Monday, June 04, 2007

Wrong Headed and Blatantly Offensive

One supposes that The Tennessean would wish to grant significant latitude to those who would write guest columns to appear in its newspaper, but the local paper of record should at least require that its contributors at least possess some modicum of reasonableness. Such is not the case with a piece in today's paper that somehow manages to compare illegal immigration with the American slave system pre-1865. Whatever one may want to say about illegal immigration, those who are here have for the most part come voluntarily, and large numbers have demonstrated in the streets of American cities demanding certain rights. That is not a set of facts that comports with comparisons to slavery.

The guest columnist wishes to describe today's illegal immigrants as being "lured" by "today's New England slave traders." Whatever. There are some here due to human trafficking, but the vast majority of the 12 million illegal immigrants are here voluntarily, and comparisons to those who were imprisoned and brought across the Atlantic on inhumane slave ships and sold to the highest bidder are wrong headed and blatantly offensive.

Yesterday, columnist Dwight Lewis wrote that the state of Tennessee should apologize over slavery. I think Lewis is wrong, as these types of "apologies" are nothing more than empty, symbolic gestures that don't really accomplish anything. However, Lewis would be right to demand that his paper apologize for printing this nonsense today.


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