I Rescind My Endorsement of Democrat David Blount | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

I Rescind My Endorsement of Democrat David Blount

"Illegal immigration is costing jobs for Mississippians. And Richard White is doing nothing."

Yesterday, someone e-mailed me a PDF of a campaign mailer that David Blount is sending out in his campaign to unseat Republican Sen. Richard White. Then I went home, and there were two copies of it sitting in my mailbox (good he can afford to send *two* glossy mailers to every household). What can I say? I'm horrified and dismayed that Blount is using cheap, "southern strategy" rhetoric to try to win this seat by appealing to Mississippians' basest instincts and fears about "immigrant"—and that he sent this crap to my home. On top of that, the mailer is misleading. It reads in part:

Just what is he supposed to do, Blount, to "fight illegal immigration"? Do you have any interest whatsoever in looking at what "illegal" means, or should mean, or do you plan to just wallow in the mud with the fearmongering Republicans on this? The answer is clear based on this mailer.

I'm sure I'll get an annoyed call from a Democrat today who will say, "You know, you have to play dirty to beat Republicans. And David can't get in there and save public education if he doesn't, you know, play like he's immigrant-bashing."

No. I'm not playing. At this point, I believe the Democrats are doing the state more harm than the Republicans are. It is up to them to show us a different way, and they're not doing it.

I will not vote in this race on Nov. 6. If I've ever meant anything I've said about our state's past, and what whites did to African Americans, and said about them for cheap votes, I could not in good conscience vote for a Democrat who does this. Nothing is ever going to change here if we keep enabling this crap.

Previous Comments

ID
115378
Comment

... and they wonder why Mississippi has such a problem with "brain drain." We'll be talking about this on the radio show today at noon, folks. Please tune in.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-02T08:59:21-06:00
ID
115379
Comment

I will not vote in this race on Nov. 6. Do you just mean Blount vs. White, or you do mean not at all?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-11-02T09:49:59-06:00
ID
115380
Comment

LW, I have to say this year is not a good year to vote at all. The races are terrible. The candidates are almost worst! So far, unless it is a big business coming into MS, the leaders of the past 4 years haven't done much... look at Jackson.... no help from Haley and gang there! He, and his ilk, are why we have the Melton mess! I do like Summrall in the Auditors race. I think a guy who is actually an auditor in the department may make a big difference over the political stepping stone the office was used for by Bryant.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-11-02T10:00:45-06:00
ID
115381
Comment

This race. I can't vote for people who use cheap anti-immigration rhetoric to get votes. And I sure can't vote for Richard White, so I'll have to skip it, I guess. My list is shrinking. I agree, Pike. Over all, it's one of the most disgusting campaign seasons I've ever seen. And the Dems are playing right into Republican hands on it by getting in the mud with them. Fewer voters will benefit the Republicans, not the Democrats, but even so I can't be a hypocrite when it comes to racism and immigration rhetoric.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-02T10:06:31-06:00
ID
115382
Comment

I understand how you feel, Pike and Donna. However, I still feel like I am obligated to vote, even if I have to hold my nose while doing it. I would feel guilty not voting because I keep thinking about the fact that 40 years ago, someone who looked like me wouldn't be allowed to vote at all.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-11-02T10:21:48-06:00
ID
115383
Comment

I'm going to vote, too, L.W. I'm just going to skip some of the individual races.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-02T10:27:28-06:00
ID
115384
Comment

Oh, good for you, Donna. Keep in mind that almost a century ago, our entire gender couldn't vote either. Guess that makes me double the trouble, LOL.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-11-02T10:31:05-06:00
ID
115385
Comment

Right. I believe strongly in the need to vote. I also do not think I have to vote for one of two candidates who espouse rhetoric I don't believe in—and help create a climate of fear and hate toward immigrants. I don't have it in me to do that. It is also infuriating to me that candidates like David Blount take progressive voters for granted and just assume we'll go along with the game because we're supposed to know how great he is, and how he won't play those games once he's in office. It makes it worse to me that Blount worked in the secretary of state's office for so long. He knows well the problem of disenchanted voters, and now he is doing his part to keep more of them disenchanted and away from the polls. And progressives enable games like this if we go along with it. It's gotten so bad that I'm starting to believe that the only way we're going to teach the Democrats to give up their games (that aren't working anyway) is to send their opponents back into office repeatedly until they give the games up and stop taking so many Mississippi votes for granted. That's a sobering thought, but the truth is that this is what the Dems are going anyway—losing by going along with politics of division. Either we're going to build for the future, or we're not. And voting for these games is not going to build a strong future. It's only going to run off our best and brightest, leaving that little Republican Mississippi club that Ben Allen likes to talk about with a few Democrats with their noses pressed up to the window watching the cigar-puffing. I'm not playing this game. It's short-sighted, and it won't work. I've told Blount this before, in fact.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-02T10:43:18-06:00
ID
115386
Comment

