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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Protesting the protestors

This is not another navel-gazing, self-pleasuring piece dedicated to why my stance on SB 1070 is the only right stance and all others are entirely wrong. I could write one of those pieces and bask in the glory of being unwaveringly convinced that I am the only all-knowing expert on the subject. But then I’d be associated with a bunch of unthinking simpletons.

If everyone who disagrees with you is wrong and being wrong renders his or her thoughts invalid, does that mean you win? Because if so, check it out, everyone’s a winner. Which is to say, we’re all screwed. Illegal immigration is about evading the law. Debating immigration is about evading rationality.

The SB 1070 debate can too easily be reduced to a competition among children where the goal is to out-crazy everyone else. These children are just a fraction of the participants in the debate, but they’re the loudest, most obnoxious ones on the playground.

On July 29, a group calling itself “”Freedom for Arizona”” endangered drivers by throwing tires, tar, brown paint and broken glass into the southbound lanes of Interstate 19 protesting the law. Because when people do things like slam on their brakes or cut me off while I’m driving, I’m like, “”Man, this guy’s awesome!”” So, obviously, if you nearly kill a bunch of people driving behind you, they’re going to follow you anywhere.

This follows protesters’ comparisons of 1070 to Nazi Germany. You are free to exercise your First Amendment rights, but also remember that your hysterical accusations equate 1070 with 12 years of concentration camps, firing squads, gas chambers and the mass exterminations of whole families. You get ‘em, champ. Ignorance is working for the Tea Party. It can work for you too.

Of course, it’s not entirely wrong to make these accusations when they are directed at 1070 supporters who do indeed align themselves with the likes of J.T. Ready, a man who takes offense at the term “”Neo-Nazi”” but identifies with the National Socialist Movement, and his merry band of gun-toting vigilantes. This fear mongering based on the idea that illegal immigrants flow in from Mexico as drug mules who intend to “”drop a child”” on the taxpayers’ tab (and then steal all our jobs) is dehumanizing and manipulative.

Regardless of your position on the issue (or race, age, level of education, country of birth, the quality of your toilet paper and all other factors that separate you from the next person), you sacrifice all of your credibility the moment you begin treating human life as a tool to further your political ideals. Being sure that you are right is not a free pass for ignorance and recklessness. Activism by either side of the debate cannot hope to be successful if they are associated with a few nut jobs that will make a statement by trivializing the lives of others.

I don’t think this is a complicated concept, but I am also inclined to believe my thoughts are the only right ones.

— Kristina Bui is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached

at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

 

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