Where you focus matters

I think it can sometimes be a bad faith argument to claim, “how can you care about X, when Y and Z are bigger problems?”  That doesn’t mean that X is not a problem worthy of addressing.  That said, where you focus your attention and efforts, obviously, gives insight into your values and priorities.  And for Donald Trump, that is undoubtedly the fact that he is a bigot looking to drum up ill-will towards illegal immigrants.  Apparently, he had an event today with “angel families” (Mike Pesca on this absurdity is awesome) who had family members killed by illegal immigrants.  This inspired a tweet from a former student who is now a journalist:

Ummm, no, not uncovered. And when you consider that illegal immigrants murder at a lower rate than the native born, hard to argue that this is anything other than xenophobic demagogery– especially given the source.

For some reason Poniewozik deleted his nice comment that, by this logic we should worry about murders by native born, but here’s the Wonkblog post he linked with the key charts:

So, right, protect us from all these damn native-born criminals.  And, yes, to focus on immigrants given this reality is nothing but xenophobic demagoguery.  Especially when you consider the source.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

11 Responses to Where you focus matters

  1. Mika says:

    She’s your former student? Looks like you professors aren’t omnipotent brainwashers after all eh? 🙂

  2. Nicole K. says:

    I know I got indoctrinated and brainwashed. Must have been residual EDS clouding my brain or something. But I’m actually ok with it. The conservative version of me would probably still be in denial about her gender issues and that was a much less happy and comfortable in my own skin version of me. So I’m not complaining. =)

      • Nicole K. says:

        I thought you knew that Nicole K. used to be Jon K. If you didn’t know, then I am glad I cleared that up. But, yeah, a few years ago I was a very libertarian man. After indoctrination, I am a moderately liberal transwoman.

        So I guess I that was a pretty big change in a very short period of time, but I had also had my brain turned off for about 10 years due to excessive daytime sleepiness. So I when it started working again, I didn’t want to waste any more time than I already had, so I changed quite a bit very, very rapidly.

        Fortunately, due to a job that I thought was going to happen but did not, I spent about a year and a half living in the DC area where I didn’t really know anyone except my uncle. That gave me an excellent opportunity to work out my gender stuff in a place that was extremely tolerant and where I didn’t have to worry about what anyone else thought about it.

        That made it pretty easy to get through the early stages of transition without any problems, (the early days, especially pre-hormones, can be pretty rough because you have no idea what you are doing and you look and feel like a crossdressing man)
        so I am glad I did it there instead of Raleigh. I am not sure how anyone could get through that around here without developing a major anxiety disorder.

      • Mika says:

        I thought you knew that I know but thanks anyway 🙂

        I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through but I’m glad for you if you feel that you’re on the right path!

      • Nicole K. says:

        It’s cool. There’s too much ambiguity in text-based communication, so it makes misinterpretation happen all the time.

        I am the happiest I’ve been in a long time. Aside from living in the South, which is a more lonely and difficult area to be trans, (people actually do things like accidentally on purpose cancel your health insurance retroactively without notice instead of changing your name as requested, and I’ve got friends that I almost never see anymore because, although they are liberal and have no problems being around gay people, their family is visibly weirded out whenever I’ve come around.) I am the happiest and most hopeful about the future than I ever have been before.

      • Mika says:

        That’s pretty cool also. 🙂

  3. homeys44 says:

    Always one of the most puzzling stats, given that about 35% of illegal immigrants are males age 18-39 with very little education. Maybe Hillary was right and America is just full of deplorables who are even worse than your average uneducated Mexican I still don’t want to adopt Mexico though.

    • Nicole K. says:

      Perhaps it’s because most of them are here to earn money to send home to family living where they came from and they are aware that drawing any attention, like doing things that would get you arrested, would bring an end to their ability to continue providing the remittance money that their families depend on.

      I’ve worked with both refugees and immigrants, and I have heard stories they told about working at chicken processing plants that make it sound just short of torture. There’s a reason that those jobs are specifically almost 100% filled by refugees and immigrants, quite frankly, nobody with any other options would ever think about doing that type of work. But when the alternative is living in Somalia, Iraq, Vietnam, or Honduras it probably doesn’t seem so bad.

      Just because someone is poor, unwhite, young, and male doesn’t mean they’re predisposed to be violent criminals. The fact that so many people jump to that conclusion about people they’ve never met just because they are different and come from a culture that’s a bit different, is pretty deplorable.

  4. homeys44 says:

    Yes, that could explain some of it. Still shocking that Mexico has a murder rate 4 times higher than the US, yet a subset Mexican population with hardly any seniors has a murder rate 25% lower than the US. None of this is deplorable, its simply based on looking at the very high homicide rates in Mexico and much of Central America.

    • Nicole K. says:

      There’s a huge difference about someone in a drug cartel and a migrant worker. the murder rate in mexico comes mostly from drug cartels.

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