Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You don’t agree with me, therefore, you are a bigot…

The issue of people who are illegally in America has obviously been a hot topic issue lately. There are differing opinions obviously, but what bothers me is the intolerance for the opinions of others. I fall on the side of Arizona, that people need to be in this country legally, or they shouldn't be here. For this, I am apparently a bigot. Because I believe in sustaining and upholding U.S. laws that were created for our freedom and safety, I am now a racist - at least according to the protests around the land and friends on social media sites. The same thing happened with gay marriage - I have gay friends who called people against gay marriage bigots. I think there are better ways to deal with issues. Obviously both sides have feelings on the issue, but is calling names really the best way to deal with that?

I think not. Many of us are adults. Many people who read this are members of the same religious tradition, and can find religious justification for their side of the argument (whichever side they fall on), calling the morality and ethics of others into question when others disagree with their viewpoint. I understand that facebook, twitter, and others are social networking sites, where people are free to express their opinions. However, I do not think it justification for calling people bigots or questioning their morality and ethics for daring to express their opinion. Have a problem with the way someone views something? Call them, talk to them about it, try to make sure you understand their viewpoint before you go off on them. Don't just assume you know everything about "them" and "their group", further polarizing the issues and preventing yourself from understanding your friends' rationale. Especially on facebook, where you usually know and like the people on your friends list. Focus on the positive, and if you disagree with something someone says/feels/believes, talk to them about it.

I feel frustrated when people call me a bigot for feeling like Arizona is right to try to prevent illegal immigration. I DO NOT agree with racial profiling, and I do not think that all Latino/a people are here illegally, are going to screw the system, are lazy, etc. I know a lot of Latino/a people who are here to make a better life for themselves, and I respect that. But, and this is a big but, I think they need to be here legally. They're being hurt by the drug runners and gang members who are bringing drugs and violence into the U.S. through border states, and those people are making it harder for honest, hard-working people to get here. However, that does not change my opinion that people need to come here legally. And that does not make me a racist. That makes me a person who supports our current law. If the law changes, I will support that also. Not because it's the law, but because I don't believe in lawlessness. And I think we need some controls at the border for people who are trying to bring the culture of drugs and violence here.

I personally know very few people who want to live in most parts of Mexico due to the violence and drug problems. An article on CNN tonight discussed members of a bridal party who had been kidnapped and murdered in Ciudad Juarez, and also said that 4,300 people have been murdered in that province since the war on drugs began in 2006. Hopefully they will be able to bring that under control, but I am concerned that will (and is) already spreading to the U.S. And for this, I am a bigot. For being concerned for the safety of officers who protect us, for the children who live there who are in danger, and the safety and future of our country, I am a bigot. That is one label I have no problem rejecting. There are many other labels I will accept, even if they do not describe me, but I will fight against this. Everyone has the right to their opinion, and everyone has the right to be respected.

Written by Sara 05/11/2010


Cimmer said...

I respect and agree with your opinion (as I understand it) that the immigration system of the United States is broken and needs to be fixed.

However, here's the thing: the Arizona Legislature isn't trying to "prevent illegal immigration." SB1070 in full effect does not attempt at all to fix our nation's incredibly damaged immigration system. I'm all for legal immigration and respecting laws, but SB1070 and the people who back it (Russel Pearce in the State Senate, Joe Arpaio as Maricopa County's Sheriff) are not looking to solve immigration or keep people out--they are looking to harass, detain, arrest, and dehumanize people of color. This law doesn't just affect undocumented immigrants, it affects anyone who might "look" Hispanic. It doesn't solve the "problem" unless the problem is that you wish you could bully people with a different skin color than yourself. Additionally, it goes against the U.S. Constitution, which I can not get behind.

-Arizona Native & Voter

Heather said...

Cimmer -

Thank you for your thoughts. I don't want to start an argument and I believe that we are thinking along the same lines.

I ask you this - Have you actually spoken with members of the AZ legislature? Do you know, for a fact, that their intentions are to "harass, detain, arrest, and dehumanize people of color?" Did they actually say that? Have they done this since the law was passed?

I ask because anytime there is a heated debate (illegal immigration, same-sex marriage, abortion), people start assuming the intentions of the opposition. These assumptions soon become blown out of proportion by the liberal-sided media.

I don't know that there is an answer to illegal immigration (emphasis on illegal) because it has been going on for so long and we've turned into a society that gets offended way too easily.

I think we need to go back to believing that people have the best intentions instead of assuming the worst.

Once again, thank you for your opinion and your thoughts.