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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Who has a "right" to be here? 
14th-Apr-2006 08:03 am
Winter
Liberal derision re: anti-immigrant behavior occasionally drops the following snide argument: Unless you're an American Indian, you have no right whatsoever to complain.

A POX ON PEOPLE WHO SAY THIS!!! This is a specious argument that assumes that American Indians (the PC term "Native American" implies this) are a monolithic group and that, more importantly, they "got here first." The fact of the matter is that no one really knows who got here first! The sum total of what we now know as American Indians are the descendants of successive waves (experts still debate exactly how many and when) of pre-historical migration who, by the time Columbus made his landing, spoke hundreds of different languages. As such, most Native Americans are actually descendants of people who, like the immigrants of the more recent times, either displaced, intermarried with, warred with, and/or lived alongside other cultures. (Never mind that the the first wave of immigration from Asia to the Americas happened so damn long ago that we are all, EVERY ONE OF US, descendants of those original immigrants!)

Therefore, far better to structure pro-immigration arguments this way: The Americas have been a multicultural milieu for the great bulk of human history. What's stopping us now?
Comments 
14th-Apr-2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
I'm curious. Why are debating immigration laws now?^^ Surely there are more important issues to discuss.
14th-Apr-2006 01:09 pm (UTC)
Immigration is becoming a rather big deal lately. There have been marches in both DC and LA recently because of the 'proposed federal crackdown on illegal immigration' (quoted from the Washington Post)...

http://www.npr.org/templates/archives/archive.php?thingId=5310549&startNum=16

I agree, though - there are bigger things to focus on than trying to force people out of the country. x_x Like - IDK - health care, women's issues, gay rights, welfare, the fact many people my parents' age won't be able to retire, etc., etc...
14th-Apr-2006 01:16 pm (UTC)
To be honest, it never STOPS. But whenever there's an economic downturn (such as now), and the middle class is pinched, anti-immigrant rhetoric and proposed legislation in the government (thereby distracting us from the larger underlying issues) ratchets up.
14th-Apr-2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
It makes sense in a way. Blame the outsiders for the problems.
14th-Apr-2006 01:30 pm (UTC)
That's right. It's always easier to victimize someone who can't fight back.
14th-Apr-2006 01:03 pm (UTC) - OT, but I thought you'd relate...
'Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?'
- Henry Ward Beecher
14th-Apr-2006 01:15 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
I totally relate! XD
14th-Apr-2006 01:18 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
XD XD XD

It might depend on the person, though...

My favorite book-buying related quote goes something like: "When I have money, I buy books, and when I have money left over, I buy food." When I was little, the employees at Waldenbooks gave me a canvas bag with that printed on it as a gift. ^^;;
14th-Apr-2006 01:19 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
*lol* That fits me, for certain. I spent more money at Book Off last spring than I did purchasing food...
14th-Apr-2006 01:21 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
I rarely admit it, but the money I make writing about manga I use to...BUY MORE MANGA (and other books)!!! *bwa ha haaaaaaaaa*
14th-Apr-2006 01:22 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
My dream is to have an apartment of my own with bookshelves - many bookshelves - so my books don't have to sit in boxes in the attic, because there's no room in my crawlspace of a room... :( Poor books.
14th-Apr-2006 01:27 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
An apartment with bookshelves? Yeah, that would definitely be nice... *eyes 6 ft. tall columns of books on her bedroom floor* But if we're doing book-related wet dreams, I'd like to have a dedicated library room with real, heavy-duty library shelf construction. ^_____^

so my books don't have to sit in boxes in the attic

Oh, God, don't get me started about that! Three moves in the space of a year means that most of my books period are inaccessible in unmarked boxes in our attic. When I was taking that Sci Fi class, I had to buy new copies of books I already owned because I didn't know where the old ones were. >_< Horrible...
14th-Apr-2006 01:32 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
*drooooooooooooooooooooooools* ~_~

Yes, a study with many, lovely shelves...

It's always sad when a good book can't see the light of sun here and there!
14th-Apr-2006 01:27 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
You don't need to. We all guessed^_~
14th-Apr-2006 01:28 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
Dammit...I thought that was a secret...
14th-Apr-2006 01:29 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
*laughs*
It isn't^^

*decides not to say anything about her own money habits*
14th-Apr-2006 01:32 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
I was being sarcastic. ^_~

You know, I have fantasies about book-shopping with someone who loves books as much as I do. The enthusiasm, the on-the-spot recs... XD
14th-Apr-2006 01:26 pm (UTC) - Re: OT, but I thought you'd relate...
I think that quote is by Erasmus.
14th-Apr-2006 02:42 pm (UTC)
But anti-immigration people can't necessarily be expected to know what the words "multicultural," "milieu," and "bulk" mean. :p

Seriously, I don't think most of them will get the message at all unless you make at least some specific reference to some kind of "American Indians" in your description of the "multicultural milieu."
14th-Apr-2006 03:22 pm (UTC)
People who are staunchly anti-immigrant aren't going to change their minds, no matter what argument you use. :P

I'm addressing those American *liberals* who have some fundamental (albeit most understandable) misconceptions about what the Americas were pre-Columbus. "We've ALWAYS been a multicultural nation." I think it sounds nice... *ironic smirk*
14th-Apr-2006 08:26 pm (UTC)
I'm addressing those American *liberals* who have some fundamental (albeit most understandable) misconceptions about what the Americas were pre-Columbus

Believe it or not, some people do know as much as you do but choose to focus on bigger issues such as the illogic of children-of-immigrants protesting immigration, rather than the academic argument of how long a people must be in a geographic location before we can call them native. (My answer to that, btw, is that 12-30 thousand years trumps 500 years by no small amount. That doesn't mean the ancestors of each group weren't immigrants or weren't culturally, if not ethnically, varied. It means that people were in the Americas and very well established when even the earliest Europeans got here, rather than Europeans discovering an unihabited land and laying moral claim to it as "their own," as so many are wont to think happened.)

Now, if we don't get sidetracked by splitting academic hairs, we can see the real point behind those horrible liberals saying that horrible thing: it's self-serving for people, all of whose families have so recently been immigrants themselves, to expresse loathing for current immigrants.

That's all that those *liberals* are saying.

Oh and by the way - "getting to complain" and "getting the right to be here" are two very, very different things.
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