Donna, were you able to confirm whether or not the Blount camp really did send the letter? I, too, feel like not voting in some of the individual races. I'm extremely disappointed in the choices I have.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-11-02T10:43:35-06:00
ID
115387
Comment

Well, if they didn't, they'd better investigating the fraud. Return address: Mississippi Democratic Party; Permit no. 396. "Paid for the David Blount for Senate Campaign. Approved by the candidate." Nice. We'll PDF it after lunch.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-02T10:45:43-06:00
ID
115388
Comment

I'm still voting LW... just feeling 'meh' about it. :-/ ;-)

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-11-02T10:55:38-06:00
ID
115389
Comment

It's very disappointing that the Democratic Party is going to attempt to insult my intelligence and faith now just like the Republicans did in '03 and '04. Steve Colbert is more appealing everyday ;)

Author
emilyb
Date
2007-11-02T11:58:32-06:00
ID
115390
Comment

"I believe strongly in the need to vote. I also do not think I have to vote for one of two candidates who espouse rhetoric I don't believe in—and help create a climate of fear and hate toward immigrants." Here we are again, Donna. Both you and Matt leave out the word 'illegal' when you talk about illegal immigration, whereas David Blount says that illegal immigration is costing jobs for Mississippians, not just 'immigration' There is nothing to define as far as what 'illegal' means here. It's a clear cut case. If you want to work to change the laws, so that 'illegal' has a different meaning under different laws, that's another matter. I'm looking forward to hearing the WLEZ podcast, only caught the tail end live. No one I know is arguing against the diversity brought about by legal immigration. The objection is to millions of people scoffing at the law, deciding it shouldn't apply to them.

Author
lucdix
Date
2007-11-02T12:13:26-06:00
ID
115391
Comment

No one I know is arguing against the diversity brought about by legal immigration. No, but you have no interest in addressing what "illegal" means. You're transcparent, dude. Lucdix, you are being a moron on this issue, with due respect. You haven't said one word about what "illegal" actually means, but then you go around hurling comments about "illegal immigration" as if you have any idea what you're talking about. You're officially on probation on this issue: one more unattributed generalization/statement about immigrants, and you're suspended. Can the talk-radio rhetoric and do some homework. This site is not here for you to p!ss all over with uninformed anti-immigrant emotion. I'm sick of it in may mailbox from candidates, and I'm sick of it from you. And if you tell me *one* more time what I think, because you are drawing unintelligent conclusions based on your own own emotions on this issue, I will never look you straight in the face again, much less speak to you in any context. Speak for yourself, and when you use generalizations about groups of people here, back. them. up. Or get the hell out. And had we had a site in '60s, I would have the same thing about the generalizations about black people. I don't provide a forum for bigotry against any groups. Got it?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-02T13:17:36-06:00
ID
115392
Comment

Maybe you haven't read all of my posts, Donna, but in fact I've said several times what 'illegal' means in this context. * crossing the border illegally (with no visa) * overstaying a visa * using false papers to obtain a visa Is that clear enough? If you or someone else would like to change the law so that 'illegal' has a different definition, that's a different matter. And once again, my posts are emphatically *not* 'anti-immigrant'. They are 'anti-illegal-immigration' - and I have defined illegal above.

Author
lucdix
Date
2007-11-02T13:25:47-06:00
ID
115393
Comment

No, it's not clear enough, because that is not what it means. That's the Limbaugh definition. Look at what you just wrote: "crossing the border illegally." So you're going to define "illegal" as someone who does something "illegally." You get an F, lucdix. You respond, though, that it means "with no visa." OK, we're approaching the on ramp there toward a road on which a conversation might be possible. To merge onto the road, now tell me who gets visas and how and for what purpose. Does the law apply the same to all non-American citizens? What are the exceptions? Where/how is it abused? What are the loopholes? Is the law fair? Is it humane? Does it treat people from all countries the same? You throw the word "illegal" around so liberally as a reason to treat groups of people poorly; so tell me frackin' exactly what it means -- not some B.S. that it means that someone got a visa "illegally." That's not fourth-grade logic. You can't hide behind the word "illegal," not with me. Defining that word is what the whole conversation is about. Not just using it in a drive-by attack on all "illegal" immigrants, as so many people like to do. That is cover for bigotry. If it's not, you will show an interest in making sure the law is right and just and humane—oh, and good for America, and it's economy. So far, you've repeated every generalization that shows that you have no clue what the real effect of immigration is on the American economy. Over months now, I have invited you every way I can think of to give an indication that you know the first thing about this issue, and you have passed up every opportunity, just throwing back the tired saw, "But it's illegal!" The sad part is that you have no idea why I keep saying to you that that is *exactly* how Jim Crow was defended for so many years. When people take your tactic, it is hard for thinking people not to question your motives—I mean, why would you keep repeating falsewhoods without bothering to do any actual homework whatsoever to see if anything you are saying is actually true? You must have some reason that you don't want to take the time to do that. Please prove me wrong. I've hoped that you would for many weeks now. Starting to get it now?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-02T13:33:40-06:00
ID
115394
Comment

