Minutemen Project: Patriots or Bigots?
Posted by PintofStout on April 13, 2006
Friday evening on the drive home from work NPR had played an essay by the founder of the Minuteman Project, a project that has private citizens patrolling the invisible political boundary between the abstraction of the nation of Mexico and the abstraction of the nation of America. It only took a few seconds before I was giving my poor radio the finger and a piece of my mind. I did not turn the channel, though. I heard the man out and I’m happy I did. Now, I can get a grasp on the true motivation of his group.
In his speech, played as part of NPR’s coverage of the immigration debate, he sites concern that America is being invaded by the immigrants from Mexico, and also the immigrants’ lack of assimilation to the American culture – at least that was what I heard in-between telling the guy to preserve his wonderful Aryan race and go fuck himself. Oh, and they are doing this for national security, too.
If the influx of Mexican immigrants constitutes an invasion, wouldn’t America be a country under occupation already? Most every culture is an amalgam of several different cultures that have influenced each other through trade and regular human interaction. American culture just happens to be a particularly diverse conglomeration of cultures. Really, American culture would be better approximated by the openness and desire for individual freedom than by a particular religion, language or lifestyle (ideally in theory, anyway; not so much in deed, unfortunately). Forced assimilation makes no sense in this context then.
Assimilation Normalization will happen as the cultures mix commercially and socially. I call it normalization because the different cultures will meet in the middle somewhere through the give and take of different aspects of the cultures.
The other glaring inconsistency in the Minuteman argument for stronger border controls is, with the exception of a brief period on the northern border, they have only focused on Mexico. As Carlos Mencia, a comedian from Comedy Central, stated in his standup routine; all the terrorists of September 11th entered from Canada. He goes so far as to say that Mexicans are the best border guard going since they would report nefarious interlopers. Why don’t they guard the Canadian border, which is longer and less heavily guarded? Convenience?
Surely, just because no terrorist attackers have entered (that we know of) from Mexico doesn’t mean it can’t happen. But, just like the Chinese, Italian and Irish immigrants before them, what the Mexican immigrants are facing isn’t about national security but racism and bigotry. It permeates all aspects of our immigration laws and the current debate to revamp those laws. The fact that somebody enters outside of the arbitrary rules of about 600 or so people several hundred miles away means nothing. By calling them illegal and making that the basis of a moral argument for expulsion and discrimination is simply self-delusion.