Friday, February 27, 2009

Conflicting Viewpoints, in Dialogue

My last post attracted the attention of an internet listserv about legal US immigration. [It shall go unnamed here.] After posting a "comment" rivaling the length of my post, one new Blogger-ista (I don't accept "anonymous") wanted to continue an extended dialogue on the topic in front of this readership.
I don't use this blog that way. But I'm not into censorship either; I didn't delete her post or the one from the guy who outright asked me if I'm "racist." I was respectful in reply. It is good practice for everyday life.
Meanwhile, here's what transpired on their site with my commentary in italics. Read on, because I've got a question for you at the end:

Listserv Original Poster (#1): reprinted my post verbatim [obviously did not read it, simply read the title]
--Oh well, we all make mistakes, Buddy!!

Listserv user 2 says: "Economic injustice is forcing the American taxpayer to subsidize employers that hire illegals (sic). We're sick and tired of illegals' (sic) hands in our wallets. At the same time we struggle to get by, getting fewer benefits from our governments than these criminals."
--OK, this person has a point I agree with: I wish US employers were not taking advantage of the desperate status of immigrants. But these people he calls "criminals" are guilty of a misdemeanor. Ever get a traffic ticket? Guess that makes you a criminal, too. And did you read the part about Social Security? [I thought not.]

Listserv user 3: "Deport, deport all undocumented illegal immigrants in our Country."
--We tried "just say no" to drugs, but that didn't work either.

Listserv user 4 catches on to the O.P.'s confusion and says: "Hey, if YOU know this is a piece of propaganda, like MANY other posts I see that you've posted, then WHY NOT note SOMETHING in the title..? ..or either at the top or bottom of said crap?

IGNORANT Americans are having a hard enough time differentiating the difference between "immigrants" and ILLEGAL ALIENS before visiting [group name] for the first time..

I surely don't think it's the responsibility of other [group name] members to come by and repeatedly point this out..!!"
--OK, that was supposed to shame the OP, I guess.

Listserv user 5: "Gee, I feel SO DUMB!!!!! All this time wasted calling Represenatives,writting letters, donating money & time and there it was right in front of me (kinda hidden by MSM)...
They just WANT WHAT I HAVE.... Gee, might have to discuss this one with my kids because it was thier (sic) country too.

Up here in North and
South Dakota we are taught at a very early age...
RESPECT... and, You Just CANT Fix STUPID !
There is 10 minutes of my Life I can NEVER replace!!!"

--I'm not sure but I think this guy is ranting because other people want their basic human needs (like to eat) met. But maybe he's upset because other people would like to be citizens, I don't know. Again, I'm not sure, but I think I might figure in the "You Just CAN'T Fix STUPID" part of his post.

User 6 from Texas: "This is the biggest bunch of BS I have seen. Economic injustice, so now these poor illegal aliens are victims? We should feel sorry for them and open our wallets? Give me a break. Send them all back home so we can deal with our own economical problems."
--Did not a regular commenter here only yesterday say that immigrants are going to be scapegoated? You just saw Exhibit A, Folks!

Listserv user 7: [copies the earlier remark calling my post BS] Amen to that. I responded to this woman and tried to open a debate, but she doesn't want to use her blog as a place for that. Which tells me that she just wants to run her mouth about things she has no real understanding of. People like her are part of the problem. All complaint and "oooh, feel sorry for the poor, abused illegal immigrant, but don't call me on my obviously biased opinion and don't ask me to have a solution, I just can't think that far ahead..." You've never going to change the minds of these kinds of people until a tragedy happens.
--From my point of view, the tragedy is well underway already!

Listserv user 8: With the economy and job losses in the US, with temporary aid (welfare) being cut, how long before Americans will need to "migrate" to another country (Canada?) to be able to put a roof over their children's heads and food in their mouths? Like the author said, "When there is no work, there is no food, no livelihood, workers must migrate to live".

But YES, let's worry about Mexico FIRST!!! Sounds like a good idea.
--There was Exhibit B.

I'm a person more prone to action than words, but I'm tempted to join this Listserv.

What do you think about my trying to dialog on that listserv? I'd really like your opinion.


