Rooted in racism

by | Jan 30, 2014 | Economy, Editor's Blog, Immigration | 14 comments

Yesterday, I wrote a piece that said the Tea Party would likely have a fit about a gay, undocumented Latino running for Student Body President of the state’s largest public university. A number of Tea Partiers, bloggers and commentators jumped on the article and defended the movement against accusations of racism, claiming that they stand for small government, individual rights and freedom. That may be true, but they welcomed bigots and homophobes into their midst and spent more time bashing Obama than cleaning their own house.

The first inkling of the Tea Party emerged in 2007 when the right-flank of the GOP killed a bi-partisan immigration reform bill heralded by Republican President George W. Bush. They made “amnesty” the issue. Much of the rhetoric back then smacked of racism but it scared the bejeezus out of mainstream Republicans who folded under pressure.

Seven years later, we still haven’t dealt with the issue and the GOP is still scared of their extremist base. As a result we have almost 12 million undocumented immigrants, many of whom have been here since they were kids. But the Tea Party won’t even let those people who have grown up here and know no other home benefit from the opportunities America offers.

As far as I can tell, their only answer is deportation. So let’s put this in context. If we put all the undocumented immigrants into one place, they would be the seventh largest state in the nation behind Pennsylvania. But they are not in one place. They are scattered across the country.

To successfully round them up would require a suspension of civil liberties for millions, maybe tens of millions, of American citizens. It would demand an army of quasi-law enforcement personnel that would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. And it eliminate a valuable source of labor for employers that would cause prices (food prices in particular) to rise dramatically.

And all this from the people who demand less government, lower taxes and more freedom. The Tea Party can claim that racism and xenophobia are not the issues, but they are only fooling themselves. They’ve wrapped themselves in the flag to protect themselves from foreigners and they’re holding the Republican Party hostage along the way.


  1. Bill

    Should be an interesting political year- Full of name calling and the like. I think the Tea Party was started by another movement in 2007 before it was cool. Good luck with your divisive antics here, you should be ashamed.

  2. Paleo Tek

    Well, Thomas, looks like you touched a nerve by slighting the TP. Let me take a contrary viewpoint on immigration. I’m going Big Picture here, the full geopolitical monty:

    IMMIGRATION IS A GOOD THING! Stop hurting your country by making it less attractive to talent from overseas right now. Stop crippling our economy in two or three decades by graying our population too soon. Immigrants bring investment, talent, and hustle.

    Students of demography understand that wealthier societies have less children. There are libraries of books and scholarly papers on the subject, but is seems to come down to the fact that, given the choice of having less than four children, most women opt for it. That averages out (the math is funky, we all know that the replacement rate is about 2.1 for industrialized countries) to a slowly-growing or shrinking population in most currently wealthy countries.

    So why are you TEA clowns chasing away the immigrants? We need their energy, and their willingness to work at the bottom of the pay scale. We need their willingness to have children. Or do you want the robot doctor when you get old? Are you really willing to pick apples, or make Christmas wreaths, at high production rates for a minimum wage?

    The immigrant problem comes down to who is willing to pay them. Fake IDs are a red herring, real authentication is possible, and has been for decades. If the risk of hiring illegals was significant, there would be far less of them in this country. Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2 all punted the problem with employers down the road. To pretend this is a new issue, or any kind of crisis, is disingenuous. To ignore the fact that agribusiness needed these workers, and so brought them in, is ignorant.

    I’m sure the TEA folks find themselves eminently moral and logical, because everyone is the star of their own movie. But from the outside, they look like an astro-turf group financed by billionaires to advance said billionaire interests. Their policies are xenophobic, racist, and economically illiterate. While professing middle-class interests, they spout discredited economics to promote oligarchic policies. And they wonder why they don’t get any respect.

  3. Dale White

    Well, hey., Thomas, you made it onto PlottHound today. Congrats.

    • Thomas Mills

      Thanks, Dale. I think I struck a nerve.

  4. troy

    Ideology. We are all the sum of our experiences; or at least, we used to be. Now, I wonder. Looking at the ideas, the fervent rhetoric, and the vitriolic words. I wonder if, now in this time of our history, if we have found the enemy and he is we.

    The Tea Party contingent has strongly voiced their opposition to the conclusions espoused here. Certainly they may not be factual of every member, but by and large the majority who embrace the group? Every Democrat is not of the ilk they are portrayed to be, nor every Republican. But those ideals are sewn in the sound byte of in an effort to prompt people into action. Every hot button topic, despite its relevance to our own condition, is touted and made an issue of the first order. And what I see transpiring is a political slight of hand.

    Tell the people whatever it is they want to hear, empower them, inspire them to embrace these ideals, keep them occupied on the thing that makes them passionate, all the while, the core, that select and key few will use that support to their own end.

    The Tea Party members here voice a strict interpretation and adherence to the US Constitution and its ideals, as it is written. I find myself wondering if they understand the veracity of the words they utter. I likewise wonder if the party line Democratic politicos understand the ramifications of dismantling one of the original ten Amendments to the Constitution. If the Republicans understand the societal backlash they are creating by running a reverse Robin Hood on the poor for the benefit of the rich. No ladies and gentlemen, not what you saw on a sound byte, or heard someone else say or prognosticate about, but what the thing is that you are passionate about.

