We want to be a nation of immigrants, yet realize this may no longer be possible as it was in the past.

A young black gentlemen provided a slightly different take. When I asked him his thoughts on the march he at first tried to avoid answering but I kept at it and finally he allowed that he thought it was a good thing. Again, that they should be allowed to march, then he uttered his own oopsie. He said he thought they should be allowed to march because they came from a poor country. When I pointed out that in terms of the whole world Mexico was actually a fairly rich country with a decent standard of living compared to many countries he was literally dumbstruck.

If today's march taught me anything it was just this. In terms of the average Jane and joe American the two biggest enemies proponents of sane immigration policies face are rank ignorance and romantic notions.



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