I open up the email this afternoon to receive an invitation to join a yahoo group with the catchy name of [further update I deleted the link--google it if you want to see them. I won't link to racist garbage like this.] getmycountryback. Sigh. My first instinct? Join up. After all, I too want my country back. I want to getmycountryback from religious theocrats and corporate polluters. I would like to getmypoliticalsystemback from people like Karl Rove, George Bush and Tom Delay. I would like to likewise getmyconstitutionback from the same people. Hell, while we are at it I would like to getmychurchback and getmyreligionback from people like Falwell, Dobson, Robertson and Mohler.
Unfortunately, this group is not that. They want to get "their" country back from illegal immigrants--all, I assume, without actually addressing the economic issues that lay under the issue of immigration.
Part of what bothers me is not that people protest immigration, but the historical and cultural myopia that so many of these people display. On this site (and I don't recommend visiting them, btw), you can read a mock letter to Bush about wanting to go to Mexico without obeying their laws and then demanding that the Mexican government educate their kids, pay for health care and the ability to fly the American flag over their house. As if that is really analagous to the situation. The letter reads: "I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, and don't enforce any labor laws or tax laws."
See, I respect that we can certainly talk about immigration and actually should. We need to be honest about how important immigrants have been historically and are currently to our economy and culture. But this is simply disengenuous lies. Millions of illegals work hard at jobs Americans won't take, without the benefit of labor laws or health insurance, AND many of them also pay taxes.
Sigh. The site, for those who dare brave it, is replete with American flag images, suggesting that those who like to claim the posture of patriotism have little shame.
Update. I ignored my own advice and clicked on their link called "humor." The first item was so racist, distasteful and disgusting that I almost lost my coffee. Samuel Johnson had it right: "Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels."