I’m trying to figure out how to write about why I started blogging over at the Great Orange Satan on immigration.
There’s so much information I have packed into my poor brain over the past several months, that I don’t know where to begin.
Guess perhaps I should start at the beginning!
Ok, will do.
kyledeb’s The Correct Term is Migrant on August 22.
It is impossible to have a real conversation about immigration in the U.S. if people can’t even agree on the terminology that they are debating with. Conservatives automatically become hostile when they read or hear the word “undocumented immigrant”, and progressives often call people that use the term “illegal alien” racists. Both terms are incorrect.
When describing the 12 million people that have illegally immigrated into the U.S. the best term to use is the word “migrant”. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if people opposed this, this shouldn’t be a controversial claim. The rest of the world uses the term migrant to describe people that immigrate into the country illegally. The BBC uses the word migrant. So does Prensa Libre, Guatemala’s main newspaper. The list goes on and on.
Immigration is actually a U.S.-centric term. An immigrant is someone who migrates into your country, an emigrant describes someone who migrates out of your country, but the accurate term to describe this population from a global perspective is migrant. It flies in the face of the U.S. citizen ego, but most migrants come to the U.S. with the intention of returning, and many do. Migration describes their movements better than immigration does.
The typical comment:
enter You can respectfully disagree
with the actual definitions of words all you want.
But using your special definitions of words instead of the generally agreed upon definitions will achieve only one thing – guaranteeing that you will not effectively communicate with anyone who does not already agree with you.
My very first comment was a response to Mariachi Mama’s comment:
sorry too late to tip or rec nt
To which I added one of my most insightful comments:
Frankly, I didn’t even know kyledeb was male! I thought the screen name meant “her” name was “Deb!”
Later, I learned differently.
I thought Kyle had a hell of a lot of nerve telling Kossacks what to say and how to say it. I thought he would probably be killed in the comments and that would be that.
Well that didn’t happen, even though to this day there are fierce battles. I’ve been in the thick of many of them, being the cantankerous self-appointed Nightprowlkitty: SuperKitty of Justice!, lol.
What happened to me is that I got educated. As a certain SmartyPants (a/k/a Pandora for real!) would say, I got “taken to school.” And I have missed very few classes since.
If someone could grab the picture at the upper lefthand of the screen at Migra Matters of the very cool graphic “Illegal Is Not A Noun,” I would appreciate it, being tech challenged at posting pictures.
I’ve written before about the diversosphere, but what I have forgotten to mention is that these folks are cutting edge when it comes to taking you to school. What you’d have to pay thousands of dollars for in academia (and probably still end up clueless), is offered here for free, and in a much hipper style than academia can provide. Because it’s not just education one gets at these sites, but activism, understanding, breaking through the mind-control so many of us have suffered from for so many years, and top of the minute news on these issues as well.
The other day a poster I have been battling at length with finally used the word “undocumented migrant” instead of his/her preferred “illegals.”
Is that the most important thing, the words we use? Ah, to me, every detail comprises THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, because they are all pieces of value in a difficult and puzzling battle. The words we use are the most important thing, because we all care about people and don’t want to call them names that will make them feel they are not equal to us. The issues are the most important thing because we can’t change the laws and push our Dem Representatives to do the right thing if we don’t know what we want them to do.
The people putting out this information in this way are the most important thing because without them there is no chance to win any battles at all. Heh.
And the people who are suffering are the most important thing, the children separated from their parents, folks feeling terror in the night, folks exactly like you and me, who are being treated as though their humanity has a lesser value.
I felt pulled in two directions when I started understanding this issue. My first allegiance, I felt, was to write about New Orleans, and I would feel guilty at not writing more about NOLA when I was busy making comments in immigration diaries. As yet I have not written a diary on this subject, I still need more education. But I felt conflicted.
Then I realized both of those issues were about the same thing. Yeah, social justice.
Duke is the one to read on the issues, the legislation, the ways to frame this conversation that seem so obvious and easy to understand that I forget for a brief merciful moment that what he’s writing hasn’t ALWAYS been part of the Democratic rhetoric. Oh wait, it isn’t part of the Democratic rhetoric at all. Ack.
Kyle and Nezua are two of the freshest and exciting voices in the blogosphere on this issue, with both fabulous style and great substance and a lot of heart. And Kyle posts at Daily Kos, as well as Duke. This is an amazing ability, I think, given the stubborness of Kossacks that “WE KNOW ALL THERE IS TO BE KNOWN! YOU ARE A BOUNDER AND A POLTROON, DARING TO DEFY OUR CONVENTIONAL WISDOM!” – or something like that. And to be honest, there are a hell of a lot of folks who post at Daily Kos that I wouldn’t lightly argue with, as they know their stuff inside out. So there is a real challenge there, not just an empty-headed one.
So that was the beginning of how I got into blogging (comments only) on the issue of immigration and the Democratic Party’s really lame and limp rhetoric on it. Rahm Emmanuel! Yes, you, Rahm! Your days are numbered, Mr. Emmanuel, and Americans will once again inject some common sense into that part of the Beltway that needs it most!