Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Chicago Tribune Gets it Wrong: Drawing moral equivalency between haters and humanists.

The Chicago Tribune recently published an article by Antonio Olivo, entitled “Immigration debate grows from Web roots: Blogs, forums rife with opinions from advocates, opponents.” The article did a moderately decent job of describing the push-back that the pro-migrant netroots community has given the nativists that have dominated the immigration debate on the web. Unfortunately, in an apparent feign at neutrality, Tribune reporter, Olivo drew a moral equivalency between the nativist screamers and the the pro-migrant blogs. Although, well-intentioned, this equivalency is a mirage of the journalistic imagination. A great many nativists have hate and racism as their primary agenda, whilst most of the pro-migrant sites are penned by human rights advocates, morally disturbed religious advocates and a sincere regard for the well-being of the mostly-helpless undocumented immigrant community. For greater insight into the debate I invite readers to check out Nazua’s posting, “ humanists vs. nativists” at the Sanctuary website. (;jsessionid=07764A6D53A9FFC072BC50B4B08C3576?diaryId=193)

The moral equivalency drawn by the article may make for good journalistic pugilism, “browns v. whites” but it in no way reflects the reality of a community bent on intolerance, the nativists and a community advocating for human and civil rights, the humanists. As more amply articulated by Nazua:

Oddly, the right-wing ALI-PAC is quoted by the Chicago Tribune and allowed to conclude and frame the dialogue online as "You've got [militant Latinos] posting 'Kill all whites' and you've got white nationals over there posting 'Kill all browns.' It's out of control. It's crazy."

Pretty impressive, eh? They really ARE the voice of moderation, aren't they? These sanity-minded "conservative" sites. We're so lucky ALI-PAC is so respected in the mainstream press. No wonder they are given so much weight in the Tribune's story. And now the mainstream press is positioning UMX and Citizen Orange as opposites. And so the battle lines are drawn.

Well, let's look into that.

What do sites like Citizen Orange and UMX (and and The Sanctuary and and and Latino Politico) have in common?

Human rights for all! Humane consideration for ALL, despite document status. It's that simple.

We of the SanctuarySphere are for the end of exploitation of the weak and the poor and the unrecognized. We want to give them a fair and legal process; we respect their needs as well as our needs as well as those of the environment. We understand we owe many of them for our economy. Were they all to vanish, we'd plunge into a depression and be missing many services and foods we take for granted.

We of the SanctuarySphere are concerned about the hungry and mistreated and scared mothers and children and the poor who are caught in a trap, wedged in an abyss between labor's demands, their own needs and wants, racist and nativist hate, and the government's apathy.

We of the SanctuarySphere advocate a generous, humanist self-aware approach that understands the connection between living and eating and farming and economy and health and equality and positivity and all our paths, which must by necessity run toward the same destination.

Okay, so it's not exactly "Kill All Whites," but it is—to my mind—what girds and gives breath to the "Pro-Migrant" approach.

Even though ALI-PAC's William Gheen is allowed to position his site as some sort of centrist refuge of sanity, nobody after the Bush years believes that right wing sentiment is the center. And nobody who knows ALI-PAC falls for that, either.

What does a site like ALI-PAC espouse?

Well, today the posts bear titles like Lets push for a new flag law, Diversity is strength…and backwardness!, Indians from India: Suddenly they all over?, and Michelle Obama and Louis Farrakhan Take On Whitey.

Okay, so far so good. That is opposite my stance. I am more concerned with a child's health should there be a need to consider medical attention, than I am with their citizenship status.

Random quote from the masters of moderation and balance, —

Yes, something IS happening! Despite the malice and racism of the illegals and their supporters, MORE American flags are popping up EVERYWHERE in illegal-alien refuge city Dallas, TX! On cars, trucks, in stores, businesses, restaurants, churches, you NAME it! And, more PEOPLE are carrying American flags in their purses, bags, backpacks, wheelchairs, even BABY strollers! I ALWAYS have Old Glory with me when I protest for our persecuted fellow patriots Ramos and Compean! —

joazinha, I Saw A Sight That Warmed My Heart

Remember. These people see "Old Glory" sort of in the way that they see garlic to vampires. They think that "ALIENZ" Hate America, and "open borders" sites (as they call us) "the enemy," UMX and Citizen Orange are "anti-American." So in their minds, the presence of an American Flag = Anti-migrant sentiment. I know. It's cute!

(The Sanctuary. Citation below.)

I really do not know if The Tribune’s Olivo actually went to any of the nativist or pro-migrant websites. Had he done so he would not have so glibly drawn a moral equivalency between the haters the humanists. It is truly unfortunate, as more research would have disclosed stark differences.


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