I'm looking forward to hearing the WLEZ podcast, only caught the tail end live. No one I know is arguing against the diversity brought about by legal immigration. The objection is to millions of people scoffing at the law, deciding it shouldn't apply to them. Which they do because the market will bear them as workers. And which is brought up around election times in a way that is divisive and xenophobic. I would be interested to see David's evidence that illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Mississippians; since there's nothing on the national level to support the charge elsewhere, my guess is that it's cheap electioneering. If there is evidence that illegal immigrants are somehow getting to the front of the line on jobs that Americans want and need to survive, then I would certainly be against that. Unfortunately, I think the "They'll Take Er Joobbss!" argument is largely a red herring. Let's put it this way -- what makes an illegal immigrant illegal is not the same thing as what makes a rapist a felon. Immigration law is malleable and prohibitory, not moral. Being an illegal immigrant is not the moral equivalent of being a felon. So if the entire thrust of your argument is that being an undocumented immigrant is "illegal" then I'll work from the assumption that you always buckle your seatbelt, never drive over 35 on State Street and you cross the street only at crosswalks. I'm not even going to ask if you ever "inhaled." ;-) There are macro-economic issues at play here that include behavior on the part of our government, large and small business and the immigrants themselves. These are the things that deserve discussion. What is asinine is for a supposed progressive politician to use this rhetoric to attack his conservative Republican opponent for not "sponsoring" legislation (no word on how he's voted on any of it) that somehow takes illegal immigrants to task. The truth is that even George Bush the Lesser has tried to bring up this discussion in this country, but it's too much of a wedge issue for intelligent dialog to gain traction. That's a pity, because our future as a country relies on an open, tolerant and progressive immigration policy.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-11-02T13:41:01-06:00
ID
115395
Comment

Fortunately, Ms. Ladd, I'm pretty certain rescinding your endorsement of David Blount will have no affect on his campaign, since your paper has lost credibility with so many people due to inaccurate reporting (which is actully inept editing of young writers) and that awful interminable period when your obsession with Melton cost you so many, many readers. While illegal immigration is not even on the radar of issues I care about in Mississippi or in the United States, it is an issue that many people in David Blount's potential district care about. What I care about is funding and supporting public education; revitalization of downtown Jackson; and having a state senator who does not have a racist molecule in his body. Which are three of the reasons I'll be voting for David Blount on Tuesday. Your meglomanical histrionics (and insistence on referring to him as "Blount," rather than his entire name or a simple "Mr.") strikes me as incredibly petty and immature. I mean, had I written anything with the lack of tonal control you have in your "un"-endorsement for my college paper it would have been cut. (And my college newspaper wasn't very good.) Let me say that I don't agree with David Blount on this particular issue, but I doubt in my lifetime I'll ever find a candidate with whom I agree completely, in any political race, local or national. I, for one, do not want to be represented by Richard White for another day, much less another decade, and find it incomprehensible that you or your readers do. Which is exactly what you are risking with this tantrum. And just so you understand, when two people with different surnames live at the same address, they receive duplicates of all political material. Hey, it's not a perfect world. Maria Wyeth

Author
MariaWyeth
Date
2007-11-02T21:36:15-06:00
ID
115396
Comment

Todd, I meant to get back to you on this but got busy and, in fact, we've covered this topic - illegal immigration - quite thoroughly now in other threads, in my view at least. Suffice it to say, I hope, that while no, I would not equate an illegal immigrant with a felon or a rapist, I also don't see violating the immigration laws as being the equivalent of getting and/or ignoring a parking ticket, speeding on State Street, not buckling my seatbelt, or crossing the street somewhere else than at a crosswalk.

Author
lucdix
Date
2007-11-02T21:45:33-06:00
ID
115397
Comment

Lucdix, please note that the warning I just posted on another thread about immigration applies to the entire site. As you're talking about this topic, remember not to post any more unattributed generalizations about groups of people. It's funny you say the topic has been covered "quite thoroughly"—we haven't begun to talk about it in an intelligent way. You seem to think that declaring immigrants "illegal," end of story, is "thorough." It's not, and there are many other people who are willing to have the discussion without you. We will be having it in great detail at the JFP in upcoming months, so keep an eye out.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-02T21:56:45-06:00
ID
115398
Comment

since your paper has lost credibility with so many people due to inaccurate reporting (which is actully inept editing of young writers) and that awful interminable period when your obsession with Melton cost you so many, many readers. Right. The JFP has no credibility, and we've *lost* readers due to our award-winning reporting about Melton. You're cracking me up here. You should know me well enough to know by now that petty, concocted insults don't work on me. I don't care whether my endorsement rescension affects Mr. Blount's campaign or not. I didn't rescind it for that reason. I rescinded it because my newspaper and I cannot in good faith endorse someone who would stoop to that depth. I can't rail against the southern race strategy when Republicans do it, and then turn around and wink, wink when a Dem does it. That would make me a hypocrite. I am very determined to speak out against bigotry, and wherever those chips land, they land. That way, my conscience will be clear, and I can sleep at night. And with any luck, if enough of us say no to this kind of ugliness, we can wake up in a new Mississippi where these games are no longer played. I believe in that dream, whether others do or not.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-02T22:03:46-06:00
ID
115399
Comment

