So, say that one day, as we all sat in our homes, happy and comfortable and content, watching our movies or typing away at something on our computers or fucking in our bedrooms, a whole load of strange people arrived from over the sea and started walking around as though they owned the place. We’d confusedly invite them in, and they’d listen to our stories with mild interest and maybe watch some of our movies, play a round or two of Smash Bros Melee, thumb through some of our books, but the whole while, they’d be very obviously looking around and appraising everything.
Then, more of them would show up. Boatloads of them. We’d offer our spare bedrooms or maybe let them pitch tents in our yards, since, you know, we’re decent people and we wouldn’t want anyone to die of exposure. And, hey, they seem charming and mysterious, and come from lands far away with tales of adventure. But then two weeks would roll by, and three, and four, and eventually we’d be glancing frequently at our watches and making strong implications pertaining to their departure.
Instead, more would continue to arrive, and inevitably, one day they’d say “okay, this is all ours now” and herd us into small little bits of land, and, yes, I’m sure it’s pretty clear by this point that I’m talking about what the Europeans did to the Native Americans post-”discovery” of America.
Who the fuck are we to say who can and can’t come here? Why don’t we let the Native Americans have a vote about who should be here and who shouldn’t. Let’s see what they have to say. If they vote that immigrants shouldn’t be allowed, then we start sending Mexicans back over the border. Oh, and Europeans and Asians, retroactively, back a few hundred years. Yeah, yeah, we “bought” the isle of Manhattan for a string of beads, which means that it’s totally fine for me to buy a retarded guy’s car for a film jar full of “really valuable” kidney stones. I’m not saying Native Americans were retarded, I’m saying they didn’t have much of a grasp of the concept of value with regard to the goods being exchanged. Yet, you know, it’s ours. Just like the money that con artists scam from the elderly under the guise of charity is rightfully theirs.
Let me clarify, though, for a second: I’m not advocating that we give the land back to the Native Americans. That’s insane. It’d be a logistics nightmare, and there’s not a damn way that all the people in the U.S. are going to fit in Europe and Asia and wherever the hell else we’re all from. And there’s really no point in punishing us for the horrible shit that the ancestors of a very tiny minority of us perpetrated.
But, come on, for us to say “no, Mexicans, begone!” is like asking a friend at a restaurant for a taste of what he ordered, and then taking his plate and putting your arms around it and saying that nobody else can have any. “I like your dish better. It’s so much greener, and your plate is so spacious.”
Anyway, to give some kind of a point to my analogy, what if people from another land–be it Mexico or Molvania–came here with enough force, persuasiveness, cunning and charm to take all of this away from us? Let’s use the example of Mexico, since most illegal aliens in this country originate there. Hell, if they want to come into our country and take stuff, it’s pretty damned hypocritical for us to condemn them for it. That’s how the current inception of this place got started in the first place! A bunch of illegal aliens came in, told the current occupants “hey, this is mine”, made some really shady financial transactions, and–BING–America!
Land of the free (provided you actually possess the magical attributes that qualify you as a citizen), home of the brave (or, well, mostly a bunch of people who shout a lot about what a good idea it is to go to war and then back off and let their neighbor kids do it. Not to be mistaken, of course, with the Braves. We killed those).
A few things I want to mention regarding comments on the last post:
Watt, “no taxation without representation” is the same whether it’s happening now or in the 1700s. You can’t claim it’s right just because it’s legal. “Oh, it’s okay for us to tax registered aliens without providing them services or representation, but it was horrible for the British to tax us without providing us services or representation because, well, back then, it was someone else doing it to us.” By the way: in Hitler-ruled Germany, it was perfectly legal to kill Der Juden, too. Not that this immigration thing is as bad as the Holocaust by any means, but it’s illustrative of how “legal” != “good”.
Djur makes an excellent point, countering Christian Sween: If America is apparently this hotbed of “everyone wants to live here” mania, then why aren’t there more people who could actually accomplish it with relative ease rushing the borders to live here? And what’s with the desire of some of the people living here now to move elsewhere?
In response to this part of Watt’s post:
Obviously he was way off when he said EVERYONE wants to be here, but I would say the amount of people who want to be here is much larger than what we can take. Do you disagree?
If we’re going to start trying to limit the number of people who can live in the U.S. simply by what the resources we have available to us will support, we’re going to need to start shipping a good chunk of the people who already live here somewhere else, if the Bush administration’s programs continue. Though, well, I suppose it depends on whether you’re looking at it from the perspective of production or the perspective of consumption. I’m sure if we didn’t have the attitudes we currently do about legacy ownership and all this other crap, we’d be able to chop up some of that land in the Midwest and break it up into farms (oh, and, y’know, not pay farmers to not grow crops for the purpose of driving up prices), and we’d have plenty for everyone. But that is, of course, no less a utopian idea than your “everyone who lives here should deserve to live here” argument.
Which, uh, by the way: What makes a person worthy of living here? Why do some of them deserve it and others not? And isn’t discriminating based on nationality (i.e. “I was born here; you were not”) kind of a lame qualifier? Fuck, I don’t get to claim ownership to the hospital just because I was born there, and then bar entry to anyone I don’t want to be in there.