Last Thursday’s post on Judge Bolton’s injunction of AZ SB 1070 stimulated a comment from the opposing viewpoint that in turn provoked such a long answer from me, I thought it would serve better as an actual blog post.
“Aelinor” commented that she was delighted with Bolton’s ruling because she thought SB 1070 had racial overtones and we need something better. She also thought that racism was a problem in AZ, one she’d experienced first hand, and stated that “Unless you are a minority, you cannot say that you understand the racism firsthand.” My first response was to point out that her statement is itself racist since in it she was making an issue of my race in her assessment of my ability to understand something.
I take issue with that because for one thing, “racism” is merely someone having a judgmental, arrogant, implacable, critical, hate-filled, exclusionary and/or irrational attitude toward someone else and expressing it. It is someone making assessments of another’s understanding, character, ability, talent, based on something as superficial as the color of one’s skin, structure of their bones, shape of their eyes, and assigning relative worth because of it.
Everything about that is stupid, ludicrous and absolutely, disgustingly wrong. And I don’t think I have to experience it as a minority to understand that. In point of fact, I have experienced it, just not based on skin, bones, shape of eyes. It’s sin, it’s evil human viewpoint, and its source is the sin nature that every single one of us have. A nature we have all operated in from time to time (some of us, all the time) and will continue to operate in until the day we die, and we’ve all been the recipients/victims of other people’s sin natures, as others have been the recipients of ours. And race has absolutely zero to do with it.
No race is better or worse than another, just as no man, before God, is better or worse than another. We’re all depraved. We’re all sinners. Some of us go for the overt expression of it, in immoral degeneracy; some of us for the covert expression in moral degeneracy (think Pharisees of Jesus’s day for your example). Jesus died for all of us and desires for all men to be saved. We have only to believe in His name. Race is irrelevant.
And it’s irrelevant when it comes to SB 1070 as well. This bill is not a furtherance of racism except in the thoughts, apparently, of those who think in terms of race. We’re not against Hispanics. We’re against people who break the law and think they should be rewarded for it by services paid for out of our paychecks. Or perhaps full citizenship. It doesn’t matter what race they are, what matters is that they come here illegally, they have flouted the laws of our land, circumvented the proper road to citizenship in order to get to the golden eggs.
Worse, because they can’t live in the mainstream, they gather in their own little enclaves, speaking their own language instead of ours, and failing to assimilate as so many other immigrants who have come before us have done. I read an article recently about the impact large numbers of a single, unassimilated ethnic group of this sort would have on the existing population — rather than assimilation, it’s invasion. The host country’s culture would be overwhelmed by the new if allowed unfettered entrance. The host country, in essence would be lost.
And that, I think, it really what’s at stake here.
SB 1070 and this border issue is not about race but about our responsibility and determination as a nation to preserve our borders. If anyone can come in at any time, then we have no borders. If we have no borders, we have no nation, and if there are no nations, then we’re on the road to one world government, which is against the word of God. Nationalism is a biblical principle instituted for the protection of mankind. Man continually messes up every system he gets involved with, but if there are many nations, there’s always a chance for freedom to flourish somewhere.
There is another issue here as well, and that’s the rule of law, under which this country has always been governed and which is crumbling before our eyes. Judge Bolton’s ruling was not based on consideration of the law, but on her opinion of what is “right.” The Obama administration’s justice department brought the suit not for fear of racism — having admitted 1070 has nothing to do with that — but in an attempt to consolidate power. They want amnesty. They want open borders. They want a raft of democratic voters, ignorant and beholden, feeding from the government trough, and motivated by that to vote for those who promise to feed and care for them.
They want all that in order to do what they really want, which, I truly believe, is to bring this country down. And so far, they seem to be succeeding.
As I pointed out in my comments, I do not believe you are one of the people who have alluded to SB 1070 in racist ways.
I do agree with you that “racism” is just another word for hatred, and hatred in itself is an evil human viewpoint. No one would argue with that, I hope! The fact remains that you are white and I am Asian. This shouldn’t be a cause of division – indeed, we should gladly celebrate our similarities and differences! We are Christians, and *that* is what we should celebrate.
At the same time, I do not believe you have been shouted at (in public) in this very same state, just because you weren’t speaking in English with your own family members. I don’t believe either that you have been told to go back to “wherever you came from.”
I believe you understand hatred. I believe you understand what racism is. However, I do not believe that you fully understand how I have felt. Certainly you would understand what I have just told you, but until we have walked in each other’s shoes (to borrow that cliche), we cannot say we completely understand each other.
God does, though.
He hears the cries of our hearts, if I may wax sentimental. I don’t pretend I understand everything you’ve gone through.
Let me rephrase. I understand on an intellectual level what leukemia is. My close friend has it currently. My heart breaks for her on an emotional level, but I can’t say I understand exactly how she feels because I haven’t experienced leukemia.
That is what I meant in a generalized way when I said you could not understand my struggles firsthand.
I’ve said that we must counter illegal immigration, so I don’t dispute it. Our state resources are overwhelmed. As I’ve said, I live in this state, same as you, and I’ve seen the consequences. Something must be done. We have a responsibility to our country, and I agree with you on that score.
SB 1070 is flawed, though, and I will not support it.
That does not mean I am for illegal immigration. I am just against *that* particular bill because there are parts that make me uneasy, and I disagree with the way most of the supporters construct their arguments. And unfortunately, the debates I’ve had with some SB 1070 supporters (not you) have turned into ugly, racist comments that were said to my own face.
When a better immigration bill comes along, I will be first in line.
Aelinor, I absolutely agree that we cannot “know” in the sense of shared experience what another has gone through if we’ve never gone through it ourselves. It’s one of the reasons God allows us to endure situations of suffering so that later we can comfort others going through similar situations.
It’s also why judging is so pernicious. Until you’ve walked in another man’s shoes, you have no right to judge him, and even if you’ve had the same experiences, you’re still not the same person, with the same weaknesses, background, etc. That’s why the Lord tells us to follow Him, work out our own deliverance (in time, from the sin nature and the cosmic system) and let others alone.
So yes, you’re right, I can’t precisely feel what it’s like to be shouted at in public by a complete stranger telling me not to speak to my family, or to go back to wherever I came from. But I also don’t think that we should be making decisions relating to the law based on feelings. Those kinds of decisions should always be made on principle (Biblical, of course). In fact, I think that living in general should be based on principle, not on how we feel, because feelings are unreliable, and often cloud a person’s vision by removing objectivity.
AMEN Karen – amen!
Thank you Karen. You explained it very well. Arizona’s stand isn’t about racism. It isn’t against a race. It is about upholding the law concerning how to enter the United States. There is a legal way for people to come to the United States and to become citizens. Many wonderful people have done just that.
Great blog, Karen. Also, loved your replies. Did you know that Pecos’ wife is from Thailand? She came to the United States legally. I have never heard her complain or comment about any fair or unfair treatment. But she gets bent out of shape about anyone who crosses our borders illegally. Why? She spent the time to get here in a right way. Sakhon also dislikes excuses. I have never known anyone who works harder. She learned to speak, read and write English. She would never take her children, my grandchildren to any kind of Thai function when they still lived in Texas. [Houston has a large Thai population] She said they were American and she was going to be an American too. She has been a citizen for several years. Sakhon would lead the parade in support of SB 1070!
Sahkon sounds like a very impressive lady! I love her viewpoint. Thanks for sharing that, Gayle