I read Keith Mathews’ profane adjective and his flippant letter, “What could go wrong with open borders?” published Jan. 16.
When I read Mathews’ letter or when I hear similar sentiments, I can not help from thinking about the events in Selma in 1965, the school desegregation efforts in Little Rock and throughout the south in 1957 and I think of the brutal murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi — Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner — in 1964. Look at the photos of the white segregationists during the civil rights protests during the 1950s and 1960s. Their faces are contorted, filled with hate, rage and venom. Why? Why?
Let us not forget that we are a country of immigrants. Europeans arrived in North America during “The Great Migration” in the 1600s in order to practice the religion of their choice; some came to avoid British prisons, businessmen came to trade and others arrived here to become landowners and to farm. In sum, Europeans came to North America for a chance for a better life. Later, England decided to colonize and to unilaterally possess the land from the Natives Americans.
I detect a contradiction in Mathew’s message in his letter to the editor. Why does Mathews’ article bespeak a hostility toward immigrants? For decades, Hispanics have been coming to America to escape violence in their countries, to fill a demand for needed employment in this country and to seek a better way of life. Does this sound familiar? We need to look pass the false stereotypes, fear, and xenophobia that Mathews panders to. Statistically, whites misuse and abuse opioids more than people in other demographics. Homeless white people perpetrate the most property crime. Feel free to check the Seattle Police Department — or Enumclaw — police crime map/blotter to confirm the same.
In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan proposed to implement a federal program that would issue Hispanic immigrants a work-permit to work jobs that desperately needed to be filled (i.e., jobs Americans were unwilling to do. For example, landscaping, housekeeping, restaurant kitchen help, and janitorial). Why not do this now? Of course, their incomes would be taxed. Have you ever flown across America in a commercial propeller plane? One would be able to see the miles and miles of open land near cities that could be developed for housing relatively inexpensively.
We applaud the government when we deploy our troops to Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, among other countries. Our militaries invade the borders of other countries, set up armed camps and bases under dubious pretext and quickly call the locals there the enemy. How would Mr. Mathews like it if Iraq deployed their army and set up a base in Enumclaw? He and many others wouldn’t like it. We need to be careful with our “us versus them” arrogance. That’s all.
Mr. Mathews’ message is patently irresponsible and serves no purpose but to attempt to make the uninformed even more fearful and irrational.