I recently sent out a MySpace bulletin entitled Stop the INS Raids in San Rafael, CA. For those of you who missed it called to sign a petition and attend a march to protest INS raids. Within minutes I received this response from a 50 year old guy named Dave:
"I will not sign this petition, it may be politically correct to call them the euphemisim of 'undocumented aliens' rather than admit the fact that they broke the law to get here and are here ILLEGALLY, sucking money out of schools, welfare systems, and state run health systems for the poor, while I might not approve of the tactics, INS is doing their job sending ILLEGALS back where they came from."
While I believe that sometimes you must invest the time and energy to struggle with people, I didn't think this was one of those instances that warranted the investment. Yet such ignorance cannot go completely unchallenged even if I have neither the time nor interest to give it a thorough reply. So I simply responded:
"Unless you are 100 per cent sure that you have never benefitted from the labor of immigrants -- whether they are documented or not -- you should rethink such an extreme position. And it is a FACT that undocumented immigrants pay both income and property tax so they pay for those systems that you claim they drain. Educate yourself. http://www.urban.org/publications/900898.html ."
When are folks like Dave gonna realize that people like me are not going to be silenced by being accused of being PC? That is, like, so nineties. I remember being in graduate school and hearing a presentation by legal scholar Mari Matsuda. This was at the height of the PC backlash, and of the many wonderful ideas she offered, one in particular returns to mind and that is this:
Since when are white, straight men truly in serious danger of being silenced by people of color, women and queer folks?
C'mon now. You don't have to think that hard to see how ludicrous this was back in the early 90s, and it's an even more ridiculous proposition now. Damn straight, I was PC then, and I'm PC now.
I'd much rather be politically correct than politically ignorant.