Hispanic activist and businessman Charles Garcia created a stir among many conservatives recently when he defended and parroted allegations that using the term “illegal immigrant” is a racist slur.
Calling it “racially offensive language,” Garcia tried to compare America’s use of the term to those referring to Jews trying to escape murder during the Holocaust. He cleverly changes the parameters of the argument by quoting Elie Wiesel, who said “No human being is illegal.” No, but their actions most certainly can be.
His straw man argument took a giant leap with his assessment that “even alleged terrorists and child molesters aren’t labeled illegals.”
This is a completely absurd non sequitur. The “illegal” in illegal immigrant refers to the action (immigration). If someone drives without a license, doesn’t that make them an illegal driver? The act itself is illegal, and the person doing it is committing a crime.
Garcia concedes the AP Stylebook considers the term to be “accurate and neutral” while even liberal bastions CNN and the New York Times gravitate toward using it in their coverage of border security issues. Garcia quotes Times editorial writer Lawrence Downes, though, who feels the term is a “code word for racial and ethnic hatred.”
These are unfortunately far from the only calls for a moratorium on the phrase.
Bill O’Reilly read a guest (who was representing the “Drop the I-Word” campaign) the riot act, tearing down the argument with a rebuttal based on facts, not feeling. Alas, liberals have never been adept at debating inside such parameters.
Larry Elder shot down the racial aspect of the argument in a column earlier this year, which dealt with backlash against the term “illegal alien.” Though the term generally refers to those crossing the border from Mexico (only because they make up the vast majority of illegals), Elder explained that the term is not sensitive to any race or nationality. It refers to anyone breaking this country’s immigration law, regardless of their country of origin.
As the presidential election draws nearer, especially with Obama on record as supporting backdoor amnesty for illegals, expect this war on words to heat up. If they can convince a good portion of independents that those on the right are racist for wanting to protect our sovereign borders, they can pick up some much-needed votes. We must combat their lies and mischaracterizations with accurate concerns about the impact millions of illegals have on our nation and its infrastructure.
Political correctness is bad enough, but when we cannot identify a criminal as such, I’m afraid we are entering a downward spiral from which we will be lucky to ever emerge.
Photo credit: luna715 (Creative Commons)