Thursday, May 1, 2008

What's your point?

There are all sorts of news stories today about the march for “immigrant rights” going on in Chicago and around the nation. And they are all saying that the marches will be much smaller this year.

Let’s see. 400,000 in Chicago in 2006, 150,000 last year. And it is getting smaller again.

Juxtaposed with this May Day rally is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a big day in Israel. A siren sounds, all the traffic stops, people get out of their cars, and for two minutes everyone stands still to remember those who died. Entertainment venues are closed for the day and schools hold special ceremonies.

It is interesting to contemplate the two causes, “immigrant rights” and holocaust remembrance. Sometimes those of us who are against illegal aliens are labeled Nazis or Hitlers. Everything I’ve ever read about The Third Reich indicates that the Jews who were expelled and/or killed were lawful German citizens. Can the illegal aliens say the same?

Or they point to the civil rights movement and claim they are victims of the same treatment. Are they? Were illegal aliens brought here against their will? Have they been denied an integrated public education? It is true that they ride on the shirttails of the 14th Amendment, but it is a cheap ride at best.

Author Robert Fulghum wrote about a holocaust survivor he once worked with. Because Fulghum was constantly griping, this concentration camp survivor put him in his place with this little message: "Listen, Fulghum, you know what's wrong with you? It's not the wieners and kraut; it's not the boss and it's not the chef and it's not the job.

"You think you know everything, but you don't know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire--then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. Learn to separate the inconvenience from the real problems, you will live longer and will not annoy people like me so much. Good night."

So, what is the point of these protests? “Immigrant rights” is a misnomer. “Illegal alien demands” is more like it. Like Fulghum’s co-worker, they’ve got nothing to complain about. But that isn’t stopping them. In the Chicago Tribune today they gave a link to the protest organizers. It is:

Here are some of their demands:
Legalization for All NOW !
Legalization for Elvira Arellano and Flor Crisostomo
End the War in Iraq, bring the Troops Home
Respect for the Self-Determination of Nations
Clean Up for Vieques
Replace Globalization with Nobilization
Stop the Separation of Families, Stop the Hate, Stop the Violence, Stop the Guns, Stop the Drugs
Health Care for Every Family
Equal, Quality, Respectful Education
A Moratorium on Mortgage Foreclosures
Naturalize Foreign-Born Spouses of LGBT Couples
Refugee Rights for LGBT People Fleeing Persecution
Renegotiate NAFTA
Good Jobs on Both Sides of the Border
(Gee, I’m in favor of some of those demands myself. Somehow they left off “A good 5 cent cigar.” I was almost persuaded to join them until I saw the list of people endorsing their cause.)

Their list of endorsements includes:
Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez
Mayor Richard Daley
Carpentersville Village Trustee Linda Ramirez Sliwinski
Grupo Perverso
Latino Chapter of Rainbow P.U.S.H.
Nation of Islam
L.U.L.A.C. Council 300
Gay Liberation Network
Arab American Action Network (AAAN)
Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano (Mexico)
Sigma America (Whitewater,WI)
Illinois Coalition for Peace and Justice
Illinois Coalition of Immigrants and Refugee Rights
Teamsters Local 743
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881 and 1546
BCTGM Local 1
SEIU Local 1
SEIU Local 73
Teamsters Joint Council 25
Illinois AFL-CIO
Chicago Federation of Labor
AFSMCE Local 2081
YCL Organization
Students of Loyola University
Students of UIC
(What, no Young Republicans?)

So, that’s the make up of the “immigrant rights” protest in Chicago this year. I thought you might find it entertaining.


  1. You forgot "end all foreclosures". I saw that on Ch. 7 news last night.

    Amazing - estimates put the numbers today at about 2000 much for "supporting the cause".


  2. Whew! Is that all they want? Why not the kitchen sink too? It there anything else they didn't demand?


  3. It's the mass-appeal approach. I guess you resort to that when you need a big crowd. But it didn't work this year.
    It would be like advertising a concert made up of rock, blues, country, classical, and jazz. Something for everybody. But who'd want to hear it?