Libby said...

Bleh sorry you had so much negativity hurled your way. I say if you want to engage them just be honest with yourself about what you're hoping to accomplish and whether or not it's realistic, and put on your thickest skin! I don't much have the impression that these people are interested in respectful open minded dialogue, but I guess you never know.

Also, for my part, I was a little confused by your word choices on your last post. While I agree that illegal immigration isn't THE main central problem, to me it is A problem. Obviously I don't think that for the reasons the people on that listserv do, but I still see it as a problem b/c it forces people to sacrifice their rights and dignity, live in the shadows, etc. etc. Again, I don't think you disagree with that; it's just a matter of wording.

Liberality said...

It's like you are beating your head up against the wall. All they care about, and will continue to care about, is themselves. Fine. But it's not a spiritual solution at all. Maybe deep in their heart of hearts they know that but most likely not. But here is what I'd say to them and then close the door, at least for now. Christ commanded us to treat others as we wish to be treated. It's as simple as that!

an average patriot said...

Sorry you had to deal with that B E! You are far from a racist as we that know you know! I did not say this yesterday but three of my grandparents came off the boat and the one that did not was an American Indian whose mother was raped by a righteous American!

Vicente Duque said...

Thanks Border Explorer for excellent information. I keep coming to see your Blog.

Now, I have Big Recent News that have a lot to do with Immigration, and the House Judiciary Committee, studying the notion of what is a "Hate Crime" :

About the madman that just killed a Girl and a Boy, Legal Students from Chile. In Miramar Beach Florida :

He looks exactly like Charles Manson without the Swastika on the forehead.

He has been a Strong Enthusiastic Bush Republican.

He also told a Neighbor Lady that he wanted to start a "Revolution" killing immigrants.

I have videos and photos of these and other Murders here :

Vicente Duque

Jamie said...

I've always felt that the wrong people were being scapegoated. If there was legislation requiring employers to pay the "going wage" or be severely fined, they wouldn't be tempted to victimize those here illegally by undercutting wages unless they simply could not find an American with the skills.

Also, the horrid problems in Mexico with the drug cartels and criminal gangs make me wonder why we don't just add a few more states to the union. Not realistic, but from time spent in Mexico, I know how kind, decent and hardworking most of these people are. It is deplorable that they have to flee their own country just for safety and a decent life.

Border Explorer said...

EVERYONE: Thanks so much for commenting. Mr. B.E. is away right now, and I realize that I used this post as my way of handling the situation since he wasn't around to process with. I appreciate your comments SO much. I will respond to each of you in your own separate comment.

I'm not going to rush into registering on that site. Although the site is supposed to be civil discourse with a diversity of opinion, there are some basic principles about immigration they endorse that I don't believe in. I can always change my mind and register at any point.

Border Explorer said...

Libby, thanks for a great comment! The principles you suggested in the first paragraph were very helpful, esp. what am I hoping to accomplish. I felt like they reached out to me by registering so they could comment here and maybe I was not very welcoming in my response. But life goes on...I'm sure they're over it.

Also I really appreciate your observations in paragraph 2 because I know we're basically on the same page opinion-wise. My thesis was not very clear, and it was stated in a provocative manner. Live and learn. Thanks much for your empathic and very helpful observations! Love!

Border Explorer said...

Lib, wow--you cut through the layers of verbal confusion and made it clear. That "Golden Rule" is supposed to be in all religions, so it goes beyond Christ. Actually, person #8 recognized that we in the US could be in the position someday of not being able to survive here & forced to seek another country, but--unfortunately--the empathy stopped there. :-(

How would I like to be in that position? How would I want to be treated? Why is this so hard to "get"?

Thanks, for a beautiful response!

Border Explorer said...

James, thanks for sharing those pieces of your heritage with us! No matter how far back it was, if our ancestors were not native, we all are descended from immigrants. If we can keep this in mind, I think we are more empathic, accepting and understanding.

I wonder if its possible that your own empathy is so strong because the struggle of your immigrant parents is still relatively near.

Thanks for writing and for your support!

Border Explorer said...