Oh, and I must say that's it's great fun to be back in my home state where speaking out against bigotry and lies about groups of people is dismissed as a "tantrum." You know I agree with Jim Giles on tort reform, and I didn't vote for him for Congress, either. The candidates are making their decisions, and there is no reason on the planet that David Blount needed to spend valuable campaign dollars to send this mailer to my home (twice). I can hear it now: "You know David, if you'll go after Richard White for not sponsoring anti-immigration bills, all those Republicans in Byram who want a conservative will turn around and vote for you, man! We'll have 'em then! And don't worry about all them Belhaven types; they're going to vote for you regardless of what you say about immigrants." I'm glad the election is next week; my patience for campaign ugliness is wearing thin. I love this state, but this ugly crap about the "other" is kicking my ass right now. It's why I left in the first place, and I didn't come home to stay silent about it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-02T22:39:38-06:00
ID
115400
Comment

The JFP didn't cost itself any readers on the Melton saga. They simply told the truth and reported the news. Many, if not all of the local media outlets have been trying to play catch-up ever since. Besides, if what you say is true about the little ol' JFP, then why take the time to worry about it? I simply do not agree with Donna or the JFP on the illegal immigration issue, and I never will. But, you can't call her inconsistent by withdrawing her endorsement of David Blount. That's a issue that she feels strongly about, and she simply won't enable him to further his political career on her dime; plain and simple. I did Kim Wade's show about 3 weeks back with my friend, Richard White. We talked about many issues, but when it came to the Second Amendment things took a serious tone. That's my issue, and he knows it. A caller asked a question about his support for the Second Amedment. I explained that he had an A+ rating with the NRA, and that was the best you can get. The asked, "What if he voted anti-gun in the future..."? I looked across the studio board without pause and said he would be fired. Richard laughed, albeit nervously, but he knew I meant it. Donna is being equally consistent. If a politician goes against those that get them there, then under the bus they go. That's your right, my right and her right. www.nrams.com

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-11-03T07:03:41-06:00
ID
115401
Comment

I'm wondering what Donna's definition of illegal immigration is and why we can't curb it.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-11-03T13:09:18-06:00
ID
115402
Comment

Here's a verbatim message Blount is sending around: Sid Salter on Senate District 29 and Richard White's Last-Minute Claims on Education Dear Friends: It's the weekend before the election and the campaign is in its final push. I did want to share with you two late-breaking pieces of news. First, noted Clarion-Ledger columnist Sid Salter has weighed in on our race. Here's what Sid wrote: "District 29 State Sen. Richard White is one of those back-bench, do-nothing state legislators who provides very little leadership. He's a follower, not a leader. His legislative record is one of the more invisible among the 52 state senators, because he rarely take a leading role on any issue. Democrat David Blount, on the other hand, is a young man of the highest integrity, the highest intellect and who will provide courageous leadership. He's not a politician, he's a public servant and given the chance, he can bring exciting new leadership to the people of South Jackson. White's been hanging on to his seat by his political toe nails for too long. It's time to give a young man a chance to do better. David Blount is the best choice in District 29." You can view the article here: Link to Salter blog Second: Richard White's campaign has sent out a mail piece claiming that he has always supported education. The piece includes a letter signed by Past President of Jackson Public Schools Ann Jones that went to all Jackson area legislators. Don't be misled by Richard White's campaign including a letter from Ms. Jones. I talked to Ms. Jones yesterday. This is what she said: "I have been involved in public education issues in Jackson for many years, as a parent, a PTA leader, a school board member, a taxpayer, and a general supporter. I have had the pleasure of working with David Blount on education issues and know him very well. He has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to public education and has proven his leadership on education issues not just for the Jackson Public Schools but for all of public education in Mississippi. Most of us already know that David Blount is a genuine education candidate for State Senate and will have a positive influence on public education issues." The piece makes one outrageous claim that is not supported by the facts: "Richard White has voted to fully fund education. In fact, when the measure has reached the Senate floor, he has always voted to fully fund education." This is not accurate. Senate Votes on MAEP: Senate Bill No. 2604 (2006 Legislative session) - Richard White Voted No; House Bill No. 1646 (2005 Legislative session) - Richard White Voted No; House Bill No. 1696 (2004 Legislative session) - Richard White Voted No; Or, you can watch the video here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7170125315343932337 Thank you again for your interest in our campaign. We have the momentum and will be working hard until the polls close Tuesday. If you want to help, please drop a note. Sincerely, David

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-04T18:11:13-06:00
ID
115403
Comment

