Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Nativism Won't Win an Election

I've been watching Vernon Robinson's congressional campaign in North Carolina for several months now. One of my former students, now a North Carolinian, sent me a link to one of his political ads several months ago, and it was one of the most distasteful things I've ever witnesseed.

Basicallly, Mr. Robinson uses a number of nefarious strategies: he attempts to pit African Americans against Latinos ("you needed that job, but they gave it to an illegal alien"), to stir up nativistic fears among Anglos (with a Bilingual Only Help Wanted sign), and to intimate that Latinos come to the U.S. to burn the flag and molest children.

I considered doing a blog on some of the worst anti-immigrant ads used this election season, but in the end decided against it because I did not want to give these candidates any additional exposure. I am blogging this morning, after Mr. Robinson and many of his nativist fellows have found themselves shut-out (Robinson lost his election to Brad Miller by a landslide). Of course, this gives me hope. Hope that we can begin a substantial immigration debate in the country that is not motivated by a GOP that wishes only to manipulate the electorate. It also gives me hope that in this new era of immigration, more Americans have warmed to the idea of immigration, and more importantly, their immigrant neighbors.


troylaplante said...

Robinson did run a despicable campaign. On the flip side, the illegal immigrant debate is not strictly a GOP issue nor is opposing illegal immigration a bad thing. Actually, much of the GOP is dumb enough to support a policy of amnesty for continual law breakers.

I am all for immigration. We are a nation of laws, though, and I am in support of LEGAL immigration. We ascribe higher status to those obviously in this nation contrary to our rule of law than those who have lived and worked here for their entire lives. If you consider that viewpoint "nativism", then I am all for "nativism". Thank God for "nativism".

Deb said...

I'm glad you're for a nation of laws, you might want to take a few minutes and remind your fellow citizens to obey them as well (they are hiring the undocumented, after all).

Nativism, by the way, is a form of racism that focuses on non-native borm peoples. It is not clear from your post that you understood what I was talking about.