The following commentary completely reflects the views of okc.net, because I run it.
I don’t want to spend too much time up here on my soapbox; this isn’t an overtly political project, and in my experience having your consciousness forceably raised is about as much fun as a trip to the dentist, but without the free toothbrush at the end.
That being said, every once in a while something so offends my sensibilities and sense of fairness that I feel like I would be a coward not to speak up about it. The current suggestion in some quarters that the constitution should be amended to strip the children of undocumented immigrants of citizenship makes this one of those times.
I have complete confidence that this will never happen; the bar for amending the constitution was wisely set at a very high level, and barring some sort of mass insanity, there is no way in hell that 38 states would ratify this harebrained scheme.
The actual purpose of this proposal is to stir up anti immigrant sentiment to a fever pitch and deflect criticism from the right. That such a transparently nasty and unamerican proposal has been endorsed by mainstream Republican senators like Lindsay Graham symbolizes nothing so much as the willful surrender by previously principaled conservatives to the reactionary far right.
Demagouges aren’t new. The novelty wore off a long time ago, especially here. This proposal puts the lie to the idea that the current climate of anti immigrant sentiment is all about “law and order”. What crime have these babies committed? Being born? When my Irish ancestors arrived here, they met with much the same hostility. The Chinese a few decades later got the same treatment, Eastern European Jews got the business for decades. My German great grandfather was beaten for daring to speak German. The list goes on and on.
When things start to change in uncomfortable and frightening ways, it’s convenient to blame “Them” for whatever is going wrong. Schools too crowded? Can’t get a job? Traffic congestion? Smog? Crime? Must be all the immigrants. We can deal with the challenges facing us together or we can let ourselves be distracted into bickering amongst ourselves. We stand together, we die alone. Will we really abandon our principals and try to overturn centuries of common law tradition for short term political gain?
If you believe in fairness and equality, if you don’t think that children should be punished for the actions of their parents, and if you don’t want to see the creation of a permanant underclass who can be deported on a whim from the place they’ve lived their entire lives, it’s time to stand up to this nonsense. Okies are nothing if not fair minded; I have confidence that the majority of us (Randy Terrell and Randy Brogdon notwithstanding) will stand up to this. Please, prove me right for once.