Stanton Anderson’s recent rambling op-ed was so full of myths, generalities and deceptions that I was almost stunned into silence, especially given his claim of academic excellence. Just almost silenced.
Anderson postulates, “Democrats try to get as many immigrants into our country as possible to build their voter base.”
On the contrary, the Democrats I know (and I wonder how many Democrats he surveyed to make such a bold, generalized statement) would welcome immigrants into the country based on humanitarian concerns and because they know:
1) that immigrants generally, and Latinos especially, commit crime at a significantly lower rate than occurs in the white and general populations.
2) that immigrants do not take jobs away from Americans; in fact, “the vast majority of Latino immigrants are employed in low-paying, low-skilled jobs that require hard labor and that employers have extreme difficulty filling without an immigrant labor pool. So, in reality, immigrants are doing jobs that Americans won’t take,” according to David Neiwert.
3) that immigrants are not disease-ridden, nor afraid to learn English (it just takes a while), and only want a chance for a better life — kind of what our forefathers/mothers were looking for when they entered this country.
The large narrative created by the aforementioned myths is that “white culture” is under attack in the form of invasion by brown people and for that matter, all people of color. This narrative not only became the core of the nativist and white-supremacist assault on immigration but also was the essential story told to people on right-wing media such as Fox news and now popular on Alt-Right internet blog sites.
I have read many of Anderson’s past letters and editorials. I have often been both bemused and troubled by his continual narrative of the poor beleaguered white male, always blaming someone else (The Other) for the demise of white civilization, and his perceived dwindling of white privilege.
Let’s face it, beneath Anderson’s dog whistle braying about immigrants “lies the ancient drumbeat of white identity politics, a fear of nonwhite people who speak foreign languages and follow alien creeds. These people embody the Other: non-or sub-human beings whose presence is felt as a form of degradation,” according to Neiwert. Anderson may claim not to know this, but that means he is either very naïve or very ignorant, both unacceptable excuses for his postulation.
Anderson’s statement about immigrants was more than naive and deceptive, it was harmful, hurtful, and detrimental to democracy. I bet my husband’s Mexican mother is just rolling in her grave.