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Xenophobia Is The New Superpower Heroin(e)


Xena appeals to warrior imaginings.

The attraction of anti-immigrant rhetoric has become a new outgrowth of the economic crisis. Seeing that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is now pitching the magic tiara at brown folks makes me cringe.

So many myths have sprung up because of constituents needing jobs. It’s hard to keep from joining the outcry about the immigrant workforce, and their anchor babies, for those running for office in the present atmosphere of xenophobia. Facts might help.

In a nation that has more than a fourth of its workforce originating outside the country, German leaders are appealing to the native exclusivity, an unfortunate development for all concerned.

Mrs Merkel told a gathering of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Saturday that at “the beginning of the 60s our country called the foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country… We kidded ourselves a while, we said: ‘They won’t stay, sometime they will be gone’, but this isn’t reality.

“And of course, the approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other… has failed, utterly failed.”

(snip)

Such recent strong anti-immigrant feelings from mainstream politicians come amid an anger in Germany about high unemployment, even if the economy is growing faster than those of its rivals, our correspondent says.

He adds that there also seems to be a new strident tone in the country, perhaps leading to less reticence about no-go-areas of the past.

The kind of hostilities that are generated by political rhetoric may be with us for some time to come. In this country, we have an increase in feelings against all immigrant groups as well. It isn’t beyond the pale for our extremists to threaten that immigrants are ‘dropping’ babies, even those that will come back to haunt us as manchurian terrorists – while actual statistics show that that is a malevolent myth.  [cont’d]

Out of 340,000 babies born to illegal immigrants in the United States in 2008, 85 percent of the parents had been in the country for more than a year, and more than half for at least five years, Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer for Pew, told The Associated Press.

And immigration experts say it’s extraordinarily rare for immigrants to come to the U.S. just so they can have babies and get citizenship. In most cases, they come for economic reasons and better hospitals, and end up staying and raising families.

(snip)

“Mexicans do not come to have babies in the United States,” said (Princeton demographer) Massey, who blames the tightening of the border in the 1990s for cutting off normal migration of men who used to come to work for a year or two and then go home. “They end up having babies in the United States because men can no longer circulate freely back and forth from homes in Mexico to jobs in the United States, and husbands and wives quite understandably want to be together.”

Isn’t that cute, we’re creating the very problems our rabble-rousing rightists then capitalize on.

Attacks on those from cultural backgrounds other than those of the original colonists is not creating the kind of atmosphere to produce great relationships among our diverse population. It is producing votes in an atmosphere more poison than I’ve ever seen. When the impulse to create a demographic produces hate literature and hate speech, we are in big trouble. To see it springing up in other places doesn’t provide comfort, it creates fear among those of us who prefer civilized behavior to group dynamics.

Xenophobia is ugly and it produces irrational behavior toward fellow beings, too often with tragic consequences. Our leaders would serve their countries better by inspiring us toward rational solutions, instead of falling in with the goose steppers that thrive on bad feelings and the rabble they produce.

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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.