Polimom spent far too many hours this weekend worrying about the immigration problems, and researching broad concepts, like “Hispanophobia” or “English Only”. It was there, in fact, that I found the roots for Bush’s “the National Anthem should only be sung in English” statement. In the end, though, it was all a waste of time on a beautiful weekend, because the bottom line is that Americans aren’t exhibiting xenophobia.
It’s a very specific fear: Mexicans.
It’s high time all this PC-ness about “illegal immigrants” and “Guest Workers” and “criminalization” or “amnesty” came out of the shadows, don’t you think? Yesterday, KHOU.com ran a story with this headline:
Mexicans prepare for May 1 boycott
Apparently somebody thought better of that, because this morning’s version of the headline reads “Latinos” instead of Mexicans. Judging from the article, though, they may as well have stuck with the original:
“There’s allot of jobs that a lot of white people or Americans don’t want to do that us Mexicans are willing to do it,” Maribel Lara said.
Lara did her weekly grocery shopping a day earlier than usual.
“We want to prove to the government that this place is nothing without Mexicans,” she said
All this time, I’ve been thinking the discussions and debates were about illegal immigration, generally — right up until I saw that headline and realized that this really is not that complicated.
The real bee in everybody’s bonnet, at least here in the border states, is Mexicans. Not Guatemalans, or Cubans, or Chinese, or Vietnamese, or any other country on the planet that has had people try to sneak into the country.
Why else would folks be worried that “they’re not speaking English”, when there are Chinatowns and Little Italies all over the country? Or when right here in Houston there are blocks and blocks of businesses with signs in languages other than English or Spanish, but nobody seems particularly concerned. Certainly I don’t know what they sell in those businesses. I can’t read the signs in Sharpstown either.
Folks, if the non-assimilation argument only applies to people who are undocumented, it’s a strawman.
We really should stop with all these political terms. Admit it Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. You’d be fine with those undocumented folks from pretty much anywhere else, wouldn’t you? Just so long as those Mexicans stay away.
Stop mincing words. It’s not xenophobia, or Hispanophobia. It’s Mexiphobia.