Zimzo replies: You are reprising Virginia's darkest days
The pro-illegal commenter who inspired so much debate over the past week (see here, here, here, and here), after all the discussion, still has a pretty low opinion of the people who oppose illegal immigration.
Thanks for educating me, Joe. All of this just confirms what I feared. I spend a lot of time defending the South and often point out that the reaction to the Chicago Freedom Movement, which fought discriminatory housing practices in the Chicago area, was in many ways more hostile than in the South. Martin Luther King Jr. said after their famous march there in 1966 said that he had "never seen as much hatred and hostility on the part of so many people." And now in this month that we celebrate the 39th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, I see that the two most important issues to certain Virginians are to keep gay people from marrying their partners and keep Latinos from moving into their neighborhoods. Extraordinary....
Click the link below to read the rest of Zimzo's message and my reply.
It's especially amazing that you put up links to these sites apparently thinking that they had somehow proved your point. First of all, I didn't see anything about 20 people living in a house. But what I did read astounded me. The Manassas city council passed a law defining what constitutes a family! Gee, conservatives are always saying how they want to keep government out of our affairs and act like they have the monopoly on family values:
"The amendment, adopted Dec. 5, defines a family as â€œtwo or more persons related to the second degree of collateral consanguinityâ€ plus one non-related person, despite the homeâ€™s legal occupancy limit. In many cases, the head of householdâ€™s aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews would not be considered family, and, thus, make it illegal for them to reside in the home."
Amazing. One of the complaints I always hear from Latinos about American culture is how we don't seem to be as close to our families as they are. In Latino culture it is typical to live with ones grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. Now Manassas has gone ahead and made this against the law! I'm stupefied.
And it is clear that this law has one purpose. It is clearly directed at Latinos in an attempt to drive them out of your neighborhoods. Then I read about how complaints against "overcrowding" are up. Again most of these "complaints" are against Latinos. I guess you are doing a good job of stoking the "flames of discontent." You may want to reach back into not-too-distant Virginia history for some other examples of how to harass and drive people out of your neighborhoods.
But maybe you guys have already gone too far. One Republican seems to be having second thoughts: "Supervisor Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles) seemed a little hesitant about the surveillance. 'Iâ€™m wondering if we really want to spy on citizens.'"
Since most of this discussion seems to be about Latinos, here are a few statistics about the Latino population: the Latino population of Fairfax County is about 12%, which is less than the national average of 14%. The reason Fairfax County may be having problems with overcrowding is that its population has grown by 25% since 1990 according to the Census Bureau. And, yes, the Latino population grew from about 50,000 to about 100,000 out of one million. Maybe half of them are illegal. I hardly see how this constitutes the emergency you make it out to be. Of course, lost in this discussion is this interesting fact: "Almost 40 percent of Northern Virginiaâ€™s foreign born have college degrees; one in six has an advanced degree." I guess they're not only after jobs Americans won't do but also after jobs Americans aren't smart enough to do.
Northern Virginia has undergone extraordinary growth in the last few decades. During that time the disparity in incomes has also grown. But typically for conservatives you would rather scapegoat a group that doesn't have a very strong constituency. Instead of building more affordable housing, putting some limits on sprawl, dealing with the problem of those who don't have health insurance, improving the schools, etc., you seem to find it easier to blame The Other, even if that means passing draconian laws that seem to defy your professed conservative principles.
1) About the links in this post: You were contending that residential overcrowding was a myth; I posted these news and government links simply to establish it's no myth. The rest of the posts here should do a great deal more to confirm the specifics.
3) But you know what? I'm going to assume you have read what Amy and Nathan wrote, as well as all the other news in our Immigration Category, and you've decided all of these local people who say there is such a thing as residential overcrowding and community problems resulting from illegal aliens are lying. Correct me if I'm wrong.
4) "You may want to reach back into not-too-distant Virginia history for some other examples of how to harass and drive people out of your neighborhoods."
You are pretty clearly of the opinion that those who oppose illegal immigrants in Northern Virginia are yahoos, rednecks, bigots.
Let me clarify something for you: I'm not writing from some hollow in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I'm in Northern Virginia, in the DC Metropolitan area. I don't eat possum and I don't know how to make squirrel gravy.
You seem to believe we have a problem with living in a multi-ethnic community. Here's some news: The DC area has been multi-ethnic for as long as I've been here, which is going on 35 years. In the 1970s we had a massive influx of people from, among other countries, El Salvador and Iran. Since then, in my time here, DC has become broadly multi-ethnic. Take the area from Sterling, Virginia to Laurel, Maryland, and you are probably looking at the most culturally diverse geographical segment of the country. I've traveled a great deal around the U.S. and I've never been anywhere with anything like the ethnic diversity of Washington D.C. It's been this way my entire life. So I've lived most of my life in the most multi-ethnic place I've ever experienced. And I'm not moving to North Dakota; I'm staying here. I LIKE DC.
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest most of the people here who are opposed to illegal immigration feel the same way. Attitudes about cultural diversity have absolutely nothing to do with it.
5) "Of course, lost in this discussion is this interesting fact: 'Almost 40 percent of Northern Virginiaâ€™s foreign born have college degrees; one in six has an advanced degree.' I guess they're not only after jobs Americans won't do but also after jobs Americans aren't smart enough to do."
You just hammered a nail into your own misguided argument. A huge number of foreign-born people obviously live here LEGALLY as functioning members of society. We are not advocating against them in any way. It's the larger numbers of people here illegally, who are undermining wages, who constitute the problem.
6) And bro', let me tell you something: Think about what you are trying to accomplish. Are you here to win debating points against me? That's not such a great idea because, in the big picture, I'm a straw man. I had nothing to do with the overthrow of the Herndon government. I never even heard of Help Save Herndon until February. Defeat me in a debate and, in the real world, you've accomplished exactly bupkiss. Meanwhile, there is a grassroots revolution going on here about which I'm merely a reporter. The revolution is the thing that's going to spread - for goodness sakes, it sure won't be the reputation of Joe B.
So, when you say something like "jobs Americans aren't smart enough to do," which makes no sense at all, you're going to really piss some people off - a LOT more than you are going to wound Joe B. (In fact, I'm already over it). We're not exactly Instapundit, but we do have a lot of readers active in Northern Virginia politics. And it's a totally disingenuous thing to say. Of course, you know that, because you clearly are no fool. So depending on what you want to accomplish, you might want to reconsider the rhetorical approach.
If you want to have in impact in Northern Virginia, don't focus on out-debating me. That's the low-hanging fruit.
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