Sunday, July 16, 2006

First They Came for the Rednecks . . .

Well, a man can dream, can't he?

The xenophobic mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania is getting all sorts of support from rednecks in the blogosphere after having drawn the proverbial line in the sand when it comes to illegal immigration. To wit, Bryanna Bevens posted a rather ignorant diatribe on the "Virginia Dare" blog, asserting that:
"The Mayor of Hazelton . . . decided that illegal immigration was out of control: illegal immigrants were a taxpayer burden, schools were overcrowded and crime rates were soaring."
The only problem is that none of the problems that Hazleton is experiencing have anything to do with illegal immigration. Indeed, the once small, charming, and dying town of Hazleton was more or less saved from economic extinction by an influx of decent, hardworking Latino families from New York over the last few years, with all but a small handful of these Latinos being legal residents rather than United States citizens. But why let facts like that get in the way? After all, since there were one or two high profile violent crimes in Hazleton that involved illegal immigrants -- high profile and newsworthy primarily *BECAUSE* they involved illegal immigrants -- it was rather easy for the rednecks in Hazleton to blame all of the problems of sudden growth in Hazelton on illegal immigration. Nevermind the fact that there has been no noteworthy increase in crime in Hazleton since the influx of Latinos from New York, much less an increase in crime caused by illegal immigrants. Start a race war by passing an ordinance that rednecks can use to persecute Latinos, and hate crimes in Hazleton will almost certainly skyrocket.

Beyond outing Bevens as a racist demagogue, I will stop short of the cheap shots that are so common in discussions of political issues. However, I will damn her with faint praise. To wit, while Bevens is a regulation hottie, she's not particularly intellectual, so she's nowhere near as dangerous as a hottie female intellectual demagogue like Ann Coulter. In fact, Bevens' racist screed is so transparent that I have a hard time believing that she believes half of the tripe that she has written about immigration. I say this as someone who is related to quite a few hottie female demagogues. Unlike Bevens, Coulter is truly dangerous, as she gives a deceptively rational voice to intolerance.
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

-- Martin Niemöller (1892—1984), Protestant pastor, social activist, and former German Nazi sympathizer.


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