…life on the synaptic firing range

Location: Los Angeles, United States

Bent but unbroken Southern California native seeks understanding, companionship, and resonance along and off the beaten path. Teresa plays well with others and makes every effort to perform to her potential. Usually. *processed in a facility that processes nuts and nut products

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

it is english we speak here

Images of yesterday’s Day Without Immigrants demonstrations in Los Angeles made me proud to be a human being, though commentary I’ve read this morning on the Internet threatens to make me ashamed of same. It’s alarming sometimes to realize just how out of touch I am with national sentiment.

I was positively giddy at the idea that half a million people turned out to voice their presence and flex their economic muscle, and that they did so peacefully in a city that was paralyzed by rioting less than 15 years ago. Hell, a Lakers championship causes more upset in this city than yesterday’s demonstrations did. According to the Los Angeles Times, the LAPD, a force often beset by controversy, reported few problems, and I would argue that the officers can count themselves among those who made a powerful May Day statement: It would have taken only a handful of reactionary boys in blue to incite pockets of violence and generate arrests.

Successes aside, never underestimate the propensity of the populace to feel, well, put upon. Before I unleash the concerns of an insane nation, I’d like to quote a “typical” Angeleno cited in today’s Times: "Are we supposed to see what it's like without immigrants?" asked Kim Kelly of Porter Ranch [a suburban district on the edge of Los Angeles populated almost entirely by gated communities of million-dollar-plus single-family homes]. "Because nothing seems different today for me." The city picked up her trash on schedule in the morning, she said. "But," she added. "I'm wondering if the gardeners will come."

And now, my tribute to “the people,” those salt-of-the-earth honest-to-god legal born-here Americans who make our country great. The following essay is made up entirely of single sentences—no more than one from each patriot—culled from responses to the front-page Times article regarding the aforementioned peaceful demonstrations. I have resisted the urge to copyedit for grammer, speling, and puncturation.

Who the hell are these people come in to our country illegally, breaks rules and now what?? raising there voice? Causing problems? THEY HAVE NO RIGHTS UNDER OUR CONSTITUATION! We need to secure our boarders and get these people in line (back of the line). Stop letting these people in. The Irish , Italians, Polish, Russian, French, etc. plus the "Indian" have an important stake in this country. It is English we speak here and pay taxes and do not expect free medical and education.

While we do need some immigrants to do jobs that dont pay very well, do we really need all of the immigrants that we have? NO! What will happen when the current group of illegals get their papers and no longer will work for cash or low wages? Then the next group of illegals will come to take their place!

They're just like the Borg- Resistance Is Futile, and they refuse to assimilate to US ways and customs. Even if you do conquer us as you say you'll destroy it and turn it into a third world cesspool. For once in your lives..learn to speak english..and clean your front yard. and please dont park on your lawn..u make the neighborhood look like crap. I'm appalled at the gaul of these people.

All you guys do is pay are store taxes, not property taxes, income tax etc. Drugs like the meth that the illegals brought up have addicted our kids and it will only get worse now that Mexico has legalized cocaine and heroin. Then, to get a job, they need to use a Social Security # that doesn't belong to them, committing identity theft, the fastest-growing CRIME in America today. Also the anchor baby scam needs to be stopped.

The terrorists can learn a thing or two about infiltrating the borders from fact, the terrorists mind as well hire them cause they always looking for jobs anyways.

America, she is a beautiful country.

Special thanks to aerotheque for the beautiful photo of the march as it approached City Hall in downtown L.A.


Blogger sporksforall said...

So I went to this lecture tonight and the speaker was talking about how what we hear now about immigration issues is exactly what was said 100 years ago about Jews and Italians and Poles and anyone else from Eastern and Southern Europe. Every time I feel good about something like this, I remember how stupid people are. And stupid people shouldn't win. (To quote myself from earlier today).

10:08 PM  
Blogger Slangred said...

Anchor baby scam? I guess I know what that might be, but the term evokes something odd in my imagination. Anyways, I'll gladly huddle up and be as out of touch with national sentiment as you, scout. Me and my Italian (dirty wops), French (effing frogs), Basque (straight-up terrorists!), Swiss (stealing the money/art/insurance claims of all the persecuted in WWII), and Irish-(filthy micks)-by-adoption immigrant ancestors.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous alice, uptown said...

One thing I don't quite get: to be documented in this country means, presumably, that one will have to pay taxes. And that some of those tax dollars will go toward supporting health care.

We have 11 million "illegal" immigrants; we have 43 million Americans without health insurance. Some cause and effect is clearly missing in these protests, and some economic understanding is lacking.

100 years ago, people were turned away at Ellis Island and other points of entry to the U.S. for various reasons, some sound and some probably less so. But the U.S. was considered a "melting pot," a place where one could retain one's cultural background while assimilating into U.S. society and, if choosing to become a citizen, to learn the Constitution and U.S. history better than those of us who are native born.

The thing is -- and I saw these protests on TV in Paris -- I don't think it's too much to ask that if you want "rights" as an American, perhaps you ought to choose the legal language of this country, not your native tongue, to make your point as a protester.

5:41 PM  
Blogger bryduck said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:33 PM  
Blogger bryduck said...

Alice, uptown: your last two paragraphs are clearly paradoxical. You seemingly have no problem lauding the melting pot notion wherein "one could retain one's cultural background", but in the next breath you want people to "choose the legal language of this country, not [their] native tongue, to make [their] point". (Of course, in most states, there is no "legal language", but I digress . . .) What gives? Language is the predominant aspect of cultural heritage; do you want people to retain it or not?
Your first paragraph is similarly bemusing/confused--we have no national health care paid for by our taxes; it seems like your economic understanding is the one lacking, unless I'm missing something in your argument . . .
Scout, your skewering of our new nativists (academic historian term for those Americans who seek to define what is American and exclude all those who don't fit the mold) is spot-on. To argue against immigration is to forget not only one's own heritage, but our country's as well. Yes, illegal immigration should be stopped, but condemning the immigrants is short-sighted and smacks of racism/ethnicism. Far better to prosecute the employers who hire illegals, since they are the enablers here. In their haste to improve their own bottom line, they are undercutting our economy's suffering well-being--something all employers who outsource any aspect of their business do as well. Our economy is in tatters due to businesses acting illegally and unethically in the hopes of increasing profits (or worse, profit margins). If no one hired an illegal immigrant, nobody would come here illegally . . .

12:36 PM  
Anonymous alice, uptown said...

What you are missing in my economic argument is that while we have no national health care, each state has its own plan for paying for care for the uninsured. In New York City, no one can be turned away from a municipal hospital for lack of ability to pay. The money for this care comes out of state and local income taxes, sin taxes and so on. I don't know how it works in other states -- but I do know where a portion of my local taxes go. We have a lot of other civic issues here that need some of those tax dollars -- better schools, more police and fire fighters -- and better pay for those municipal employees who put their lives on the line every day.

As for "legal" language, I misspoke. I have no objection to people maintaining their own languages as part of their cultural identity; what I object to is how it increasingly seems that in my city, I am expected to speak a language that is not my own -- I don't think it too much to ask that the clerk at a national chain drug store should understand the English word for "film," and I am increasingly finding that to be the case.

The last time I was employed by a public company, I had to show my passport to prove I was a legal resident of the U.S. Otherwise, my employer could have been fined $1,000 a day (or some sum in that arena) for hiring me. It seems to me that if this law were enforced (if it is still, 16 years later, on the books), the standard of living would be higher for the people who come here because they seek that very standard for themselves.

3:56 PM  

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