Ironghost, several of you are missing the point. Immigration law is complicated, and it has myriad problems, and it clearly cannot be enforced well as it's written. Meantime, we have people nonsensically going around just screaming about enforcing the laws against "illegals" while, seemingly having no idea or particular interest, in what makes some of them that way, and not others; what the costs would be of enforcing the law against all "illegals" vs. what the economic benefits are; what could be inhumane about current law; what is discriminatory about current law ... getting my point? It makes no sense to talk about "illegal" immigrants in some kind of vague, stereotypical way—and just demand enforcement of bad and/or unworkable law rather than taking time to examine and understand the law is, and what it's limitations are. The motives of people who are not interested in doing that, and just want to skip to the part about bashing "illegals" are highly suspect. And, sadly, they are the very reason that we're not getting any improved approaches to immigration law—because they purposefully, or unwittingly depending on who we're talking, have it very easy for dishonest politicians to turn this issue into the wedge issue du jour. The only way to de-wedge the issue is to back up the pipeline and examine the law, and ALL the facts, not the ones people are going around deciding just must be true. The irony is that the Bush administration tried to do this—their plan was still flawed, but at lease more realistic—but people on the far left and the far right shut down the conversation before we could have it in an intelligent way. That's very sad. BTW, Sid Salter made a really asisine comment in his column today. It wasn't about immigration but about Eaves' school-prayer gamble: The Eaves strategy of trying to take the so-called "faith and values" issues away from the Republicans was a political card that was well played but cost him votes among more liberal Democrats who found the strategy to be an exercise in pandering. Actually, Sid, I know moderate Democrates and progressive Republicans who are turned off by the strategy—not because they're "more liberal," but because they actually understand why school prayer is unconstitutional and how that is directly connected to freedom of religion. Trying to make this into a "liberal Democrat" issue shows that you are out of touch politically with much of the state and the country. Then again, so are the Democrats in the state. However, it'll take you a while to realize it because the Democrats' strategies are turning off so many progressive-minded independents, such as myself, that many are likely to stay home (I will vote, just not in every race). As the voting pool continues to shrink and many people are marginalized by all of y'all's backward, left-right conventional wisdom, you will continue to look like you know what you're talking about, a bit, because it applies to that shrinking voter pool. Meantime, all of these other potential voters—which includes potential Democrats and Republicans and undeclared—are (politically) homeless, and many will leave the state in frustration. Nice work, all.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-04T18:53:25-06:00
ID
115404
Comment

Oh, and I should add that the worst thing about the approach to bashing "illegals" is that it forgets that real human beings are on the other side of that label. Do not get me wrong: I'm concerned about economic development; I am concerned about bad laws that are discriminatory; I am concerned about the costs, financial and otherwise, of enforcement; I am concerned about the future strength of America if we give in to cheap isolationist sentiment that is based on little more then rhetoric and emotion (and, yes, bigotry); I am concerned about the American jobs and growth that would be lost should immigration laws be enforced with a heavier hand, not to mention tax and Social Security dollars; I am concerned about young Americans growing up thinking they are somehow superior to people from other countries who didn't get to immigrate here (and grab up resources) as soon as our ancestors did. But, most of all, I believe it is immoral to reduce whole swaths of human beings into an easy little phrase of "illegals" so you can say anything you want about them. First and foremost, I am opposed to the "new racism" that anti-immigration rhetoric has made chic once again, among Americans of various races. It's so sad that we have to keep fighting the same battles over and over again as the targets shift. But fight them we must. Lock and load.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-04T19:09:37-06:00
ID
115405
Comment

To my way of thinking, this mailout exposes two major problems of the Democrats in Mississippi this year. First, they seem to think they can fool the uber-conservative voters into supporting them. Let's face facts. Any voter who thinks we have too many Hispanics in Mississippi (and that's the "illegal immigration" everyone is talking about, right?) is voting Republican. Any voter who thinks we need to enforce Leviticus in Mississippi is voting Republican. They don't care how loudly the Blounts or the Eaves' pander to them. But second, and more importantly, what effing difference will it make to elect a Democrat who talks like a Republican? They'll say next that they have to support legislation to stop "illegal immigration" to get re-elected. Etc, etc, etc. Oh, a minor, "third" annoyance: the Constitution gives the Federal Government TOTAL authority over immigration and border control. So Richard White, whatever his faults, couldn't have done anything to stop illegal immigration. OK? Just like Haley Barbour, whatever his (many) faults, couldn't re-institute school prayer. The answer to whether the immigrants are "illegal" is simple: MAKE THEM LEGAL. Give them visas. They want to work, and if Mississippians wanted to chase chickens in Central Mississippi or repair houses on the Coast, they'd have those jobs too. If you give them visas, they won't be afraid to say when they aren't being paid minimum wage, and they thus won't compete unfairly against native born citizens. Why don't we want to do this? It's SO simple: the immigrants are brown. It's straight up, pure and simple racism. And for a Democrat to support and pander to that impulse, makes me vomit.

