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Fun with mock indignation: "Illegals" too insensitive a word

Social Commentary Word Sensitivity Political Correctness 2006 Politics

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#101 Bad Wolf

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 02:36 AM

Oh and one more thing (since I'm on a roll), calling someone a thief when they're a thief is perfectly fine.  If the thief happens to be Black or Hispanic or Caucasian and they're a thief it's still okay to call them a thief and the idea that it's not okay because the person is of a certain ethnicity does a disservice to the people who really ARE victims of discrimination based on their ethnicity.

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#102 SparkyCola

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 12:10 PM


WP, I think Sparky's point is that calling someone a "racist" is often used as a dodge against dealing with the real issue they are upset about. For example, if someone is upset that our borders are wide open not only to Mexican workers looking for a better life but also to drug dealers and terrorist...and someone calls them "racist" for saying that, then it's offensive. In an instance like that, calling someone a "racist" would merely be a debating tactic to shut them up and discredit their concerns.

:love: THANK YOU LIN!!!

yes that is exactly what I was trying to say. And WP I wasn't accusing you of that, I just wanted to raise a concern that that could happen if you continued down the path you seemed to be heading for.

And yes, I agree that what you commented on is also a potential issue.

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#103 Rhea


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Posted 04 November 2006 - 12:27 AM

View PostUna Salus Lillius, on Oct 30 2006, 11:25 PM, said:

View PostQueenTiye, on Oct 30 2006, 07:25 PM, said:

^^Lil you are speaking of law, and I am speaking of right - (which may be what you just said).  

But the indignation expressed about illegal aliens isn't all that much about law.

I'll express again my understanding of the term "illegal immigrant" while reiterating my main concern - the word is calling up emotions that may not be fair or appropriate for each person so labelled - the word is being invoked powerfully to call up a specific image that in no way defines the whole of the "illegal" immigrant phenomenon, and as such is losing its effectiveness as a descriptor.  I certainly understand the concern of the hispanic writers without fully agreeing with them on this point precisely because the more our prejudices color our view, the less we are actually talking about what's going on, versus the easy assumptions we tend to make...


My indignation about it is VERY much about the law.  It's an entire illegal industry.  People don't get the breaks they want or need in Mexico so they think they need to come here and it doesn't matter whether they do it legally or not.  People profit from transporting them and employers here in US profit from not having to pay them or even report their income.  It's illegal AND it's wrong.  

Anyway, the point I'm making is that calling someone ILLEGAL because they're here ILLEGALLY is perfectly accurate.  If it's accurate it can't be unfair.  It's also appropriate because it's absolutely TRUE.  The arguments I've seen in this thread that oppose this point of view seem to be based on the idea that illegal immigrants are not really illegal and therefore it's not okay to call them illegal.  This does not make sense to me.    If the hispanic writers are concerned with discrimination maybe they ought to stop confusing the issue. In my experience, people who are upset with illegal immigrants feel that way, not because of where they come from, but because they are not here legally.  They're upset because they're ILLEGAL.  They could be French or Canadian or Tonganese for all I care.  It doesn't have a single thing to do with racism and I resent when people try and confuse the issue by saying it does.  


What Lil said.

It's also absolutely true that in our state illegal immigrants are draining our resources. They have access to free services American citizens mostly don't, whether THEY are needy or not - social workers, advocates, lawyers, translators, free and low charge medical clinics, day care grants. I'm always stunned when illegal immigrants are coached to take advantage of resources ordinary Americans don't really know about.

For instance, the illegal immigrants who have kids in special ed are coached to apply for Social Security disabilty. In the years I've been in special ed, very few non-Hispanic parents have applied for SSI (and we're notified and asked for documents every time a parent applies) because they have literally no idea that children can receive it or under what circumstances. Yet illegal immigrants are coached through the process by advocates paid for through federal/state dollars! I would prefer those services be reserved for the children of American citizens. I don't care the ethnic origin of those citizens - I care that the people who pay into the system are often penalized at the expense of those who don't.

I care that hospitals out here are closing in astonishing numbers because Hispanic immigrants (both legal and illegal, but mostly illegal) are using emergency rooms instead of free or low-cost clinics to get routine medical treatment and defaulting on the bills.

I care that these days Head Start is overwhelmed with the children of illegal immigrants and that the children who traditionally received their services (mostly African-American in our area) aren't getting them any more - and that the system is literally drowning in more kids than anyone had dreamed possible. I want my tax dollars to go towards giving a leg up to the children of American citizens who live in poverty FIRST.

What I'd like is for illegal immigrants to get work permits, pay all the taxes that we do and have a path to citizenship. And then I want the damn immigration laws enforced so that those who persist in entering this country illegally are deported, as I would be if I overstayed my welcome in THEIR country. That would be fair to all. But Congress can't seem to get off their collective asses and do anything but build a big fence.  :crazy:

Edited by Rhea, 04 November 2006 - 12:29 AM.

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