Monday, November 19, 2007

Best Discussion about Immigration yet.

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:51 AM Permalink

Leave it to Bill Moyers. He interviewed this guy named Manuel Vasquez. He's a professor of Sociology and Religion. Anyway, he was GOOD. I mean, REALLY good. Here are some gems from the interview.
MANUEL VÁSQUEZ: So that is the kind of dual sort of identity. Some people use the term bifocality to talk about that. That is that in the bifocals, you are, you have in the same lens, you have an integrated dual vision that allows you to see near and to see far at the same time and to function in both situations. And perhaps that's one of the things that threatens some of the people who are restrictionist, that they see some of these immigrants maintaining loyalty: maintaining their language, maintaining their culture to some extent. And, for them, this is a threatening situation because they think of sovereignty very much in an exclusivist way.
And here's the best exchange:
BILL MOYERS: But yet the debate about immigration today is framed in terms of illegal immigrants and amnesty.


BILL MOYERS: What does that do to the conversation?

MANUEL VÁSQUEZ: It closes the conversation. And I think the term illegal really forecloses any kind of discussion. And I've asked myself, why is it that the term is being used? And so, my answer is that I think America is going right now through a very tough period. You know, we have all sorts of moral questions, you know, whether this is torture, whether this is not torture. Should we have gone to Iraq? Should we not have gone to Iraq? In a certain sense, we want moral certainty. I mean, these are moral uncertain times for America. We, you know, we're under attack from the outside. We perceive ourselves under attack. Our economy is not doing as well as it was doing ten years ago, right? And so, we have all sorts of pressures. And I think the population, the native population is feeling this.

The average worker in Peoria, Illinois, is, I think, feeling all these pressures and feeling the pressures of globalization. And so, I think when you use the term illegality, you have a certain moral, you have a moral certainty that I think provides a, almost like a sense of satisfaction, right? You know, for once, I can say that this is a black and white situation. So, trading on moral absolutes I think at a time of uncertainty is a, it pays off. And that's why I think a lot of these politicians are having a lot of traction with the term "illegal."
Read the whole thing. It's brilliant. I'll never call anyone an 'illegal' again.



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