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-04T20:01:49-06:00
ID
115406
Comment

Indeed. Pass the Pepto. what effing difference will it make to elect a Democrat who talks like a Republican? They'll say next that they have to support legislation to stop "illegal immigration" to get re-elected. Etc, etc, etc. I agree completely. I've gotten several e-mails this weekend from Dems terrified that JFP readers aren't going to vote due to the chicanery. But, but, education, education, they say ... I know. I feel them. But *I* didn't do this. *You* didn't do this. The Dems running for office are the ones sacrificing what should be sure votes in order to try to pretend to be just as Republican as the real thing. They made the choice, and I am not going to vote for any Democrat who espouses wink-wink racism any more than I'm going to vote for a Republican who hawked the southern strategy all these years. How is it damnable for one party to do it, but not the other!?! They both think they have good reasons for doing it—but it doesn't matter. You don't hawk racism and xenophobia (or kick the Constitution in the knees) in order to try to fool voters into voting for you. And if you do, you do not get my vote. And as Todd said today—say we all decide to go along with the brilliant strategery and go vote for Dems pushing this ugliness. What happens then? They get to the Legislature and go along with the abortion trick of last year? They keep pretending to be bigots (I don't care what's in a politiciian's heart, by the way; I care what they say and do) and then in four years do it all over again to get re-elected. Meantime, all these so-called education advocates are teaching young Mississippians to bash immigrants. We have enough of that already, thank you very much. Also, the wording on Blount's mailer was absurd. Even if I bought the xenophobic pitch, I would read the part about White never sponsoring immigration legislation and assume that he had voted for it, based on the careful way Blount worded it. The most tragic part is that many Democrats think so little of Mississippians that they don't give us the chance to get passionate and do the right thing. They're running off people who don't like Republicanism in droves, and then fighting tooth and epithet to woo the remaining pool of wingnuts. They've made this bed. Que sera sera. We're screwed if it doesn't work, and we're screwed if it does. There is a better way, politicos. Read your spiritual texts. And then the next time, choose the light. And don't you dare whine about people not turning out to vote for you (or how "outsiders" talk about Mississippi being the same as it used to be) if you choose the darkness. And don't even dare try to blame those of us who refuse to return to the ways of the past in order to help you get elected. Or put enough way, you don't overcome evil by becoming the same thing. You counter with good and love and truth. And don't dare tell me it won't work if you're not really to friggin' try it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-04T20:54:08-06:00
ID
115407
Comment

Ironghost, several of you are missing the point. Immigration law is complicated, and it has myriad problems, and it clearly cannot be enforced well as it's written. Meantime, we have people nonsensically going around just screaming about enforcing the laws against "illegals" while, seemingly having no idea or particular interest, in what makes some of them that way, and not others; what the costs would be of enforcing the law against all "illegals" vs. what the economic benefits are; what could be inhumane about current law; what is discriminatory about current law ... getting my point? No, Donna I missed it. I think what you're saying is that if a law is complex and easily misunderstood we shouldn't bother obeying it. If that's the case then there's whole volumes of business law that can be safely ignored as well. Sarbannes-Oxley too tough? Ignore it! That's not how this country is supposed to work. If a law is complex, it's that way for a reason. Complex does not automatically equal hard-to-understand. My beef against this current mess is that there's no will on the part of the president to enforce the laws we have now. Bush is basically allowing this to happen.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-11-05T08:38:32-06:00
ID
115408
Comment

Oh, and this is the first time in a month I've been able to get on from work.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-11-05T08:39:24-06:00
ID
115409
Comment

The broader question on immigration is not whether the current laws are being enforced, but whether they should be changed. We currently have an untenable, unethical status quo: government looks the other way while some businesses exploit the undocumented status of Mexican immigrants to pay sub-minimum wages without paying social security or payroll taxes. These businesses are powerful enough to pull the President's chain. At the same time, nativists are making the immigrants, not the businesses who exploit them, the bad guys in their rhetoric. And also at the same time, it's relatively clear that the jobs the Mexican immigrants are taking are not wanted by those who are already here. But what do we get from Mr. Blount? The same visceral rhetoric that Tom Tancredo spouts. I agree with those who say that some compromise is inevitable in politics. But this strikes me as the old Bilbo "compromise" -- scaring the white working class voters with a pitch about the "bad, dangerous" people of color, in exchange for some measure of New Deal liberalism. It crosses the line, in my opinion. Y'all are welcome to yours.

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-05T09:34:26-06:00
ID
115410
Comment

Well put, GSG. A very succinct summary of the problem. The only thing I'd add is that there's evidence that many "illegal" immigrants do have payroll taxes withheld, with no chance of receiving benefits from those taxes. The overall average for American families is 1.7 children per couple, meaning our birthrate is such that we're not replacing ourselves. Immigration will be necessary for us to pay Social Security, much less continue to grow and complete on the global stage. That will include both highly skilled workers (who are also being discouraged and turned away after 9/11) and low-skill workers who come here to better their own lives and that of their families. As we all know, low-skilled immigrants often present the world with high-skilled progeny within a generation. Solution -- less rhetoric, more (some?) actual reform.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-11-05T09:48:03-06:00
ID
115411
Comment

