Thursday, January 5, 2017

Attempts to "disprove" right-wng hate only exposes other cherished hate myths

Every day I find “news” organizations” from both the right and the left dumping “reports” in my inbox, which I allow to continue out of curiosity. One of them is the right-wing American Liberty Report; a recent report tells me that the U.S. is less racist than Canada, Australia, the UK and the countries of the European Union, based on incarceration and unemployment numbers. Of course such numbers can be deceptive and tend not to reveal some less back-slapping realities that lay underneath them, but they also tend to reveal the massive hypocrisy of the right-wing hate mongers and the constituency they cater to. 

For example, in order to “prove” it’s point, the ALR cites a study that tells us that only 0.7 percent of the prison population in this country are “foreigners,” of which 58 percent are awaiting deportation for lacking the proper “papers.” In regard to employment, “foreigners’ have an unemployment rate of just slightly above the national average. This is supposed to indicate that the U.S. is less “xenophobic” than is assumed by some. For the sake of argument we will say that concede the numbers and their “point.”

But in their haste to “prove” that the U.S. is less racist and xenophobic than other countries, such reports have the “unfortunate” effect of disproving some of the myths held so dear by the likes of Donald Trump and his supporters. Trump, as we may recall, has told us that most of the people crossing the border are “criminals” and the “worst” elements of Mexican society. Of course, Trump and his supporters don’t actually know this for a fact, having not bothered to ask this people why they are here—instead relying on invented numbers or deliberate misinformation provided by organizations identified by some as hate groups. The numbers that the ALR cites would seem to suggest the opposite is true, or at least that these people are here to make an honest living for themselves and their families, not to commit crimes.

It’s too bad that Trump and the xenophobes and racists he nurtures only read the “reports” that tend to “absolve” them of their hate-inspired stereotyping of people they personally know nothing about—because it only makes it a lot harder for them to “disprove” they are not racists and xenophobes.

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