Monday, August 4, 2014


For many conservatives, America is no longer a place where the world can send "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." In fact, there's a xenophobic strain running through our nation's conservative population that reminds me of America's 19th century "Know Nothings" - a group of people who would have blocked America off from the rest of the world long ago.

Today they want to re-write the spirit of America.

As I read through all the ugliness coming from the most conservative and right wing elements of the Republican Party, one thing is clear: They don't understand American history, and pretty much have nothing but contempt in their hearts for anyone who doesn't look like "us" (whoever "us" are).

Anyways, here's a small collection of some of the most confounding and utterly ignorant statements made by the far right when it comes to dealing with the child refugees showing up on our border from Central America.


One of the more interesting statements comes to us from Texas.

Lone Star state representative Dennis Bonnen argues that there's a difference between allowing Central American refugees and displaced Hurricane Katrina students from Louisiana to attend schools in Texas. Teaching Louisiana students only required finding "a teacher who could do 'coonass' in English" while accommodating students from Central America requires a "higher marker" (whatever that means).

Via National Memo we get a list of the 5 worst things that politicians have said about Central America's child refugees. These three stick out:

* A Republican congressional candidate from Arizona was so wound up that he confused a bus load of kids from the YMCA for a bus carrying Central American kids. He told a TV news team how he saw "fear in their faces." The reporter had to tell candidate the bus was full of YMCA kids (National Memo2). 
* Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) claims President Obama and the Democrats are really the ones waging a "war on women" because they are allowing migrants to enter when their only goal is to "sexually assault American women" (National Memo3). 
* Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), who is a medical doctor and should know better, is upset because children from Central America are coming and will bring the "swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus, and TB" with them (National Memo4).

Perhaps the most repulsive comment comes from Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL). Rep. Nugent is worried that the older kids hiding among the Central American hoards are importing a gang culture since, you know, "these kids have been brought up in a culture of thievery ... a culture of murder, rape" (National Memo5).

We also have Rep. Michelle Bachmann's (R-MN) insights on the dangers from the migrants that confront us all.

Rep. Bachmann claims people carrying Ebola and people from "terrorist nations" are now part of the immigrant "invasion" (Right Wing Watch). Worse, Rep. Bachmann is worried about Central American children getting licenses and driving into buses since an "illegal alien" in her state drove into a school bus and killed 4 innocent children (National Memo6).

There's more, but you get the point.

The "Know-Nothings" of our past are still here.

- Mark

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