Sherman, you're so explaining this more succinctly than I'm managing to. Thank you! Iron: I think what you're saying is that if a law is complex and easily misunderstood we shouldn't bother obeying it. No, not at all. Show me where I said that. What I'm saying is that if a law (or collection of laws) is discriminatory, unenforceable, probably bad for our economy and American jobs, and inhumane towrd many people to boot, then it is immoral and wrong to scream about mindlessly enforcing them before examining how they need to change. History is filled with examples of this problem. What's incredibly illogical about the whole thing, which Matt and I have tried to explain as slowly and basicly as possible to some stubbornly deaf ears), is that it is illogical to try to discuss immigration policy, and how it needs to be changed (or even be strengthened) by simply declaring first that all those people are "illegal" and should go. You don't fix bad law by enforcing it as hard as you can before you do anything else. This is why I keep drawing on the Jim Crow example. Under Mississippi law, "race-mixing" was illegal. The part that people forget now is that segregationists had all sorts of "scientific" and anecdotal evidence at their fingertips. Seriously, anyone interested at all in the "new racism" of the immigration debate should read the book, "Race and Reason: A Yankee's View" by Carleton Putnam. This was a bible of sorts during the 1960s, pushed by Bill Simmons and the White Citizens Council, filled with all the "evidence" of why integration was going to destroy American society. (I bought my copy at a book sale at the Eudora Welty library five years ago.) This is from one of the experts Putnam quotes to support why law-enforced segregation was necessary: "The deficiency of the Black appears principally in logical reasoning, in judgement or the capacity to define and analyze with precision, in adaptation to new situations and in the capacity for abstraction. This inferiority seems to result in large part from a precocious arresting of cerebral development." There are many, many such "facts" in the book. Scared and bigoted white people took such "scientific" findings and looked around at a black population that had been kept down and uneducated, and made the assumption that it must be correct. If those people were smarter, they'd do something about their plight. Thus, it became easy to get people to go along with bad law that discriminated against groups of people—based on so-called research and people's "common sense" (see the comments above about the idea that immigrants must be taking Americans jobs because a lot of people are lined up at Stewpot). These are all huge fallacies, but they became the "reason" in these debates. And we'll never get to the truth of the matter if all many people do is scream about enforcing the law against "illegals" first before bothering to get educated about the law is, what it's problems are, and the myths of realities of the effects of immigration, "illegal" or not, in America. The fallacy that "illegals are taking American jobs" without evidence could just as easily appear in a book like Putnam's. The sad part is that so many people don't understand the bigotry, intended or not, inherent in this statement—which is never substantiated when people say it. Of course, they didn't think they were bigots in Putnam's day, either. This is why it is vital to understand that most people don't try to push bigotry—they're oftening pushing bigotry by believing and passing on bad information.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-05T10:01:56-06:00
ID
115412
Comment

By the way, generalizations about groups of people that is based on fake research (which supports personal assumptions) is called "scientific racism," and it is one of the more disturbing kinds, because it has the glow of legitimacy about it. Meantime, I just found this obit, of sorts, for Putnam on the Princeton site: Carleton Putnam '24 Carleton Putnam, airline pioneer, biographer, and writer, died Mar. 5, 1998, at his home in Charlottesville, Va., of pneumonia. After Princeton, he became an aviation enthusiast. He earned his LLB in 1932 from Columbia Law School. Instead of practicing law, he turned a small California airline into a larger midwestern airline, Chicago and Southern, which merged into Delta in 1953. He was Delta's chairman of the board. He moved to Virginia to be near the Library of Congress, where he researched the early life of Theodore Roosevelt. His book Theodore Roosevelt: The Formative Years appeared in 1958 to critical acclaim. In a Newsweek interview, Carleton said, "I decided early in life, being an American, that I would like to satisfy two needs of my nature. One was the need for the life of action, the other was the need for the life of the mind." He remained on the board of Delta until his death. He was a trustee of the Theodore Roosevelt Assn. and a member of the Cosmos, Chevy Chase, and Princeton Clubs. He is survived by his wife, Esther MacKenzie Willcox Aughincloss, a daughter, three grandchildren, a stepdaughter, and three stepgrandchildren. He was previously married to Lucy Chapman Putnam. Donations may be made to the Theodore Roosevelt Assn., P.O. Box 719, Oyster Bay, NY 11771. The Class of 1924 Think they left something out? Reminds me of the Mississippi State page with a big picture of Tut Patterson (founder of Citizens Council) when he was named a football hall-of-famer. Icky.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-05T10:04:55-06:00
ID
115413
Comment

Ladd, You should run!

Author
dd39203
Date
2007-11-05T10:08:18-06:00
ID
115414
Comment

Here is just one story on the shortage of low wage workers in parts of this country: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070825/D8R820QO0.html Not that I think paying workers minimum wage is a great thing, but it's worth noting that immigrants are NOT taking work away from residents in the United States. And if they were legal and could require their employers to pay legal wages and taxes, they'd be on an equal footing with native born or naturalized Americans.

