Anti-Civil Discourse

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on January 10, 2011

A group of state legislators and the incoming Kansas secretary of state held a press conference in Washington the day the 112th Congress was sworn in last week. These distinguished officials unveiled a novel strategy to end birthright citizenship – the de facto awarding of U.S. citizenship to the American-born children of illegal aliens and "citizenship tourists."

While many believe the granting of citizenship of around 380,000 anchor babies each year poses a serious problem practically and in principle, the point of this missive isn't to discuss the birthright issue. Bottom line, the "and subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States phrase in the 14th Amendment plainly means something and it's not that just being present in the United States and held accountable to traffic laws, etc., satisfies the requirement and thus wins alien offspring American citizenship.

Rather, this blog entry is to expose the illiberal, uncivil, ugly, provocative tactics that the open-borders radicals employ (see here as well). The New York Times story reported on this briefly. It said:

The lawmakers were challenged even before they finished speaking. The news conference, held at the National Press Club, was interrupted four times by protesters who stood one by one to brandish posters and accuse the lawmakers of intolerance and racism. One protester cited welcoming words for immigrants inscribed at the site of the Statue of Liberty.

A brief scuffle erupted when a man who was a supporter of the state initiatives seized one protester by the arm and tried to march him out of the room. Also present were supporters of the lawmakers, who clapped and cheered.

Eerily, the shooting in Arizona this weekend of a group including a Democratic congresswoman, as horrific and unacceptable in civilized society as that tragedy is, reflects an extreme version of exactly the kind of disrespect and incivility regularly engaged in by the plants from the coalition of open-borders, racial/ethnic identity purveyors such as La Raza, NAACP, et al.

The mainstream media give the self-proclaimed spokesmen of ethnic subgroups a pass when they disrupt public events and elected officials, slur opponents on political issues such as immigration as "racists," "xenophobes," "hatemongers," "anti-immigrant," "anti-Hispanic," and the like. Those in media and other segments of elite society judge these extremists by a double standard. Failing to hold those who engage in such misbehavior to account for willfully refusing to engage in fair debate on the issues themselves contributes to the coarsening of American society. The bigotry underlying the misconduct of both elitists and radical activists encourages such Saul Alinsky tactics instead of rational, civil discourse.

If they want to be treated with respect, open-borders sympathizers should start showing respect to those on the other side of issues. If they sincerely believe in civilly addressing controversial matters, leaders on the open-borders side should disavow such tactics and those who use them.