WTN03 Jul 2007
This past weekend I borrowed my dad’s van to haul some shit, and as usual, his radio was pegged to WTN. And, as usual, it was seconds before my blood was boiling with anger. I am a pretty laidback guy, but it was only a small amount of time before I felt like punching something. And the sad part is, most of it was actually an ABC segment, not even on WTN itself.
The story (on ABC) was about the increasing “backlash” against anti-illegal immigration – the myriad farms and industries that are realizing how dependent they are on illegal immigration. The story focused on dairy farms in Wisconsin, and how local law enforcement is even tolerating illegal immigrants – with some local sheriffs going as far as to counsel new immigrants on how to avoid being picked up.
Why is this infuriating? It’s infuriating because it’s evidence that both sides of this debate on immigration are hopelessly wrong. There’s the obviously wrongheaded, reactionary and xenophobic anti-immigrant sentiment, of course. But this piece was representative of the “other” side of the debate, which is equally stupid. The gist of the argument, including how it was presented in the ABC piece, is that we actually need illegal immigrants, because they are the backbone of so many industries. They are hard-working, “honest”, and they do jobs that “regular Americans” just don’t want to do. The piece even had a quote from some sheriff or farmer: “I used to think of Mexicans as lazy, but now I know that they are hard-working, honest people who just want to do jobs we don’t want to.” Well, shit, aren’t you just the most enlightened motherfucker in the world?
Do you see how disturbing the racism lurking under the surface here is? Aside from the fact that we’re apparently comfortable dismissing an entire class of immigrants from south of the border as some sort of subhuman slave species, there’s the elephant in the room: illegal immigrants don’t do jobs we “don’t want to do” because they’re just really happy to do it. They do them because they are being exploited voraciously by industries taking advantage of the fact that they are here illegally. They have no labor rights or recourse to the law. They have no protection from minimum wage legislation. They may not be a subhuman slave species, but they are certainly a lower, “cheaper” class of labor.
So, of course the local law enforcement is willing to cooperate to tolerate illegal immigration. It’s a massive cashcow that subsists on the exploitation of a lower class of people. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s why we aren’t going to see any meaningful legislation on illegal immigration any time soon. And it’s also why local law enforcement will never organize to actually put a dent in it. Do things like this 287(g) act actually threaten to stem the tide of illegal immigration? Of course not. It serves only to maintain an acceptable level of fear to terrorize that population, lest they become comfortable and secure. If they become comfortable and secure, they stop being cheap.
So anyways, after that piece ended, a car-talk show came on, AMURICA’S CAR TALK – I guess to differentiate them from those commie lattie-sipping liberals Click & Clack up in Taxachusetts – which consisted of like maybe 3 actual calls and then a 15 minute commercial for Mack tools. The commercials in between this commercial, though, were equally infuriating – one promo spot for WTN itself was one of those “when NEWS STRIKES, we’re there!!” with random clips of “news”, including this gem: “… intercepted 50 million mexicans, attempting to cross the border…”
I’m sorry, what? 50 million? Where do they get this? Was it just a clip they snipped completely ouf of context? Or did they just have some guy in a booth record that for the hell of it? With this sort of bizarre propaganda, is it any wonder this entire area is whipped into a frenzy about the ‘cans tryin to steal our jobs? Fucked up.