Blaming others

Los Angeles Daily News, CA
May 23 2004

Blaming others

The Costa Ricans look down on the Nicaraguans. The Mexicans bad-mouth
Guatemalans. In Japan they discriminate against Koreans. In New
Zealand, the native Maoris are the underclass.

The Germans spit on the Turks, who have done quite a bit more in
recent history than just spit on the Armenians and Greeks. In Sudan,
militias of lighter-skinned Arabs are slaughtering darker-skinned
Africans. The Palestinians and Israelis blow each other up so often
that it’s no longer big news.

It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, there’s always a group
that gets the blame for everything from economic woe to the spread of
disease. And in the United States, the scourge du jour is the “Latino

It always comes down to the same complaint, no matter if you’re
talking about the ethnic Nicas in Costa Rica, the Koreans looking for
jobs in Japan, the Pakistanis raising their families in London: They
steal our jobs. They threaten our way of life. We didn’t ask them to
come here. They won’t abandon their odd foreign ways for our good old
American/Mexican/Muslim/Teutonic traditions. They aren’t like us.
They are parasites that we have to support with our hard-earned tax
dollars. They should go home.

Last week, I wrote about the rising tension in Los Angeles and
elsewhere over the ever-growing Latino population in the United
States, as well as the fears that raises. I didn’t delve into the
whole question of illegal immigration, leaving that treacherous
subject for another day.

The piece drew a few very thoughtful letters from readers who are
individually working out what all this change means for them and
their communities.

But, like Mexicans in Maine, those were a distinct minority.

>>From the East Coast to the Midwest, I was inundated with angry,
sputtering letters from people incensed by the growing numbers of
Latinos. Some used the opportunity to disparage me personally for
taking up the topic, calling me “shallow and narrow-minded,” noting
that clearly I am only a columnist because I am Latina, that if I
don’t like the tension “I should go back to where I came from.”
(What, Indiana?)

All of which, sadly, just proved my point that there are some very,
very bad feelings in this country.

Nearly all of the angry writers couched their anger in terms of the
“illegals,” turning their intolerance into a policy question. Yes,
it’s true there are millions of Mexican and Central American illegal
immigrants in the country, and we don’t even know how many. Yes, they
use government services they are not entitled to. But there’s plenty
of data, not to mention common sense, showing that while they may be
using the emergency rooms for primary care, illegal immigrants also
contribute into a system from which they are legally unable to

They do so by providing dirt-cheap labor in the fields and factories,
and even Wal-Mart, which means we legal Americans benefit from lower
prices. They pay taxes. They pay thousands of dollars to independent
businesses for usurious fees because they’re unable to conduct
business in anything other than cash. They work cheaply in our yards,
our kitchens and caring for our kids, but without any insurance or
worker’s comp protection or Social Security.

Who benefits? We do. We like to be proud of the idea that the United
States is a strong beacon of hope for the downtrodden around the
world, but then we cringe when we find that the actual downtrodden at
our doorstep are often poor, uneducated, in need of help, maybe even
a little smelly. All that generosity fades away.

I’m not advocating illegal immigration. But our federal government
has turned a blind eye to a great many of those downtrodden creeping
inside the gates. They are here, among the many millions of legal
immigrants. And that’s no excuse for intolerance.

There was more bad news the other day for those worried about the
“Latino invasion.” The California Department of Finance predicts that
within a decade, Latinos will be a majority in Los Angeles County
and, by 2040, a majority of the state’s population.

And when that happens, don’t be surprised when the comfortable Latino
majority starts agitating against how the new foreign invaders —
maybe it’ll be North Koreans next — are trashing the country and
ruining the fabric of society.

Mariel Garza is an editorial writer and columnist for the Los Angeles
Daily News. Write to her by e-mail at [email protected]

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS