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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    Free advice for next 'Day of Action'

    Article Launched: 4/23/2006 12:00 AM

    Free advice for next 'Day of Action'

    BY CHRIS WEINKOPF, Editoral page editor
    LA Daily News

    Few things in this world are as unappreciated as unsolicited advice. Yet sometimes, when you see good people making bad decisions, the urge to advise is overpowering. So, even though no one's asking, this conservative, pro-immigration gringo hereby offers the following suggestions to the Latino activists planning their next major protest for May 1:
    Stop bringing Mexican flags to your rallies. By waving Old Glory instead, you show that even illegal immigrants are serious about becoming Americans. Smart move.

    To follow up, you now need to silence the contingent of kooks among you who keep spouting reconquista rhetoric. Weed out the inflammatory signs with messages like "This is our continent, not yours."

    While that sort of nonsense may play well on college campuses, outside the Ivory Tower, it's a rightful invitation to ridicule. And it only emboldens the anti-immigration zealots who think that millions of illegal immigrants come here not to work, but as ground troops of a Mexican "invasion."

    While you're at it, drop all mentions of the term "La Raza." I realize that this phrase might be like the Mexican flag - a symbol interpreted differently by different people. But for a good many Americans, prideful talk of "The Race" is worrisome, regardless of the skin color of the person saying it. In a society where most people genuinely strive for racial equality and color-blindness, appeals to racist thinking are disconcerting and self-defeating.

    Think of the civil-rights movement: It was Martin Luther King Jr.'s talk of unity, not belligerent appeals to "black power," that won the hearts and minds of the American public.

    By the same reasoning, listen to your more responsible leaders who want the "Day of Action" to be one of peaceful off-hours protest, and not a "boycott" in which millions of kids ditch school, workers skip their jobs and Latino consumers refuse to buy American goods.

    The boycott is a no-win proposition. If it "succeeds" - that is, if most Latinos participate - you send the false message that Latinos are neither industrious nor interested in education. And if it fails - as I suspect it will - you send the message that you lack the clout about which boycott supporters have been boasting these last several weeks. Better to stay at work and school until the end of the day, and demonstrate that Latinos are productive, responsible members of society.

    Moreover, a boycott is, by its very nature, designed to harm its target. Boycotting America, then, is an act of deliberately harming the very country of which most immigrants want desperately to be part. Ditto for demonstrations that obstruct traffic on busy roads and freeways. And any movement that puts "the cause" over the well-being of the country as a whole is a movement likely to lose the country's support.

    You would also do well to cut the other side some slack. Most immigration restrictionists are neither racist nor xenophobic. They, too, are good people with reasonable concerns. It is not racist to worry about the toll that illegal immigration takes on public services, or the national-security risk posed by millions of people crossing the border anonymously.

    Policies like earned legalization would be far more palatable to American voters if there was reason to believe that new laws would be enforced and the border secured. For this reason, bills that legalize illegal immigrants and expand opportunities for legal immigration would have a much better chance of passing if you would vocally support stricter enforcement and self-sufficiency requirements.

    These tactical shifts might not be agreeable to some of the radicals in your midst, such as the socialist groups and the college-activist types. But for your movement to become mainstream, it must shed its extremist element. Separatists are to immigration reformers what abortion-clinic bombers are to pro-lifers, or what PETA is to animal-welfare advocates. They are a hindrance, an easy mark for those out to discredit your entire movement.

    The science-fiction writer Larry Niven wisely observed that "There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it." The key to any movement's success, then, is to purge the fools as much as possible by denouncing their excesses. Don't be blinded by a misplaced sense of ideological or ethnic loyalty. If their antics do your cause harm, they're not really on your side.

    America has a rich tradition of immigration and assimilation. This tradition informs a national disposition that gives you an inherent advantage in the public debate over immigration law.

    But that advantage is being eroded by the failure of responsible immigration supporters to break away from some of the reckless people marching literally and figuratively under your banner. The historic protests taking place around the country have the potential to greatly influence public opinion while bringing sanity to our border policies. Sending the right message is crucial.

    So, please, take this unsolicited advice, and focus on what unites us - the American commitment to freedom and unity, the need for sensible policies that protect the public good. And keep waving those American flags.

    Chris Weinkopf is the Daily News' editorial-page editor. Write to him by e-mail at
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  2. #2
    reform_now's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Charlotte, NC
    Here's another piece of advice: Stop breaking our laws and go back where you came from!

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