Wednesday, May 24, 2006

McCain makes pitch for NYC money

NYO - News Story 1:
"He cautioned against ghettoizing immigrants, which he noted has brought about disastrous results in France, and criticized elements in his own party as “nativist” before lambasting the punditry of Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs and Michael Savage for helping to “fuel the problem,” according to two of the sources."

Perhaps Sen. McCain named others whom Mr. Horowitz's sources neglected to mention for inclusion in this report from the New York Observer, but it does seem odd that the list above omits O'Reilly - the number one rated personality in cable TV - as well as Hannity. The two of them, with cable TV shows on Fox News Channel and high-rated syndicated talk radio programs, are certainly reaching more people on the immigration issue than Dobbs and Savage.

More importantly, what is the content of McCain's remarks on immigration? How are France's immigrants "ghettoized"? Historically, the ghettos of Europe were sections of the cities marked off as reserved for Jews and outside which Jews were not permitted to reside. Clearly, this is not what is going on in France and not really what McCain has in mind. The only use of the word "ghetto" here seems to be to make a none too subtle effort to link France's treatment of her immigrant population with her treatment of her Jewish population in World War Two. And, by extension, to paint those in the US who would treat immigrants as France does as Nazis, racists, anti-semites, etc.

I bow to no one in my distaste for the French, and I recognize their long history of anti-semitism and rather too easy collaboration with Nazi Germany in WW2, but this rhetorical flourish by McCain is a perfect illustration of the kind of thing he does that would never permit me to trust him or to support him for president.

France has never been a particularly racist country. The elites have fawned over all sorts of colored people whether from the US, the Caribbean or her former colonies in West Africa and elsewhere. Those Muslim protesters who indulge in orgies of car burning are not herded into ghettos. Rather, in France as in most advanced countries, public housing tends to be concentrated in blue collar areas where it is felt the residents will have best access to suitable employment opportunities. The immigrants flock to public housing. The situation is aggravated with respect to Muslim immigrants because there is a high degree of political polarization, especially among the young men, which makes them rather poor neighbors so that as they move in, ethnic Frenchmen and non-Muslim immigrants tend to flee.

Without a system of racial and religious quotas for public housing and scattered site 8(A) subsidized housing, it is hard to see how the sort of "ghettoizing" McCain objects to can be avoided here. And such a system would never pass Constitutional scrutiny here just as it would run afoul of EU human rights standards in France.

The "nativist" tag is another code word designed to shut down debate. The roots of that term in American politics go back to the American Party (aka the "Know Nothings") of the first half of the 19th century. Later used to describe the late 19th century second incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan, the term is a subtle way of McCain calling his opponents on the immigration debate racists.

A careful look at generations of polling data on the immigration question shows that the great divide in opinion is not between races, although there are race-related differences in attitudes, and not between native born and foreign born, so much as between those who arrived legally and those who arrive illegally.

Native-born Hispanics, for instance, have traditionally favored limits on immigration and enforcement of immigration law as have African Americans. But so have immigrants of all races who came here according to legal procedures. The latter can hardly be accused of being nativist.

The ones "fueling the problem" of illegal immigration are McCain and his fellow senators who are blocking the broadly-supported House-passed immigration bill.


At Thu May 25, 05:25:00 AM EDT, Anonymous rob jones said...

se hablo espanol, gringo ?
no but I canto seeo me voto for Manchurian Candito, but I could use a burrito about nowo


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