A lot of people are remarking about the protests in Los Angeles and elsewhere, where illegal aliens and “immigration advocates” spoke out against the proposed immigration-reform bill that just passed the House. One element that has garnered a great deal of attention is the large number of Mexican flags that showed up at the protests, in the hands of protesters.
Some say there is no real cause for concern. After all, we see scads of Italian flags on Columbus day, Irish emblems are everywhere on St. Paddy’s, and so on. This is no big deal.
The major difference is that this is March, nowhere near Cinqo De Mayo. This wasn’t a one-day event to celebrate the contributions of people of Mexican ancestry, this was a protest, a demand for political concessions and major changes in our national policy.
When I see protesters making those kinds of demands, accompanied with threats (a one-day strike), while waving those flags, I hear a very specific message: “if the government doesn’t give us what we want, we’ll find a government that will.” And when there are also banners that proclaim “THIS LAND IS STOLEN LAND,” the implication is even clearer — we won’t go to that government, we’ll bring that government here.
I like to think I’m typically American in some ways. In one of them, I don’t take threats well. If you have a bad situation, and want changes, then ASK for them. Appeal to our sympathies, our sense of justice, our sense of fairness. Do NOT threaten us — that’s the surest way to assure many of us will NEVER comply with your wishes.
The “immigration advocates” remind me of the young protesters in France, demanding that the protections the unions enjoy be preserved. In both cases, we have groups of people who are seeing a threat to the privileges and license they have enjoyed for years, and are demanding that not only their special protections be preserved, but in some cases expanded — at the expense of a system that can no longer afford them.
One of Chairman Mao’s most famous quotes was that “all political power comes from the barrel of a gun.” To extend his metaphor, he didn’t quite take into account a nation where all citizens have the right to possess their own gun — his observation only holds when one side has a virtual monopoly on the guns. In the United States, we are well-equipped to counter Mao’s notion.
And if the “immigration advocates” keep pushing, there is a very good chance that they shall reap the backlash they have been inciting for far too long.