This editorial is not about protecting the border, every state and government has an obligation to do so. And this editorial is not about sagging poll numbers. No, this editorial is about the moral and ethical obligation the Governor Schwarzenegger has to protect all of its citizens, even those who are here illegally.
When Governor Schwarzenegger called for the “closing of the border,” and praised the Minutemen as doing a “terrific job” he reinforced the idea, once again, that all the problems lie at the feet of the migrant/Hispanic community! That these illegals are the problem! This is the same tactic that then Governor Pete Wilson pulled out and even before that County Supervisor Susan Golding used this same ploy when she blamed the migrant community for a majority of the criminal activity in San Diego County, even though the police community disavowed her claim. In the process of assigning blame, the Constitution and Bill of Rights were seriously abused.
The point being that this type of rhetoric by our political leaders lays the groundwork for racial hatred and justifies physical abuse, and in some instances killings, and terrorizing of the Hispanic community.
It wasn’t so long ago (in 2000) that a group of teenagers, during the heydays of Governor Pete Wilson’s bashing of immigrants, that those boys who came upon an encampment of immigrant workers felt no qualms about beating and shooting these older gentlemen. By all accounts these were good boys from good families, yet they didn’t stop to think about what they were doing. They saw these men as “illegal aliens,” as a drain on the economy, as the source of our country’s problems. They didn’t stop to think that these were human beings, family men, who were not doing anything more than resting and relaxing after working hard in the strawberry fields of the North County.
We could go on with describing violence against Hispanics, but we think you get the point.
The act of violence, the willingness of commit violence is a mindset. Those committing violence feel justified in their actions and the justification is solidified and rationalized by the hyperbole of our political leadership. The Governor has the bully pulpit and his endorsement of vigilantism embodies those who are looking for a reason to act violently.
As a politician who has had to deal with the issue of Nazi Germany since his entrance into the governor’s race the assumption would have been that Schwarzenegger was sensitive to the issue race hatred and vigilantism, which makes his stance even more disturbing.
Not only are immigrants now viewed as the problem but all Hispanics in general are viewed as the growing problem. How do you discern a Mexican without papers from a Hispanic legally here, or a Mexican-American mowing his front lawn?
This editorial is about the Governor protecting the people of the State and through his actions he has failed to do so and clearly demonstrate that he has little understanding of the problem and how to deal with it. This is not a movie set where Schwarzenegger can flex his muscles and flaunt his macho attitude; this is real life, real issues, and real people’s life at stake here. There are no re-shoots in real life.