Dropping A Baby

What Digby said:

Good God. I had missed Huckleberry Graham’s specific language in his comments about repealing the 14th amendment. He said “they come here to drop a baby” as if they’re farm animals. And he delivered it with his patented dead-eyed reptilian stare and sneering drawl.

No real surprise there.

Slave labor built Huckleberry’s state into a tobacco, cotton, and rice powered powerhouse. It produced the wealthy plantation owners to whose 21st century heirs he find himself politically indentured. The 14th Amendment, which he now wants to repeal, was created specifically as reparation for that sorry, sorry chapter in US history, enabling the descendants of men and women dragged here in chains to become citizens of the land they helped build.

The US estates of the uber rich have largely been built upon the backs of foreign workers. African slaves made the cotton gins roll and the tobacco industry possible. Chinese coolies built the railroads that helped settle the West. Mexicans made Big Ag so powerful that today it dominates the world production and distribution of that most basic commodity of human beings everywhere, food, now a highly leveraged commodity that the pirates of Wall Street have transformed into just another profit center. (Raj Patel, in his book, Stuffed and Starved , points out that the price of rice, a basic staple for billions of humans worldwide, once rose 30% in a single day, thanks to the algorithmically driven computer programs of Wall Street traitors traders.)

In 1994, the first year of NAFTA‘s implementation, the amount of corn imported into Mexico from US Big Ag rose by an order of magnitude, forcing some three million small Mexican corn farmers to scramble to find other crops to grow, or seek employment elsewhere. Most were forced to pursue the latter option. El Norte, here we come.

One hundred forty two years after the 14th Amendment was signed into law, Mexican (and other Hispanic) laborers find themselves in a situation comparable to the one that Blacks found themselves following the Civil War. Though no one dragged them to the US in chains and forced them to work here as slaves, circumstances have. Thanks to a combination of corporatist trade polices like NAFTA, negotiated under the Clinton Administration; the continuing demand for cheap labor by US businesses; and a bankrupt Mexican government controlled by five powerful families deeply invested in the drug trade (which the US continues to support through its insane criminalization of consciousness altering substances), there is no viable alternative for Mexican workers needing to feed and educate their families than to seek employment, even residency, in the US, legal or otherwise.

Not that any of this is really new, given humanity’s millennium long history of the exploitation of the weak by the strong. Changing that basic dynamic is a challenge for our age. If Obama truly wants to be a transformative president and not just a pragmatic go along  get along “moderate,”  beating back the racists/corporatist coalition who are dead set against immigration reform would be a good place to start.

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There is no error greater than that species of self-deception which leads intelligent beings to crave the exercise of power over other beings for the purpose of depriving these persons of their natural liberties. The golden rule of human fairness cries out against all such fraud, unfairness, selfishness, and unrighteousness. Only true and genuine liberty is compatible with the reign of love and the ministry of mercy.

-The Urantia Book

One Comment

  1. If Digby was responding to the video above, Graham did not actually say “they come here to drop a baby”— he said “they come here and drop a child, it’s called ‘drop and leave.'” It’s possible his mouth was anticipating using the phrase “drop and leave,” but to my eyes and ears his parlance was more vernacular than hateful.

    And maybe the resolution of the video prevents me from seeing his “patented dead-eyed reptilian stare and sneering drawl.” But hyperbolic rhetoric from the left is just as disgusting as hyperbolic rhetoric from the right.

    That being said, Graham still strikes me as a sycophantic hypocrite 90% of the time. But he has a point worth discussion— if you come to America illegally to have a child— to get a foothold on a better life in a relatively better country without meeting its fair requirements— why should you be rewarded with citizenship for that infraction? You’ve gamed our system at our expense. What if the child is born deaf, dumb, or blind, or with other complications which must be paid for by our fucked up health care system? What if China won’t loan us the money to pay for their misfeasance?

    Citizenship is a privilege our nation has a right to regulate. But what was regarded as right in one age may not be so regarded in another. It is abundantly clear that all men are not born “equal.” Who determines whether those inequities are the result of nature, or their own indifference and indolence? Do you reward both?

    “Even culture itself demonstrates conclusively the inherent inequality of men by their very unequal capacity therefor. The sudden and non-evolutionary realization of supposed natural equality would quickly throw [our ] civilization…back to the crude usages of primitive ages.”
    —The Urantia Book

    Our current society cannot afford to offer equal rights to all— but it can promise to administer the varying rights of each with fairness and equity. It’s the business and duty of our society to provide our children with a fair and peaceful opportunity to pursue self-maintenance, participate in self-perpetuation, while at the same time enjoying some measure of self-gratification; the sum of all three constituting human happiness.

    Insisting that pursuit be according to just laws is not too much to ask.

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