March 30, 2006

How stupid is the U.S. media?

They can be pretty damn stupid, says writer Alisa Valdes-Rodrigues.

Over at La Queen Sucia, she opens a few windows in on the media's ignorance as revealed by the coverage the 'immigrant issue.' Here are a few of her points:

1. The vast majority of Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S. (75 percent of us) were born and raised here, including many of us who have roots here that predate the arrival of the pilgrims....

4. Immigrants to contemporary USA come from EVERYWHERE. There are, for instance, 100,000 Nigerians in Houston, and tens of thousands of ILLEGAL Irish in Boston and other parts of the nation. If this debate is truly about immigration, as opposed to racist portrayals of Latinos, please curb your coverage to be more responsible....

6. You can be a Mexican American and never have had an ancestor come over the US border; vast portions of the United States of today USED TO BE MEXICO or SPAIN. If you failed to learn this in high school, your teachers should be fired....

13. Please tell us what the problems are that are caused by illegal immigrants. Don't just say there is a "debate". Tell us in concrete terms what the risks and dangers are being brought to the US by "illegal" immigrants. Now tell us how these problems, if any, differ from the problems caused by U.S. citizens of all other backgrounds. Be precise. Can't find any? Thought so.

She tears CNN's Lou Dobbs and the rest of the US media a few other new ones, too. Read the rest here.

Via Feministe.

Posted by Magpie at March 30, 2006 03:41 PM | Media | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

Well, agreed, the media discussion on this has been pretty stupid.

However, there are indeed "risks and dangers". If unlimited immigration were suddenly permitted, what would happen?

There are currently estimated to be about 10 million or so illegal immigrants in the U.S., given all the difficulties of getting in. If unlimited immigration were allowed, isn't it likely that there would be 10 times that amount?

100 million new people, mostly without skills and not speaking English. That's one new person for every 3 that are already here.

Where would they live? What would they do? Doesn't it seem that this might be some kind of social problem?

America did allow more or less unrestricted immigration 100 years ago, and generally it appears to have been a successful policy. However, the situation of the world economy and the U.S. economy are a lot different than they were then.

People generate stories about some particular illegal migrant who has benefited the community. I could do the same myself, as I have known some undocumented immigrants who are fine hard-working people only trying to do the best for their families. If I were in their position, I would probably do the same.

I don't claim to have the answer to this question, but I would argue that it is a complex one. If the Mexican economy were better, more Mexicans would stay in Mexico. Maybe we would be better off trying to figure out why the economy in Mexico is so much worse. Could it have something to do with NAFTA?

Please don't tell me there is a simple answer to this.

Posted by: maidhc at March 31, 2006 01:40 AM