Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tinfoil hat time

Maybe it's just me, but somehow the  the sight of people who are themselves barely third generation American doing anti-immigrant rants always seems to plumb new depths of The Stupid. I recently decided to get back into quilting for charity at a local church and got treated to a nice dose of xenophobia  laced with a dash of anti-Semiticism. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting when I volunteered.

The anti-Semitic comments followed a long spiel about foreigners needing to go back where they came from -- no place in this country for the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, that's not what the U.S. is about. If Stupid came in liquid form, I'd have been in danger of drowning because it was running pretty deep in the basement of United Lutheran. It's beyond bizarre when someone whose grandparents emigrated from Europe barely 100 years ago starts going on and on about how you can tell who the foreigners are by their last names. WTF? The woman is surrounded by people with Finnish surnames, and she's telling us other people's surnames are "foreign"?  I could halfway understand some of the weirdness about immigrants when we lived in Georgia -- a lot of the rednecks there can actually trace their history in the local area back to the early 19th century and don't think of their ancestors as immigrants but as pioneers -- but here in the U.P., unless a person is Ojibwe, the roots generally don't go very deep.

Turned out, of course, that "foreigner" was defined as Hispanic or Jewish. It was the usual "wetbacks are stealing all the jobs while sucking off the welfare teat" combined with the international Jewish banking cabal that's funding Zionism and the state of Israel. Where do people get these bizarre ideas? Faux News? Talk radio? The little old ladies I knew when we lived here before reveled in celebrity gossip and stuff they'd read in People -- when did they start listening to Rush?

The other ladies appeared pretty startled when I called the bigot out. I have a hunch they've gotten so used to her nattering on about global conspiracies and the evils of foreigners that they don't really hear it. Unfortunately, I did, and I know that silence equals complicity. As long as you don't speak up when someone says something offensive or crazy, the offender will view your silence as agreement. Speaking up might not change anyone's mind, but at least they'll know not everyone shares their distorted view of the world. 


  1. So glad you spoke up. And amazing that this type of attitude thrives in a church purported to consist of Christians.

  2. I think the whole world should go to one language, I don't give a shit which one but it would make it easier for everyone to communicate with each other if they just did that.

  3. I am so glad that you did speak up and that it appeared to be only 1 church member who was spouting off. I don't like celebrity gossip, but much prefer it to ignorant, bigoted diatribes.


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