Doing real soul searching after a heart-breaking tragedy


© 2019 Jim Spence - The blame game began before most of the victims in El Paso had even been transferred to the trauma units at local hospitals. Donald Trump was blaming video games and a desensitized culture of violence in America. And Democrats tried to make the point that the president has inflamed the violent tendencies of those who agree with him by using harsh words and images about the reasons for controlling borders.
It seems to be a good time for reflection. Everyone should read the pair of quotes below made by the president and see if we can finally all agree that these are pretty darned inflammatory, anti-Hispanic, statements that have to be considered likely to trigger violent behaviors by unstable people:

“All Americans, not only in the States most heavily affected but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public services they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That's why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens.”

“We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently, and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.”

Those attempting to mount a defense of the points the president seemed to be trying to make with these statements, is the fact that polls suggest most people agree with him.
Let's take a step back. It is true that most Americans are intolerant towards those types who take cuts in long lines. In fact, when this happens on highways, and is completely unrelated to illegal immigration, it can lead to violence via road rage.
Then there is of course, the tens of thousands of people who actually enter this country illegally, and once they elude the Border Patrol, they commit crimes. There have been many well publicized instances of these circumstances that can also inflame attitudes. And of course, there is no question illegal immigration imposes incredible stresses on taxpayers through unchecked demand for government services. This too can create resentment and anger.
Still, the violence in El Paso over the weekend has brought tremendous scrutiny to the inflammatory things the president has said about illegal immigrants. Is he at least partially to blame for saying these things about illegal immigrants?
There is one final piece to this puzzle to consider, as the politicians in America on both sides of the aisle look to pin the blame on the other side.
The president’s remarks are direct quotes. The first statement was made by Bill Clinton on January 24, 1995. Ten years later the second statement was made by Barack Obama on December 15, 2005.
It would seem that one man’s statement on border policy is another man’s racist, mass murder-inciting rant. It also seems clear that being guilty of racism is tied to the question of "who" is trying to take advantage of a heart-breaking tragedy so he or she can score some political points.
Joe Biden was certainly trying to score points on the tragedies over the weekend when he expressed agony for the people in "Houston and Michigan." Way to go Joe.

Share/Bookmark