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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

ETHNICITY, not evening listening to the other side [H]

Immigrants rights activists had a national conference in Hillside this weekend. See Chicago Tribune (Oscar Avila and Antonio Olivo).

The article included coverage of the Chicago Minuteman Project. (See RightConservative.com (Robert Klein Engler) for background on the Minutemen.)

On Saturday, about 20 members of the Chicago Minuteman Project, a group that opposes illegal immigration, protested the convention on a sidewalk outside the hotel. Rick Biesada, the group's director, said he was concerned about the convention's goal of more sophisticated organizing.

"I don't know what they plan to accomplish," Biesada said, staring across a parking lot at some conference attendees who had gathered outside and were staring back. "It won't be good."

One of the observations made on a couple high profile blogs (Talking Points Memo and Political Animal) is that the Republicans have made it impossible to have a discussion about policy issues. Everything is inherently partisan.

Biesada's comment is a pretty good example. The Minutemen will claim they want to reduce immigration to improve wages and working conditions. The goals of improving wages and working conditions is something the immigrant rights groups support. So there could be some common ground.

But Biesada makes it clear that immigrants are the enemy. Whatever immigrant rights advocates suggest is bad, even if it has nothing to do with illegal immigration. If they want more efficiency at processing routine paperwork it's a bad thing because they want it.

To bring this issue back to the local, I'm reminded of District 209 board meetings. The board interacts in a hyper-partisan environment where there is little to no consideration of the merits of the issue. Like Congressional Republicans the Welch-led majority is going to approach matters of power as inherently partisan. They want power and they have the majority so that's how business is going to be done.

So, I support the observations made on the other blogs, but think they miss part of the story. The problem is more widespread in our culture than just Beltway politics.


  • It's all perception, interpretation, the ability to act, and the intensity of the acts. It can start with premises such as, "I'm right and your wrong.", "My cause is more just than yours or theirs.", "Meeting my needs is more important than you meeting yours", "The Lord is on our side", etc. And, of course, to the extent that a person or a group has the ability to act upon his/her perceptions and interpretations with some intensity, s/he has power. Power is as power does. If I had the power, I would summarily dismiss those currently in power who I deemed incompetent, irresponsible, and/or who have acted in ways that I perceived and interpreted to be contradictory to the best educational interests of our children. To the extent that I can get empowered others to agree with me, I have extended my potential power base.

    My partisan view, like yours I believe, Carl, is to extend our power base and to dump the current assemblage of deadwood and self-servers into the trash bin. In this case, I believe our cause is more just than theirs. April ain't that far away.

    By Blogger Steven, at 10:09 AM, August 16, 2006  

  • But how do we guard against taking things too far? How do we fight the bad policies while keeping ourselves open to compromise should the opportunity become available?

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 11:52 AM, August 16, 2006  

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