I tolerate much offensive behavior without protest, but four things consistently anger me beyond my ability to remain silent. They are — in no particular order — lying, abuse of the helpless (elderly, children, and animals), Clemson football play calling, and bald-faced hypocrisy. At the moment, I’m pretty well pissed because too many politicians and people are such hypocrites on illegal immigration. Immigration hasn’t out front lately with all the media coverage going to the “debt crisis.” (Debt crisis! Come to my house; I’ll SHOW you a debt crisis) Yesterday, though, I saw some stuff on Facebook in the comments section of President Obama’s page that remind me of how ugly this debate really is.
Here’s the problem as I see it; the story of Europeans in America is a story of raping and robbing, of deceit and destruction. When English Pilgrims and Jamestowners got off the boats, they would have ALL died if not for the grace of God and the kindness of the natives. How they repaid God’s grace is a matter for theological debate, but how they thanked the Indians is a matter of historical record: smallpox infected blankets, blatant disregard for Indian culture, and complete dishonesty in treaty after treaty. Sure doesn’t say much for people who founded a country supposedly based on “equality of all mankind.” (Of course they meant all free, white, male, landowning, and educated kind.)
Down South America / Central America way, the Spanish were at least honest. A conquistador would simply ask “Do you have gold? Good, we will take it all. Thank you. Now, you are my slave; carry your — I mean — my gold to the ship.” Then, a wonderfully pious priest would ask, “Do you believe in God? Who is that? He isn’t the real god. Convert immediately and live or cling to your stupid backward ways (that built at least 3 flourishing empires) and we’ll torture you until you beg to convert then kill you so you can go straight to Heaven.”
By the end of the 20th Century, Indians controlled less than 10% of the continents they kept and tended so well for thousands of years. One would think they were just waiting to be discovered and exploited by the white man. Deemed savages because they didn’t understand or practice ownership of land and didn’t worship the Christian’s God — at least not by that name anyway — they were worthy of extermination as in “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”
Well, folks, karma is an ill-tempered bitch with a long memory. If the Hindu reference bothers you, then how about a Christian reference? Apostle Paul in Galatians, “Whatever a man sows, he will reap.” For 500 years, European “immigrants” have destroyed and exploited the native people. Now their descendents want some of it back.
Thus begins the hypocrisy.
We took this land by force with the fervent belief it was our Manifest Destiny. Now people are pissed off at people, mostly brown people from Mexico, who want a piece of the pie. We wanted, nay, demanded, the whole cupboard and pantry yet begrudge them the crusts they want. Here’s the deal, our ancestors set out in rickety ships to “find a better life.” The new wave of illegal immigrants walk across deserts with no water while avoiding crazy, trigger-happy “Minutemen” to do what?
“Find a better life.”
What made our ancestors so right and the new “illegals” so wrong? We didn’t feel the need to obey native laws or customs, so why do we cry foul when what went around has come back around?
I know people will want to say “that was different.” How was it different, exactly? Some will go on about how a lot of the illegals are criminals and represent a danger to our safety. Really? Well, a lot of Indians died because Europeans wanted land, so I’d say the Indians were in danger, but apparently that’s okay with everyone .
Rash Limburger and his ilk love to blather about how, “They’ll take (or they’re taking) all our jobs!” Really? When is the last time you saw an illegal looking Latino individual working a white-collar job? Just exactly what jobs are these people stealing? Let’s see . . . landscaping? I’m sure hundreds of Anglo-Americans will line up to fill all the landscaping jobs once we deport the illegals. I mean, who doesn’t want to spread mulch, cut grass, and dig irrigation trenches in 100 degree heat and 90% humidity? How about highway construction? Sign me up to stand behind a dump truck full of 600 degree semi-molten tar and rock ready to spread it with a shovel! Household staff (aka “maids”)? Custodians? Slaughterhouse workers? Dish washers? The fact is, suspected illegals fill jobs Anglo-Americans have mostly abandoned but still need doing! Why begrudge someone a job you don’t want?
An acquaintance of mine owns his own full service car wash. He employs a large number of Hispanics, but it wasn’t always like that. According to him, in the first years he filled his staff with college students home for the summer or high school dropouts learning a hard lesson. Now the last ten years, he can’t get students or dropouts. When he asks them why they are leaving — the ones man enough to show up and tell him anyway — they say the work is “way too hard for the pay.”
He says he never has a problem with his Hispanic workers though. Men and women alike are always neat, clean, prompt, and hard-working. He doesn’t have to do nearly as much supervision as he once did because his workers are a community. Many of them live together, eat together, and go to and from work together. They police themselves, and as he puts it, “They push a lot of cars through and make me a lot of money.” He acknowledges some of them may be illegal but whenever he’s asked for it, they’ve the correct required paperwork.
This country was founded on the ideal that you could come here with nothing, work hard for a long time, and eventually “have something”. We even have a name for it. It’s called The American Dream. So why are we — a country of rebels and renegades, eccentrics and entrepreneurs — so incensed at a newer, hungrier wave of people coming in — just like our ancestors did — to grab a share of the pie we stole from them originally and have been hogged to ourselves for 200+ years? They want the same thing those early colonists wanted — a better life.
We even have one advantage over those natives’ ancestors who greeted our European progenitors; we can be relatively certain they don’t plan to exterminate or enslave us.
That’s what I think, anyway.
Love y’all and keep those feet clean!