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Stereotypes And The Immigration Debate: Left of Center View

Let's get this out of the way right up front: Stereotypes are just wrong. They are untrue and weaken us as a people and a nation. Stereotypes have been used as propaganda to justify horrendous acts and at their very least they are derogatory and spiteful. In a perfect world such thing would not exist, but the world is what it is.

When it comes to immigration the primary stereotype has to do with Latin-Americans, those hard working services using folks. Reality is that most of these people would gladly pay into the system if allowed to. They do pay taxes, where they can, and certainly don't take many more liberties than most Americans. They come for the better life, which includes better communities and schools so they do what they can...those bastards. Wanting better communities, willing to work hard to get ahead, how very un-American of them.

Actually if you check the Hiltons and Kardashians of the country it is. We have people in this country who make their living just by being famous. In essence they have achieved the American dream, and that's where the other side of stereotyping comes in. The way the rest of the world sees us. Itís not good people. Just as we have stereotyped Latin-Americans as being a hard working blight on our communities, the rest of the world sees us as not just narcissistic, but fat, lazy and self-centered. Sorry it was too much work to try and spell that word twice.

We believe what is most convenient at the time, which is where stereotypes prosper. Every Indian is either running a casino or taking a tech job. Asians are all good at math yet their parents all run corner liquor stores. The British are snotty. The Irish are drunks and all Arabs are terrorists. Oh, and the whole Germany Nazi thing. There, one big bucket.

But if you actually know anyone from any of the aforementioned groups you know what a crock it all is. The only reason that Americans have for continuing to believe all of this is that they are too lazy to...oh, wait I see it now.

Thanks for listening

Bill


Berkeley Bill - California | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Stereotypes And The Immigration Debate: Right of Center View

All stereotypes have some basis in fact. While they are not an accurate portrayal of everyone within a group there is usually some grain of truth in them for a significant number of people within that group. Do all people from the hills of Appalachia marry their family members? No. But many do. Inbreeding in the backwoods of America is still a fact of life for many communities. Is it an unpleasant thing to think about? Absolutely it is. But it is nonetheless a real situation that is happening every day in that region. While we may not like stereotypes they are not completely inaccurate.

When it comes to the immigration debate though, some people do use stereotypes far too often to make their points. While some illegal immigrants do work the system to take advantage of American entitlement programs many are hard working people who do actually pay taxes. Mind you, they often pay taxes using someone elseís Social Security number but they are in fact paying into the system. The problem as I see it is that they are still here illegally even if they donít fit the stereotypical portrayal of their people.

I guess the real question is whether or not stereotypes have any place in the immigration debate. I personally think that using stereotypes to win an argument is an indication of a weak argument or poor debating skills. If you canít win your argument based on the facts alone then you have a pretty weak argument. That being said, stereotypes will always be the ace in the hole for debating emotional issues. They tip the balance in a close race and therefore will be used to win debates.

I would personally like to see more fact-based debates about this issue because the facts are on the side of the people arguing against illegal immigration. There is plenty of empirical evidence to support the arguments against uncontrolled immigration. There is no need to resort to cheap tactics like using stereotypes. Using hard data the case can be made for controlling immigration. Using stereotypes to make the case just makes the person making the case sound like a bigot. That is not helping our cause. At the end of the day we should be discussing the facts not promoting half-truths and using cheap tactics to try to convince people we are right.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Does The State Of Our Economy Affect Immigration?

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