Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bill Maher Wants Obama To Push For More Progressive Policies & U.S. Media Alarmist & Racist Rhetoric on Illegal-Immigration

Bill Maher wants Obama to have a little more audacity & to pass some progressive legislation ie Health Reform & to stand up to the vested interest such as Big Corporations , The AMA & the Pharmaceutical Giants & Big Coal & oil-
Yes I agree Obama should do something bold & forget about pissing some people of & to ignore the bullying of the Republicans & their Media Propagnadists.
HBO's Bill Maher Takes On President Obama.

Bill Maher with Keith Olbermann-
Obama Needs to Act More Boldly

Bill Maher Tells Olbermann Why He's Criticizing Obama (VIDEO) Huff PostJune 16, 09

Also see: Bill Maher on CNN with Wolf Blitzer-Obama, Lettermen & Sarah Palin

In continuing with the last few posts on the theme of racism this seems a good time to tal about illegal-immigration in the U.S. & how the media & certain right wing anti-Immigration organizations some of which have their ties to racist groups are driving the discussion.

Anyway one of the driving concerns of the Conservatives in the U.S. is that of illegal-immigration. Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin Michael Savage, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity & Ann Coulter & other members of the right wing echo chamber have been going on & on about this issue from shortly after 9/11 to the present. Of course it doesn't mean anything to them that the 9/11 hijackers were in the country legally & that they didn't sneak into the country from Canada or Mexico. Yet over & over again they suggest that terrorists are just swarming over the border from Mexico & possibly from Canada.

The arguments & language they use about illegal -Immigrants is sometimes blatantly racist or their arguments & reasoning are a more nuanced form of racism. Until they lose their cool.

Geraldo & Bill O'Reilly Geraldo tries to be rational while O'Reilly just goes nuts and seems to think that a drunk driver killing someone is worse if they are an illegal-alien- 347 drunk driver fatalities in the state that year alone and only one was an illegal-alien. Geraldo points out there are some 17,000 drunk driver fatalities a years in America.

The media spokespersons on Fox News etc.use rhetoric which is over the top & incendiary which is then combined with a lot of exaggeration & misinformation. But they are alarmist & fear mongering and rarely offer rational & sensible solutions beyond setting up machine guns on the border or getting the government to round up some six to twelve million illegal-Immigrants . What they fear is the so-called "browning of America" which is what the white supremacists also fear. If at its base this really has to do with racism then there is no way to have a rational discussion on the matter.

But first here is a reasonable & rational statement by Colin Powell on how immigration has always been good for America. But Colin Powell who is a Republican these days no longer represents what has become the Republican Party. Republicans are represented by angry white men like Rush Limbaugh who has a lot of anger but no real workable solutions.


" Appreciating our Nation Of Immigrants " by General Colin Powell February 5, 2009, address at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies at the City University of New York., Carnegi Reporter

... Not withstanding this positive experience, this great immigration experience of ours—we are an immigrant country—people sometimes forget this. There are too many of our fellow citizens and leaders who want to focus on a discussion about protecting America from the dangers that our immigrants pose. They worry about American culture being overwhelmed by an influx of people who don’t speak “our” language or who worship in a different way or dress in an unfamiliar way. Others, particularly after 9/11, grew concerned that by too widely opening our doors to others we let in those who wished to harm us. These views threaten to break the central connection that has always existed between America’s vibrancy and her immigrant residents. Others argue that cheap labor from undocumented immigrants takes jobs away from American workers, drive wages down, and saps resources from our social services.

There are serious problems with these perspectives. To begin with, they often simply distort the reality of the situation. We’ve all heard high-profile success stories, immigrants who become prominent members of our society, but there is more routine truth that’s often lost in that conversation. As baby boomers get older and leave the American workforce, this country will increasingly need new labor, and our needs will be most pressing not just in the high-skilled jobs that are currently in favor in immigration policies, but in semi-skilled and in skilled blue collar jobs. Moreover, there is substantial agreement that no matter what people might say, immigrants typically contribute more to our social services than they take from them. They pay Social Security taxes and income taxes and often never draw any benefits from the Social Security system. They make judicious use of health-care facilities, not withstanding the other points of view you hear, and they typically rely on family networks, connections and family structure to deal with their social service needs. Study after study from across the political spectrum confirms that our economy utterly depends on the contributions of immigrants, documented and otherwise. Advocates in both conservative and liberal think tanks argue for measures that will broaden and stabilize the supply of workers that come to the U.S. from abroad. Cities like New York have made special provisions to protect immigrants seeking social services in order to prevent inquiries into their status precisely because they play so vital a role in the prosperity of this city. We have to protect this valued group of people.

