Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Xenophobia setting in…

“9/11” say Americans, “remember 9/11.” Yep, we all remember, but in our haste to lock ourselves and our nation into some imagined security zone, we’ve turned against the world.

Bush’s war with Iraq has mired the U.S. in a Middle East quagmire, and it’s taken our attention away from our original retaliatory mission in Afghanistan, and I can’t believe it hasn’t undermined our effort against Al-Qaeda.

Rhetoric out of the nation’s capitol over what companies can operate American ports and what firms can purchase American companies has set back our relationship with China, Arab nations, people all across the world.

Now, amidst our national debate over immigration reform, the depths of xenophobia among many Americans are revealed by Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Georgia), who authored a provision stuck in the deficit reduction bill signed by Bush on Feb. 8th that stops “the theft of Medicaid benefits by illegal aliens.” Effective July 1st, everyone who applies for Medicaid coverage will have to prove their citizenship. More

In Norwood’s zeal to punish illegal immigrants for daring to sneak into the country and take jobs American’s eagerly offer them, he and his right-wing friends are willing to strip away healthcare from not only these same immigrants but also from many “legal residents” and citizens who can’t provide birth certificates, passports, or other documents proving citizenship.

It’s both terrible public policy and bad economic policy, and it’s born of fear and loathing. My tendency is to blame the Bush administration and Republican conservatives, but I know that lots of Democrats are part of America’s new xenophobia. We all really ought to be ashamed.


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