I hadn't really felt like blogging much since getting back from Thanksgiving. And then Tom Tancredo opened his mouth. Tom Tancredo, Republican representative from Colorado, anti-immigration activist, bigot.
Tancredo was in South Florida joining the likes of media giants Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter at a four-day event called "Restoration Weekend" which concluded today. All of that conservative, nationalist testosterone (yes, you, Ann...) must have gone right to his head when he compared Miami to a "third world country" when using the city as an example of immigration run rampant.
"Look at what has happened to Miami. It has become a Third World country," he said. "You just pick it up and take it and move it someplace. You would never know you're in the United States of America. You would certainly say you're in a Third World country."
Colorado is 94% white, so it's no wonder Tancredo gets a little nervous about immigration. To him Chicago must seem like Canada, Maimi is the third world, and Hawaii must be another planet altogether. I'm surprised he even went to Florida for the conservative conference, he was practically in South America!
Tucker Carson, though not invited to the weekend dirge, was nice enough to give Tancredo the equivalent of a reporter's hand-job by vacating the floor on his show to gave Tancredo a chance to clarify himself.
Tancredo explained that "third world" is actually a compliment. He also reasoned that anyone who thinks "third world" is a racist term must be a racist. And then went on to describe Miami as a city riddled with poverty, corruption, violence, and poor education. So, I think what he's trying to say is that "third world" is really more like a back-handed compliment. It's a sly move to call someone a racist with logic that insults their intelligence. "Third World" means exactly what we all think it means, and exactly like it sounds: something less than our world; at best: developing; at worst: backwards. It is in itself a value statement on our status and "theirs".
Tucker Carson ate it all up with a spoon as the man love filled the studio. Atta boy.
The only problem is Tancredo is a notorious xenophobe and a staunch believer in tougher immigration laws. He's so far right on this issue he question's Bush's patriotism on the matter. Right before granting Miami third-world status, he lashed out at the White House's lack of action in securing U.S. borders, and said efforts to merge the U.S. with both Mexico and Canada is not a fantasy. So, you can see his view of Miami is out of fear that America is being taken over by latin-Americans, and, to a somewhat lesser degree, those goddamn Canadians!
Miami looks like a third world country, which essentially means it resembles New York City in the mid-19th century, except that city's criminals and immigrants were mostly white. Miami's are mostly Hispanic. Are you scared too?
But have no fear, my friends, the case that America needs to be "restored" is being made by the same people who brought you the war on Christmas. Anything which is fundamentally a personal belief cannot be under attack. You see? It's like declaring war on the fact that your favorite blog is Thought Alarm. How can anyone steal that from you? Sure, your Wal Mart greeter might not wish you Merry Christmas, but that wont erase your belief if you have it? Will it?
The Christmas season is alive and well in all forms: religious and secular. Did you notice that holiday decorations were up by mid-November this year? Thanksgiving is now essentially a speed-bump as we fire up for our Christmas season.
Man, I'd love to be a fly on the wall at David Horowitz's "Freedom Center" as people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Tom Tancredo stoke each others fires and lift the human spirit into a roaring frenzy of bigotry and fear. It almost makes me want to break out the eggnog and chestnuts. But while they were making merry I was spending time with my family, and now I have to buy Christmas presents. Funny how their war is a war on people like me.