Monday, March 27, 2006

Half a Million

Half a million, Bush! That's an impressive number. That number turned out in Los Angeles alone in solidarity with the twelve million undocumented workers living in this country. It surely has to tell you something. I think it's a number that you, Bush, personally understand--at least from the political point of view. I'd like to think there's a little of that old "compassion" in there, too. But there are those in your party who apparently understand neither the numbers nor the humanitarian implications. This week, it seems, you're in for another showdown with those Republican leaders who, like your Frist, are out to get stricter rules and more severe penalties.

The other thing they seem not to understand is that oppression never works. Not in the long run. In the short term, it might seem to be effective. In this case, that would look like tightening the borders, increasing the border patrol, catching the "illegals" and sending them back home. And building a wall to keep them out in the future. No way, though, that a wall will succeed in keeping people out. All it will do is create another negative image of this country in the eyes of the world. It was fine, of course, to "tear down that [Berlin] wall." We fought a Cold War for years over that Iron Curtain. And now we want to erect one of our own? What kind of hypocritcal nonsense is that?

I want to believe that you have your heart in the right place on this one, Bush. A guest worker program is a promising beginning to a humane approach to the issue--and it would help you out with your business friends, who understand that they need warm bodies to do the work Americans no longer want to do. Amnesty, I believe, is a good second step. This would be a start along the right track. We're not dealing with criminals here, Bush, no matter how much your conservative friends would like to criminalize them. Witness the extraordinary responsibility with which they took to the streets at the weekend. No riots. No violence. No a hint of criminality. Just peaceful protest. Half a million of them. In Los Angeles alone. These people do more than just take care of our least desirable work. They bring us the spirit of their humanity, and we could sure use a little more of that.

1 comment:

PK said...

Peter, here is a thought for you:D. If the American Indians and the Mexicans took back what was their portion of the land that our ancestors stole from them, where would we