Vincente, I am impressed by your ability to relentlessly document that level of evil. You have to be a really strong individual. My hat is off to you. I track some evil things, but I do not have your level of courage and compassion. I'm honored that you return here.

Border Explorer said...

Jamie, I heartily agree with your first paragraph. The selectivity of law enforcement is telling. Well said!

"Deplorable" is a great word to describe how people must flee their homes to simply try to live a life with some hope. People in other countries besides Mexico have the same dilemma. The Mexico drug war--or 3 wars as Stratfor intelligence describes it--is heartbreaking! BTW, I didn't know you'd also spent time in Mexico. Thanks for commenting, Jamie!

Jamie said...

I worked for a firm in California that owned property in Mexico. As part of my job I had to go down every two weeks to take payroll and operating funds down to personnel on the rancho ... poor me, long weekends in a lovely adobe home amid the lemon groves and alfalfa set between the free road and the toll road over looking the ocean about eight miles north of Ensenada ... somehow I suffered through.

When you add that to a childhood where my uncle owned a Raisin ranch with the bracero families coming in every year right about the time I would spend with my cousins, I've got a long history with Mexican families.

Maithri said...

My friend,

You are a bright shining light in an often dark and hateful world...

I agree with you wholeheartedly,

Love on my sister, Love on!


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I always have believed in dialogue. However, through numerous negative experiences, I have learned that there are some individual and groups with whom one cannot have an effective or meaningful dialogue. It is then that I follow the advice Jesus gave to his disciples:

And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. (Mark 10.14)

Dianne said...

I have mixed feelings about what you might accomplish, and what it might cost you, on that site. I had to read your post and their comments a second time to get a feel for them - so much anger and misplaced righteousness

What has always confused me and frustrated me is that, for the most part, the people who rail against those who have the least are the very same people who muster up very little outrage at those who take the most - Wall Street, investment gansters like Madoff, the current CEO of Bank of America, no bid contracts - I could go on and on and on.

At its core I think it is the worst within us. In order to survive our own trials and tribulations we must beat down and blame those who have less than us because they are an easier target. Me - I'd take in as many Mexican families as I could and stand up every single day demanding the Madoff's of the world go to jail, not a penthouse.

I think you are a wonderful soul.

Dada said...

Before I blogged I was a regular visitor to POGO, a gaming website, where I would go to relax, maybe play a game of solitaire or two. Out of curiosity I frequented the game room "Politics" and soon discovered it was a reflection of the prevailing opinions of the time born of fear of terrorism and soured bellies from ingesting too much Bush/Cheney propaganda.

Far outnumbered there, I soon realized my presence was like a stick poking itself into a hornet's nest each time I visited.

I would ignore comments being exchanged there until they became just too outrageous for me to contain myself. I had to speak out. But there was no dialoguing with them for any with differing opinions. They only wanted consensus and any dissent was to be absolutely crushed, stamped out.

It was an educational experience and I realized if the Revolution ever happened, out of self-defense, I would likely have to shoot some of these somnambulists (if I owned a gun, which I don't).

I finally quit going there. I started a blog. I didn't need their aggravations.

Signed, "Dead Man Walking - if the Revolution ever breaks out"

p.s. I don't know if it's because I come late to these conversations, but often I notice my comment tends to be the last, i.e., it kills the thread. (For that I apologize profusely!)

D.K. Raed said...

(ok, can't let Dada have the last word) ... I was just catching up, BE. Had to go back & read the post in question & comments. Whew! Only you know if you are up to the mental agony of that site. If it's productive for you, even if only for a little while, why not? Me, I would never, but that's me. I don't like to defend my thoughts to people who won't listen, would never be swayed even if they did listen, or only want a format for expressing their own brand of hate.

I live in a very intolerant area, so you can imagine the racism against "illegals" here. The locals use every excuse you can imagine, e.g. when a car dealer ran an ad in english and spanish, they were accused of pandering to illegals. The opinion section of our newspaper is filled with anti-immigrant rants. It's very depressing trying to reason with any of these people. They simply refuse to see. Or worse, sometimes they will seem to understand, so you think you've made headway, but the next opportunity they get, they are back with the hate ...

Because to me, it boils down to hate vs love. I go with love.