Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Thinking Alike

I've been looking at the immigration bill protest photographs on the news wire. While I have much sympathy for the cause, something about the tactics has been disturbing to me. I see Dr. Demarche has had the same reaction:

As I have watched the television coverage of the immigration reform protests over the past few days I have been struck by two things—the number of Mexican flags and the signs stating "We are not terrorists." It would seem to me that if you are trying to make the point that you want to stay in America and celebrate all that America is and means that you would pick up the Stars and Stripes, and maybe chant the pledge of allegiance as you march in your thousands. But that is just me.

Not, that's not just you. That's just smart. It would be good politics, because it would be good theater. It would stamp indelible impressions in the minds of everyone who saw those pictures. It would outflank your bitterest opponents.

Historically, it is how the immigrant minority taught the majority it has a right to be treated as equal to any other Americans. You're an American not by birth or by inheritance or by being handed an engraved invitation. You're an American because you want to be. You claim it; you insist on it; you won't let anyone take that away from you. When you wrap yourself in the flag of where you've come from, not where you want to stand, you send a mixed message that undercuts the purpose of your protest.

[Clicking stopwatch to see how long it takes for someone to decry this as racist xenophobia]