Moving the gulag from Gitmo
Manzanar: Mexicans welcome
GOP Candidate Calls for Forced Labor Camps Hotlist
Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 07:15:04 PM PDT
Don Goldwater, nephew of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, caused an international stir this week when EFE, a Mexican news service, quoted him as saying he wanted to hold undocumented immigrants in camps to use them "as labor in the construction of a wall and to clean the areas of the Arizona desert that they're polluting."
The article described Goldwater's plan as a "concentration camp" for migrants.
While I'm sure Michelle Malkin is on board with this, Goldwater seems to have gone a couple of bridges - or walls - too far, even for fellow conservatives. John McCain and Rep. Jim Kolbe heartily condemned the Arizona gubernatorial candidate's statement, with Kolbe calling for an outright rejection of his candidacy.
While Goldwater complained that his remarks were taken out of context, this isn't the first time he's shot his mouth off in such a manner:
Goldwater made a similar comment at an April anti-immigration rally.
"Build us that wall _ now!" Goldwater said, referring to a proposal to add 700 miles of fences along the U.S.-Mexico border. He promised then that if elected, he would put illegal immigrants in a tent city on the border and use their labor to build the wall.
Fanning the flames of rhetoric over such a complex economic and social issue as immigration may have seemed a good idea to the Bush administration a few months ago when this "crisis" was suddenly pushed front and center in an election year. When high-profile candidates think they've been given a green light to suggest forced labor and concentration camps, something has gone seriously wrong in our discourse.
This country needs a serious, calm, informed discussion about American workers' rights, immigration needs, business interests, enforcing current laws and streamlining the status of those who are trying to wend their way through an archaic and frustrating legal process. Unleashing rhetoric seriously close to advocating slavery may not be the most heinous crime of this administration, God knows. But it sure is one of the ugliest.
Hey, it worked for the Japanese.
Jesus, what started out as a debate on a real issue, immigration, has descended into the most base discussion of race since the civil rights era. It's like a hundred years of hatred for Mexicans were tapped into.
I cannot imagine that there won't be a severe reaction to this kind of nonsense. What the GOP bet was that they could go after the base and the Mexicans would play along. They have done anything but. With so many Latinos serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, this near constant assault on their patriotism has to have some kind of blowback. They also thought that blacks would take an aggressive anti-immigration stand, but Ted Hayes was laughed out of LA with his Minutemen friends. It was a stupid gamble and it may well cost the GOP the House.
posted by Steve @ 1:52:00 AM