Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Nativism is alive and well.

We can add this legislator to the list:
The price we pay

Through a series of editorials, the Star Tribune started its caring, calm talk on immigration by alleging nastiness, scapegoating, political opportunism and divisiveness against those of us who think illegal immigration is an important issue that needs immediate attention.

Then it accused the governor of "intellectual incoherence" when he released his legislative package on immigration. Talk about getting off to a civil start.

On top of being uncivil, I believe the Star Tribune misled Minnesotans by implying that illegal immigrants do not benefit from public welfare programs.

Let's look at the facts from the Department of Human Services: The state of Minnesota paid approximately $17.3 million for illegal immigrants to receive public health care assistance in 2005. The federal government paid another $18 million for a total of $35 million in public health care funds for illegal immigrants in Minnesota alone.

Maybe the editorial writers and defenders of illegal immigration think this is chump change. To most of us, that is a lot of our money that could be spent on people living here legally.


To what list, Spotty? To the list of state nativists, that bunch of demagogues who want to marinate us all in their bitter brand of xenophobia. Spotty especially likes the line in Emmer’s letter that the Star Tribune editors are alleging nastiness, scapegoating, political opportunism and divisiveness. Why yes, Tom! That’s a pretty good list; you’ve obviously been paying attention. Your reading comprehension is excellent!

The list, of course, already includes Governor Pawlenty and Katie, both of whom never met a wedge issue they wouldn’t exploit.

Nativism, boys and girls, is a sociopathic fear of immigrants, and it has been with us in one form or another from the founding of the Republic. As the linked article will tell you, the first nativist sentiments were expressed in the Alien and Sedition Acts, easily the biggest stain on the presidency of John Adams. The lineage of nativists to which TWedge (Spot’s new name for the guv) and Katie belong also includes the Know Nothings, a virulent and violent bunch of anti-Catholics who trace their origins from the middle of the 19th Century. As a practicing Catholic, Spot would have thought Katie would be more aware of the history, and the danger, of nativism.

The Ku Klux Klan has a broad streak of nativist sentiment, as does other white supremacist movements. The Asians have also been on the receiving end of nativist activity, from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Japanese internment during the Second World War.

Boys and girls, this is a sordid and shameful part of US history. And Spotty says that TWedge, Katie, and Tom Emmer may differ in degree, but not in essential kind, from all of the nativists who came before them.


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