Mr. Lamb bitch-slaps admonishes a particularly ugly commenter known by those of us who read local newspapers and political blogs. Besides being right about the blatant hypocrisy demonstrated by this prolific troll, his post today exposes a major problem we face when discussing immigration in this country. The debate has been dominated for too long by those who seek to portray these people as something less than us, an idea human beings must accept before doing harm to others. We are a wealthy nation, and as such we tend to try and wall off the parts of the world that we deem as unsightly or unpleasant. Safely ensconced in our comfortable little enclaves, many of us tend to regard the people affected by desperate circumstance as somehow less deserving of our compassion and assistance than say, the people who look like us down the street who are experiencing some trouble. Mr. Lamb uses the example of a person, who, when considering the acts of an immigrant, wants the letter of the law adhered to completely, yet, when that same person considers the illegal acts of someone they identify with, advocate a change in the law to better protect those with whom they share some common bond.
Most of the time, the most hateful rhetoric doesn’t resonate with people who know and interact with undocumented immigrants. A good friend of mine works construction, and he has over the years come to admire and respect his co-workers and has embraced what they add to our collective culture. When he hears words that seek to convince him that these co-workers are dangerous, or harmful to our way of life, he knows how untrue they are. In this case, familiarity breeds compassion. I have long maintained that if we inject more love and compassion into this issue, we will find an equitable solution in no time.
Anyway, this article by Mr. Lamb was probably meant as a harsh rebuke. John is too nice a person to actually ridicule anyone. Its one of his many admirable traits. Drop by his site and let him know what you think.