Immigration and the Religion of Hate
I know quite a few people who simply cannot tolerate peace. Awash in malice, pining for conflict, reveling in animosity and celebrating the hollow, Pyrrhic victory of confrontation, they are in love with hate and are not happy unless they are mad about something. So they create drama at every turn.
I try to avoid these individuals however and whenever possible. But, when it transcends the individual and becomes part of our culture, malice is not so easily escaped.
In America, there are certain “hot-button” issues that bring out the worst in us. Chicago over the 4th of July weekend evidences the depth of our self loathing. Over a three-day period approximately 80 people were shot, at least 16 fatally. Our hatred towards others is exemplified by our reaction to the humanitarian crises on our southern border.
Immigration touches upon a number of volatile issues including race, policy, national sovereignty and of course, “Obama-phobia”. It thereby attracts all manner of bile.
A Sunday, July, 15, 2014, letter to editor of the Dallas Morning News entitled “Obama Wanted This”, illustrates the point. The letter opens with the following passage:
“Some of you may think I’m heartless with what I am about to say, but hear me out. All of the mess down on the border could have been avoided with President Obama sending the National Guard there to protect our borders. I believe this happened because he wants it to happen to get more minorities in this country who will vote for the Democrats who give away freebies.”
“Screaming protestors in Murrieta, California turned back a busload of South American mothers, babies, teens and “tweens” with American flags and signs that read “return to sender”. In Oracle, Arizona, protestors carried signs that said, “send em to Coyote Obama”. In Westminster, Maryland someone spray-painted on a wall, “no illegal’s (incorrectly spelled illeagies), here. No undocumented Democrats.”
To be sure, not all are hostile. Some champion the cause. There were for example, counter demonstrators in Oracle, Arizona, one of whom trumpeted a Mariachi version of the Star Spangled Banner. And Kathleen McQuillen, the Iowa Program Director of the Quaker based American Friends Service Committee questioned how the country could spend trillions on war and not have the pennies on those dollars to spend to take care of children. “It is a simple thing to begin to say, what’s important in this world?” Still, even some minorities and progressives view immigrants unkindly.
For the record, we are a country of immigrants and many of the immigrants in question are children fleeing sadistic gangs and cartels, created and sustained by American’s undying love of narcotics and a War on Drugs that is an absolute unmitigated failure. We have therefore afforded these vicious gangs/cartels with wealth beyond measure and a license to kill much like alcohol prohibition empowered Al Capone in the 1920’s. It was the Reagan Administration in the 1980’s that poured billions of dollars in support of brutal dictators, repressive regimes and drug dealing gangs like the Contras, into the very countries from which the current crop of immigrants hail.
But for the above, there would be no need for these immigrants to flee their countries in the first place. The journey is perilous. Many are raped, beaten, murdered and exploited by the Coyotes who shepherd them from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, across Mexico and to a country which boasts:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
We further note our tendency to lecture other countries as to how they should treat their immigrants, while showing little compassion for those who bear hell just to reach ours. The point however is not to take sides.
There are indeed legitimate concerns regarding our immigration policy as well as most other issues of the day. Perhaps we can no longer be so generous with our country, the inscription on the Statute of Liberty notwithstanding? Maybe these and other immigrants should be turned away at the border? America is not responsible for the sins of the world and we have our own people to care for. Chicagoans who are also saddled with violent drugs gangs, guns, a misguided domestic war and a host of other problems quickly comes to mind.
Nevertheless, it is the policy of hate to which we object. It is the malice attached to the issue of immigration that we decry. It is the fury the body politics expresses towards the immigrants, the sheer unadulterated wrath we offer those yearning to breathe free. It is the name calling, the degree of political vitriol we spit at those with whom we disagree. It is the belief that reasonable compromise is a sign of weakness and the scorched earth policy of those who are determination to destroy if they cannot prevail.
And beyond the policy of hate, it is the religion of hate we most fear. When hatred becomes a creed kindness, mercy and humanity are noticeably absent. Facts are irrelevant and what matters is not the truth, but my truth. There exists only the zealotry, the fanaticism, the intransigence, arrogance, self-righteousness and intolerance of those who believe that they and only they are right; that anyone who dares to disagree abdicates their very humanity and must therefore be chastised, delegitimized, ostracized, marginalized and if necessary dehumanized; heretics to be burned at the stake.
Like all religion beliefs, we wear this hatred on our souls and in our hearts. It is therefore little surprise that the most pious amongst us tend to be the most hateful amongst us.
In conclusion, we realize that politics ain’t bean bag and that unchecked immigration poses a real and substantial threat to the nation. Nonetheless, unbridled malevolence, no matter the reason, regardless the source is injurious to both man and country. Compassion benefits the giver thereof as much if not more than the receiver. Let us be forever reminded, all it takes to become a monster is to hate a monster.
Leo Barron Hicks, Founder and CEO
Blackacre Policy Forum