Last night (May 22, 2007) on Bill O’Reilly’s show, Michelle Malkin was substituting for Bill, as she frequently does. The feature story was about a prostitution ring centered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Apparently a major operation was busted, and two thirds of the women “working” in it were all illegal immigrants. Eight houses were raided across the state. ICE (U.S. Imimigration and Customs Enforcement) and local police cooperated in the sting, although the police were “conspiculously absent” in the actual raids, according to guest, Attorney Scott Johnson. They had been deeply involved in the investigation, but not the actual arrests.
Well, this just made for some fine conversation. An additional part of the story–and probably the only part that made it all “newsworthy,” was the part about immigration activists protesting in the streets immediately after the raids. That’s a bit of curious timing, wouldn’t you say? Well, Minneapolis has always been a liberal Commie place, so this comes as no surprise. Johnson made some rather horrific statements about police cooperation with, not ICE enforcement, but with illegal immigrants. Minneapolis is apparently a sanctuary city for illegals.
For “fair and balanced” reporting, Michelle also had guest Michael Wildes, an immigration attorney. Wildes of course emphasized distorted aspects of the situation: Are they saying that the illegal aliens are immoral because they frequent a house of ill repute? They are creating fear and chaos, Michelle, by going into homes throughout the area. Bottom line, they should be going consistently against all violators — employers who give safe haven to people who work illegally, not just the criminal ones.
That’s what balance is all about: distortion, usually. Gee, don’t come down on the poor illegals. Come down on the people that employ them, too! Of course. That happens to be a valid point. But Wildes is making it because he defends illegal immigrants for a living. In other words, his purpose is to protect them, and to insure their presence here. But then Wlides comes on with the hackneyed immigration defense: Why isn’t immigration in suits at press conferences explaining that we are a country of immigrants and that we are going to go after the bad guys, but we’re going to leave the good guys alone? In other words, you can be a good illegal immigrant, but you can’t be a “bad” illegal immigrant. This is absolutely brilliant thinking, right?
At this point, I felt worried for Malkin. There she sat, in all her “brown” glory, barely American, chronologically, daughter of adult immigrants (Filipino) and taking a very strong stance against immigration–that is, illegal immigration?
No. Her preponderant beef, in this episode, was with the wrongness of forcing illegal women into sexual immorality. This was a women’s issue for her, apparently, more than anything else. “This is not about targeting brown people or people of color as a lot of these groups are whining,” she said. It was about abusing women.
Wildes thought is was unfair to hit the “bad” illegal immigrants without the “good” ones, and their “American” employers. Michelle thought, regardless, it was good that the women were rescued from their immediate plight. Johnson thought the whole police department and city council were complicit–and that’s the real story.
Michelle Malkin, (born to Filipino parents in America on work visa, 1970) and others like Dinesh D’Souza (Hindu immigrant, 1978), are put in a most peculiar position, speaking of the glories of being American. I was holding my breath, in dread that Wildes was going to say something to Michelle about that. When he said, repeatedly, “This is a nation of immigrants,” (which is really isn’t–based on a fundamental concept of nationhood), I wonder how Michelle would have responded, had he directed his point to her personally. Conservatives certainly like to feature non-white immigrants who espouse conservative values. This insulates conservatives from any undue charges of prejudice or redneck-ism, as the liberals are wont to accuse them of.
Michelle Malkin, married Jessi Malkin (Rhodes Scholar and Rand economist-turned
conservative at Oberlin College, of all places!)
So what is the response? A nation belongs to the people who founded it and built it, not those who came in later. Everyone else is an add-on. Nothing wrong with that. But I’m wondering why the emphasis on, or, what is the effect of, promoting conservative immigrants? I think it sends the message that America is simply an idea. America is an ideological value system, not really a country, in the historical sense, by definition. America is then actually the exception to every concept of nationhood in the history of man. This is the conclusion, if one neglects to consider the plain and obvious White Anglo-Saxon Protestant base of the the American colonies and their government.
Some people see this as the difference between paleo-conservatism and neo-conservatism. It’s the difference of understanding of nationhood. What is a nation? How does it come about? How does it become strong, and endure? I think these questions are fundamental. It isn’t about the legality or illegality of immigration, per se. That isn’t the deepest concern. What kind of nation is America that one is to come here and forsake one’s forumer culture, and pretend one is without ethnicity at all? Is that what it takes for America to work? Many people disagree with that–especially Arabs Muslims and Mexicans.
In any case, Michelle’s program last night seemed to dramatize the contrasts and tensions in the whole issue, including the absence of the more fundamental aspects of it–nationhood. So, it isn’t about illegal immigrants or legal immigrants. It’s about immigrants, period.