Friday, November 5, 2010

sojos ups the hate rhetoric

Xenophobia 101

Yes, folks, it's come to this...xenophobia.

Unfortunately, one of the core elements shaping Americans’ views on immigration is xenophobia. Not all opposition to immigration is driven by xenophobia, but it is certainly a contributing factor. Scholars describe xenophobia — also known as nativism — as “an intense opposition to an internal minority on the grounds of its foreign (’un-American’) connections.”

Oh, boy, you know this'll be...interesting.

To some extent, the psychological element of our attitudes to immigrants is hardwired in all of us. The targets change based on the prejudices of the day, but the fear is constant. That’s why in 1855, xenophobia exploded as an anti-German riot in Louisville, Kentucky that killed at least 22; in 1871, as an anti-Chinese riot that killed at least 20 immigrants in Los Angeles; and today, as the restrictive legislation symbolized by Arizona’s SB 1070 that is directed primarily toward Mexican immigrants.

Another interesting take on xenophobia describes it as “discriminatory potential” activated and escalated by a sense of threat. Researchers note that negative views of immigrants come from “fears of diminished economic resources, rapid demographic changes, and diminished political influence.” Another researcher states that “immigrants can offer an emotional outlet for fear when both the internal and external affairs of a country are unstable.”

Sound familiar?

Yeah, and it's just an accident, I suppose, that this article comes out a few days after the last election? Sojo isn't, you know, insinuating that the Republican and Tea Party victories this past week were, well, inspired in part by what they're calling xenophobia?

But in a democracy, public opinion is vital to policy-making. It’s clear that right now the American public is more enthusiastic about border enforcement than earned legalization. In turn, border enforcement is popular among policymakers because a majority of Americans support it. While polling is often contradictory — for example, it also reveals support for some sort of legalization program — the data on immigration show a clear public preference for border enforcement.

Politicians rarely put the blame on the public. As Sen. John McCain’s adviser, Mark Salter, recently stated, “Not too many voters like to be told there’s something wrong with them.” But the nation’s attitude toward immigrants will need to shift before major reform happens.

Oh, I see--the desire to enforce the borders is xenophobic.

Yeah, sure, whatever.

The constant attempts by Sojo and their ilk to paint us who want things enforced is sad. Worse than that, it's dishonest.

I've been to several other countries. When I've done so, I've abode by their policies, whether it's for short visits or for studies or even for long-term living and missions work in Russia. I had nothing against the need to acquire a visa, and should I ever chose to actually immigrate somewhere else, I would not see any reason to try to circumvent their laws.

The desire, even demand, that our border laws be enforced is not xenophobia. I doubt any other country is more welcoming to people of other races and nationalities than the US. That people should come through proper channels, and not try to sneak in, is not unreasonable.

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