Monday, May 28, 2007

Lou Dobbs Vs. The Mexican Menace!

Apparently, CNN has decided to compete with Fox News for the all-important Dangerous Crackpot demographic.

If you're in the habit of watching Lou Dobbs, you may have noticed he's turned into Johnny One-Note of late: Mexicans, Mexicans, Mexicans. Illegal immigration seems to be catching on as a popular subject in the States lately, and should we be surprised? Xenophobia with a Salsa beat is a hell of a lot sexier than boring crap like spying on innocent civilians, Medicare reform, and that thing with the guns off in the desert somewhere (the Good Guys are still winning, right?).

I honestly don't understand the American attitude towards immigration. Whenever the subject comes up, I am reminded of my Amazing But True real-life experience with the subject.

I lived in Minnesota once, for a while. The population there is heavily skewed to the Scandinavian... as a matter of fact, I recall encountering more black folks in Saskatchewan. For various reasons, my girlfriend at the time and I spent a great deal of time in restaurants. After a while I noticed that every place we ate at, whether high-end or an IHOP, had a lot of people of Latino descent there. They weren't customers though... they were cleaning the tables and washing the dishes and (occasionally) flipping the burgers.

One day I commented on this to my girlfriend. Specifically, I had noticed that all the customers that day had blonde or red hair (other than her, her two kids, and me), and that the employees were all black-haired. I mentioned this the same way I might notice a preponderance of tall people or left-handers in a room. It seemed like a statistical anomaly.

"They're Mexicans," she said, poking the contents of her overstuffed club sandwich back into place with her finger.

I sat there and thought about this for a few seconds. "Mexicans get preferred employment?" I ventured. Silly Canadian...

She looked at me like I was some sort of Silly Canadian. "They're Mexicans. What else would they do?" she said in the same gentle tone she would use if she were explaining to a beloved but brain-damaged child why policemen wear police uniforms.

I paused. This woman wasn't an idiot: in fact, one of the reasons I was first interested in her is that she was an intelligent person. I looked at her for a few seconds. Then I looked at her kids, who were, ahem... a little more tanned-looking than the average person who had lived through a Minnesota winter. Then I pointed out that her last name by marriage was, in fact... Fuentes.

"Oh," she replied dismissively in that brain-damaged-child tone, "he (the ex-husband) was from Texas."

Maybe CNN understands its viewer demographics better than I thought.

Anyway, here's a clip of CNN using a white-supremacist group as a source of information on "militant Latino activists"...

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