...We have lived through some tough days since 9/11. And we’re living in tough days now with respect to the economy. In such times, the newest and least integrated members of society are often particularly vulnerable. They often have the fewest reserves to fall back on in hard economic times, and they are easy targets when people begin to look for scapegoats. As a result, in our public politics we have too often been urged toward shortsighted and politically fearful responses, often toward people who many Americans see as different from themselves.


The clip below of Glenn Beck's animation film about illegal-Immigration is another piece of righ-wing propaganda. Beck thinks its funny.For instance he puts up a disclaimer that a politically incorrect term will be used describing a government program in the 1950s called "operation Wetback"- he then jokes that you couldn't use that term these days he suggest because of "political Correctness" & he show the picture of a "hippie " saying that's not right as if only stoner out to lunch hippie types are against making racial slurs- Beck probably doesn't get it that it is insulting to use such terms referring to a group of people. His argument doesn't quite work since if the so-called problem goes back a hundred years then why is he panicking now. And how is it that he & Fox News & Bill O'Reilly & Lou Dobbs believe it is a problem caused by liberals when at the time he was ranting a conservative Republican was in the Whitehouse George W. Bush. Further he also tells his audience that Ronald Reagan gave Amnesty to several million illegal-Immigrants. Reagan that greatest of all conservatives claimed he would go after businesses that hired illegal-Immigrants but he didn't.

Glenn Beck's History of Illegal Immigration

Codewords Of Hate- How racist rhetoric & ideology is seeping into the mainstream media

A study by the Anti-Defamation League on the use of hate rhetoric in the immigration debate

ADL: Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream

Immigration remains a deeply polarizing issue in American politics and public life. Serious policy questions remain about the best way to reform America’s immigration system but the debate has also been framed, at times, by vitriolic anti-immigrant – and particularly anti-Latino – rhetoric and propaganda. Purveyors of this extremist rhetoric use stereotypes and outright bigotry to target immigrants and hold them responsible for numerous societal ills.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which previously has documented how extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis have exploited the immigration issue to advance their own agenda, has become increasingly concerned about the virulent anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric employed by a handful of groups and coalitions that have positioned themselves as legitimate, mainstream advocates against illegal immigration in America.

In 2008, these anti-immigrant advocates have attempted to reinvigorate the immigration debate by forming new coalitions. At a press conference announcing its formation, one coalition openly joined together local citizen groups located far from the Mexican/United States border with virulently anti-Latino border vigilante groups that send armed volunteers to patrol the border. Another coalition has run mainstream newspaper ads that exploit the American public’s concerns about the environment by blaming immigrants for traffic congestion, damage to the public infrastructure, and high fuel prices. These coalitions are attempting to broaden their base and legitimize their views through media outreach.

...A closer look at the public record reveals that some of these supposedly mainstream organizations have disturbing links to, or relationships with, extremists in the anti-immigration movement. Often identified in the media or their mission statements as “anti-illegal immigration advocacy groups,” they attempt to distort the debate over immigration by fomenting fear and spreading unfounded propaganda through the use of several key tactics:

* Describing immigrants as “third world invaders,” who come to America to destroy our heritage, “colonize” the country and attack our “way of life.” This charge is used against Latinos, Asians and other people of color.

* Using terminology that describes immigrants as part of “hordes” that “swarm” over the border. This dehumanizing language has become common.

* Portraying immigrants as carriers of diseases like leprosy, tuberculosis, Chagas disease (a potentially fatal parasitic disease), dengue fever, polio, malaria.

* Depicting immigrants as criminals, murderers, rapists, terrorists, and a danger to children and families.

* Propagating conspiracy theories about an alleged secret “reconquista” plot by Mexican immigrants to create a “greater Mexico” by seizing seven states in the American Southwest that once belonged to Mexico.

* Blaming immigrants for eroding American culture, institutions and quality of life and impacting our environment and natural resources.

This anti-immigrant propaganda and rhetoric, once the domain of hate groups, is now part of the lexicon used by anti-immigration advocacy organizations, politicians and media figures considered mainstream.

In this report, part of a series of reports on immigration and extremism, ADL exposes those individuals and groups who are playing a key a role in mainstreaming extremist rhetoric in the immigration debate in various aspects of American life.

and so it goes,

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