I wanted to share what I wrote in response to receiving the email forward described at this link: http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/mexicoflag.asp. This is a topic which I had been planning to write about anyway, and this made for a good opportunity.
I am quite disturbed about this email. I am appalled at the attitudes of fear and bias which this message communicates. I believe that it is wrong to think of the U.S. as virtually perfect place. I believe that this attitude of paranoia that someone is going to come in and ruin our “perfect” lives is wrong. I can’t see anyway around viewing this as leading to significant racism.
Quite similar is the story of Dubois ports world. Simply because there is a connection to the middle east, people are up in arms over them simply owning a business here. (And really, if the Bush administration, which has been running around the globe fighting wars in the name of national security ok’d the deal, I’m thinking it was a pretty safe bet.)
What’s more, what is portrayed in this email isn’t entirely accurate. I participated in the immigrant march here in Indianapolis. More than any other one thing, people were waving U.S. flags, and sometimes chanting, “U.S.A.” They are not here causing trouble, they are simply hard workers. Again I see no other way of explaining this other than paranoia.
I say this because it seems that people seem to be under some kind of illusion that we can be “perfectly” safe, and reduce all risk. This of course is untrue and chasing it will be like chasing a phantom. I fear because some people would have us locked down to a near police state, losing much freedom in the name of security.