BY JAMES NIMMO
The point I take from Karen Webb’s essay [5.3.10, The Laws Of the Land] is that compassion is upper most in the mind of the writer, and as we’re both liberals, I certainly can’t be true to myself and deny the writer’s interest in immigration reform that doesn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
This essay points out the exploitation of workers, both domestic and foreign, by both our American governments, state and federal, as well as the practices used in other countries. In two words I think it can be labeled as “unbridled capitalism.”
As we’ve seen with manipulated mortgages and bond ratings, the exportation of productive, well-paid jobs to cheaper labor markets, and the exploitation/enticement of foreign workers into this country – and the concentration of power so that 1% of the citizens command 95% of the wealth – we see that this majority Christian country is deaf and blind to the real cause of the country’s problems: the aggregation of money and power without restraint is the major factor in the decline of America to a Third World status.
Both major political parties are tainted with the mythical curse of Midas: Everything they touch must turn to gold or it’s considered worthless. But Midas learned his lesson the hard way, turning his own daughter into a golden statue.
There is a big difference between acts of civil disobedience/direct action as offered by Ms. Webb and illegally entering a country. The American Constitution has a First Amendment protection for peacefully assembling and petitioning government for redress of grievances, though this right can not always be practiced with impunity.
Illegally crossing the border, whether for compassionate reasons or economic gain, is illegal.
It’s a terrible waste of life that some people, due to religious instruction, think they must bear children for which they can not provide. I blame sexual ignorance to be a major cause for the current immigration problem where according to the Mexican Government’s 2000 census, approximately 88% of respondents identified themselves as at least nominally Roman Catholic. [ http://tinyurl.com/25qy4dd ] The horrific drug trafficking-linked murders in the northern Mexican provinces adds to the misery of Mexican citizens.
Of course, my heart breaks at these conditions, but am I to allow my own country to decline to a common level with Mexico in order to assuage those feelings? Doesn’t one owe responsibility to one’s own life first? I can not take direct responsibility for the ignorance of others even as I do what I can to vote and act with concern for that ignorance.
– James Nimmo lives in Oklahoma City and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer