If you come in my cage I'll eat you too!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Low-income does not have to mean ignorant.

My co-worker and I were talking about our mothers today. I said that both our mothers grew up in low income households and married right out of high school. I know my friend's mother and I know her to be an intelligent well read woman. I said that the reason our parents were so well rounded is that they went to school in the 1950's. I read my mom's yearbook from time to time. She graduated in !961. She was extremely popular in high school, and many of her classmates signed her yearbook and wrote, sometimes extensively, in it as well. The school was about 50% African-American, because a lot of Blacks had come to the SF Bay Area to work in the shipyards, during WWII. Without exception, my mom's classmates, Blacks,whites and athletes, were all highly literate. Income was not important. What was important was a student body that was disciplined and civil and had respect for authority. It was very important that teachers had high expectations for their students' academic success. They just assumed that kids were in school to learn. I was reading a great photography book about an Hispanic enclave in California and there was a picture from the 50's of a old White lady, with her Hispanic students, and the caption, from an ex student of her's, said that, "These teachers were hard, but they taught us." When the do-good, over emotional, I don't want anyone to feel bad in my class, teachers took over, the die was cast for massive illiteracy and academic failure.


At 8:09 PM , Blogger John Doe said...

Congratulations, girl, you've killed Al Zarqaui. Good news!!!

I've read today Ann Coulter's article (translated) you wrote about a few days ago. Frankly, I liked it in general terms: "¿No es posible que los inmigrantes coreanos, los inmigrantes italianos o los inmigrantes hindúes también trabajarían duro? Pero ellos no pueden cruzar a pie la frontera con Estados Unidos, de modo que no tienen tanta suerte (siempre que no sean portavoces de los talibanes, en cuyo caso hay una plaza esperándoles en Yale)." ¡Eso, eso, eso! What about me? ;)

At 9:02 PM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

The problem is, that if you came to the states, you would see that the Mexican immigrants are respectful and hard working and not spoiled like many Americans. Ann Coulter is never going to work in the fields picking fruit. In fact wouldn't we be more scared of educated immigrants coming into the country to take our high paying jobs? I bet there would be a huge hue and cry. Even though many Americans aren't qualified for high tech jobs, they would be resentful of Indians, or Germans coming here to work. The truth is that people can never be satisfied, they always are afraid that someone else is getting something, that they themselves won't get.

At 9:03 PM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

Yes, we got him!!

At 3:41 PM , Blogger John Doe said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:05 PM , Blogger John Doe said...

Readers of this blog: I'm sorry for replying in Spanish, but for some reason, today I feel unable to write in English.

Déjame responder en español, Miss C; he escrito una réplica en inglés pero no se entendía nada. En ocasiones encuentro muy difícil escribir, incluso en mi propio idioma, así que ¡imagina en inglés!

Francamente, Miss C, no creo que Ann Coulter manifieste en ese artículo que los inmigrantes son vagos, ni tampoco lo contrario. No me parece el objeto de su análisis. Existen inmigrantes trabajadores igual que inmigrantes holgazanes. Existe todo tipo de gente y, es evidente que, como afirma tu compatriota, los inmigrantes suelen asumir inmediatamente la idea de que el estado de bienestar es un derecho natural, pero mucho me temo que eso no es cierto ni práctico. En mi país, el sistema de pensiones, de sanidad gratuita y todo lo demás está en peligro a largo plazo. En mi país, cualquier persona, proceda de donde proceda y tenga la nacionalidad que tenga, tiene acceso libre al sistema sanitario en similares condiciones a los propios españoles, quienes lo sostienen mediante el pago de impuestos.

Pero incluso eso me parece secundario. Creo que lo que Coulter afirma es que la medida de Bush es equivocada de por sí. No recurre al argumento de que los inmigrantes roban el trabajo a los nativos. Ella dice que los dos años libres de impuestos y no perseguir los delitos de usurpación de identidad (falsos números de la seguridad social y todo eso), son un mal ejemplo y desde luego un mal sistema.

Aquí en España, el presidente Zapatero dictó el año pasado una especie de amnistía general para los inmigrantes ilegales. De repente, todos ellos se convirtieron en legales. La consecuencia fue, aparte de que los otros países europeos mostraron su oposición (porque en Europa existe libre tránsito de personas), que media África piensa ahora que cualquiera que llegue a España disfrutará de todas las bondades occidentales, y que serán recibidos con los brazos abiertos. Es lo que se ha dado en llamar "el efecto llamada".

Comprendo que lo que ocurre en Europa no tiene por qué ocurrir en USA, dado que son culturalmente muy diferentes, pero yo me pregunto, y es el mayor temor de Ann Coulter, si buena parte de los inmigrantes no se dejarán seducir por los cantos de sirena de los demócratas; si no están culturalmente predispuestos a esa forma de pensamiento.

At 11:17 AM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

I didn't know that Spain had passed an amnesty, like Bush is trying to pass. I do agree that our immigrant situation is different. I would be very, very unnhappy if thousands of North Africans who had declared war on the infidels and refused to assimilate to my culture and in fact, despised my culture, were to descend upon the US and my President called for an amnesty for them. But I like Latinos for the most part. I just don't feel horribly threatened by them. I know that there is a small marxist radical movement among them, supported by white liberals, and that they think that the US is their land taken from them, historically. Of course they are mestizos and their ancestors took the land from the indians, which they conveniently forget. I understand what Ann Coulter is trying to say. I live on a little island. The housing is limited and I don't like it when they start talking about building more low income housing. A guy wrote to our local paper and said that he couldn't afford to live in Malibu and that they wouldn't lower house prices so that he could live there, so why should we lower our standards. I though it was funny and I sympathized too. Of course I would like more people with my values living around me. It's only natural. But that is not the way the world works. Ann thinks we can hand pick immigrants who come to the country and make a perfect country. That sounds boring and weird to me. It's like the movie Gattica.

Maybe because I have lived around Latin immigrants my whole life, I just don't see them as the "other" Perhaps to people that did not grow up around them, they seem foreign, but I just can't see it. I can't differentiate between those that have been here their whole lives and are legal, and those that just snuck over the border. So, I don't feel the xenophobia. maybe it's wrong of me, but I can't help it.

On the other hand I can see why you think that it is wrong that they think they have a natural right to the land in the US, like the North Africans do in Spain. Some groups do believe in that. I also think tht it's the liberl groups that encourage the immigrants to demand rights and services. But if we legalize the guest workers, maybe it will remove the fangs of the groups that demand more and more rights. We can say, look, they are legal now and they get these rights only. If they don't like the offer, they don't have to come here.

I can see from Bush's struggles and from the elections in California, where the pro illegal Democrats did not do very well, that the American people care too much about immigration to give the immigrants unlimited rights. But we can let people earn them.

There was a sad story on the news about a young man from Trinidad fighting in Iraq to earn expedited citizenship. They were putting his citenship papers through, back in the States, when there was a bureaucratic snafu and they notified him that they did not have his fingerprints. He had to leave his camp in Iraq and go to headquarters and get fingerprinted to send them back to the states. While he was travelling to the center, he got killed by an Iraqi insurgent. He was granted citizenship posthumously, and his mom had him buried at Arlington National Cemetary, because it was the most American thing she could do for him.


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