    It’s not about free market economies or a choice between public or private retirement plans. It’s about the most basic of needs. Eating and having a roof over your head. It’s not about homes, which is an abstract concept, it’s about housing. A safe and dry place to lie down to sleep. It’s that Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow) that we all have to acquire in order to move to the next level. And by in large, most of us never rise past that primal level; a pity.

    Now that I’ve succeeded in raising the rancor of everyone, let me say this in closing. Charity and goodwill start at home. As an American, that means here, in the United States. We have enough money to send charity, relief, and aid around the world. We have the money to keep tens of thousands of troops in the field for over ten years. We build government buildings, courts, schools, and bases in foreign lands. And yet, we cut funding for those very things here in this country. Nothing confuses me more. It’s time we ceased being the World’s Caregiver and looked after our own house first.

  5. Good Rubbish

    I knew it was only a matter of minutes before the “robert byrd was a klansman and demonrats are the real racists” meme would surface. Well done. I’m ready to accept your color-blindness now that you’ve put me in my historical place.

  6. Good Rubbish

    Amazing how the absolutely-not-racist teabaggers come a commentin’ when there are a couple of race/immigration posts. Keep it coming guys. You’ll convince us of your color-blindness any post now.

    • geek49203 aka Bad Rubbish

      Well, any day now the Left will stop fighting straw men. I wonder what bigotry they have against those of the vegetative variety? But hope does abound, I’m about ready to forget to post about the Dem’s racial history on places like this. Yesirree, those slave owners, the whole Civil War thing, the assassination of the GOP President, the Red Shirts, military coups, KKK domination, Jim Crow, eugenics…. But I’ve almost forgotten that. ‘Cause, I’m dealing with color-blind people who would never notice, say, the color of a college presidential candidate.

  7. Kirk Smith

    Same ole broken record, poor “undocumented” workers. For the record, these people have more documents than anyone can imagine. Had a customer opening his wallet to pay for his purchase and out fell out 3 social security cards with his Mexican Matricular Consular “get out of jail free” card (not legal in Mexico).

    So in real life, we enjoy the company of a criminal alien population that flaunts our laws, populates our schools and compete for jobs. Ask any other hyphenated American (usually democrat voter) what they think of our criminal alien population, and their vulgar response would shame a British soldier (they are far more vulgar than any American soldier)!

  8. geek49203 aka Bad Rubbish

    One more thing — Foreign people “bad” when we do trade agreements, but “good” when they come here illegally and take jobs from Americans… right? That is the logic here? As we saw on full display yesterday? It’s “racist” when we don’t want illegals from a country, but “okay” if not “commendable” when we oppose giving ’em jobs back in their home country???

  9. geek49203 aka Bad Rubbish

    “As far as I can tell…” Tom, you don’t get get out much. Here’s a better view of things, so you can at least stop arguing with straw men. (Speaking of which, how about that MSNBC biracial family Tweet yesterday? Gotta warm your heart Tom!)

    First, Ronald Reagan got the support of many of the TEA people when he did Amnesty. Oh, granted, there were dissenters, but I recall a day — perhaps even THAT day — when Dems would fight immigration ’cause it hurt their union work force. So “dissent” was a lot more than blind racism, ’cause we all know that liberal Dems can NEVER be racist, right?

    Anyway, over the years, both GOP and Dem politicians allowed massive illegal immigration, so by the middle of the Bush ’43 years, all of that Reagan thing was undone. The reforms never happened, and we had a ton of new illegals. So point number one — the TEA people don’t trust you. Or any Dem. Or any GOP politician. They won’t take a “promise” to do better. Both Boehner and uber-liberals-writing-blogs would start off on the proper foot if they understood that, on this matter, they are thought to be utter liars.

    I think that most TEA people can do math. They understand that you can’t “sent ’em all home”. How many bus trips for 12 million people? That is an exodus unprecedented in modern times, perhaps all time. The TEA people “get it”. And they’re pissed about it, cause it’s old shady car salesman joke of “asking for forgiveness instead of permission.” Did I mention that the basic hatred here is not based in “Racism” but rather an experience where people lied?

    And let’s face it –no agency, certainly not ICE, can handle 12 million complex applications that take extensive investigation. Hell, not even the IRS, or for that matter, the Obama hack political dirt machine. So, amnesty it will be. And did I mention that the TEA people were lied to by politicians, and have absolutely no reason to trust representations that this won’t happen again??!?!

    So Tom, if you wanna write something that actually addresses the issue, start off with that lack of trust. Throw in a belief that people DO comprehend the situation. And tell me how you’re gonna fix this when no one trusts those elected, INCLUDING a good number of Dems.

    PS — my tone will improve when you stop calling everyone who doesn’t agree with you a racist.

    • Keith Spence

      Easy geek49203. You can’t argue facts and logic with an imbecile.

      • geek49203 aka Bad Rubbish

        Keith — you mean the guy who wrote that long dissertation on the mis-edited Huckabee sound bite? The one that MSNBC et al later had to apologize for? That person?

    • ArtyS

      Mr. Geek, your work, patience and demeanor are commendable. You remind me of a person who once said to me that pessimism is a unaffordable luxury.

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