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-05T10:09:38-06:00
ID
115415
Comment

Anyway, I apologize if that got us off topic. More to the point, although I gave his campaign several hundred dollars, I no longer care if David Blount wins or loses this election. If he's willing to "go native" to win the seat, he'll do worse to keep it.

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-05T10:13:24-06:00
ID
115416
Comment

No thanks, dd39203. I'm not compromising, or compromisable, enough. ;-) If he's willing to "go native" to win the seat, he'll do worse to keep it. This is a huge part of my concern, too, General. And not just about Blount.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-05T10:28:04-06:00
ID
115417
Comment

How come Mike Huckabee, evangelical candidate for President and Governor of Arkansas, can have a half-way humane position on immigration and David Blount, et al., can't? As the following demonstrates, Huckabee believes that the issue of Hispanic immigration is a "second chance" given America by Providence, to show we learned our lessons from slavery and racism . . . . http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2006/12/15/huckabees-second-chance-doctrine/

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-05T11:47:02-06:00
ID
115418
Comment

Well, look at this. My copy of "Race and Reason" is upside-down on my desk, and the praise on the back cover just caught my attention. How about this one: Admirably organized and competently documented ... Mr. Putnam presents a case that will be convincing to many." — Memphis Commercial Appeal Yes, especially if they had no motivation to question or look for the real facts. It's so sad to think that we're still fighting off the vestiges of this propaganda that was so believed in our city and state (and country), and then quietly taught to their children once it became incorrect to say it out loud any more. It's really no wonder that many people aren't more questioning when it comes to anti-immigration rhetoric—or to the "thug" rhetoric of talk radio that got Melton elected. The "other" target has just shifted and morphed. But it's the same problem. The question to ask oneself: If you don't want to know what the real facts are about immigration—why? It's that "why" that is very urgent, just as it was a few decades back.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-05T11:48:33-06:00
ID
115419
Comment

General, I think one of the biggest dangers of the Dems trying to out-Repub the experts is that the GOP will do an end run around the Dems and become the more progressive option for all the fiscally-responsible-socially-progressive people out there, who are the majority. No, it won't happen with the yokels in power now, but they're on their way out. And as much as I despise Rudy Giuliani as a person and a leader, he could well become the figurehead of that GOP remake. I mean, they have to do something. And they've only been the erascible party of late since the Goldwater-Nixon-Reagan-Barbour-Atwater remake. The Dems better look out before they start wallowing in the mud. Politics are fickle. And I could easily swing Republican if it became more like the party it used to be before being dazzled by the lure of cheap racist votes. Mark my words: They will figure out a way to bring back the Party of Lincoln eventually (pretending, of course, that they had been that all along, p-shaw!); let's just hope that the Dems manage to keep from turning into the Dixiecrats of old again. This election cycle does not bode well.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-05T12:25:19-06:00
ID
115420
Comment

I don't have time to read all the posts, but I know this country has always had a soul-less urging/inclination, and that black folks and other minorities were the moral conscious of Ameica for long time. Black folks, more or less, forced many others in America to look at things in "real" moral and civilized terms while being treated and called savages and immoral ourselves. The county was confiscated or obtained on immoral grounds by countless mass murders (although white-washed), enriched by slavery and neo-slavery involving blacks and other poor folks (white-washed too), and saved from self-destruction by the conscious of the have-nots, most particulary black folks (never admitted). This event only caused the capitalistic giant and imperialism-driven persons (who are also racist) who run this country to pause, not change. Once we good citizen of all races and hues fell asleep, the racist, greedy, immoral, xenophobic and demonic but powerful persons resumed their dreams and goals of dominating the world for the benefits mostly of a white few with full steam ahead. This time these persons resumed their course with many of the have-nots who share their racism and fantasy about who and what America is. I know why the American Indians gave up on white folks. I know why black folks struggle daily to avoid doing the same thing. Only the grace of the Almighty and our beliefs in the Bible keeps us trying to overcome in face of so much hatred, ridicule and stumbling blocks. I'm not surprised so may whites are against Immigration, Latinos, Hispanic or whatever the case might be. Some pathologies never die. Some people see the human race (dual meaning) as the source of "only" their survial, life styles, and happiness. This lesson/legacy is being passed on without much interruption or much delay. But not all white people in America ascribe/subscribe to this view; otherwise, we minorities would really be screwed. I'm a little bit surprised black folks are a small part of this anti-immigration or "others" thing too. But from my experience and the accounts given me by many black folks, for the most part, our reluctance to get involved or to say anything is not based in racism, claims of superiority, claims of infringement on our country, xenophobia or fears based in multiple unstated things. Black folks have always felt like the unwanted here, and we know from repeated experiences that we're likely to always get the short end of the stick. We got it when Europeans migrated here in the late 1800's and since then. We've taken everything this country has thrown at us. We're supposed to be beaten down and wiped out, yet "we're still here."

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-11-05T13:02:20-06:00
ID
115421
Comment

Donna, I know this is off topic but speaking about Dem & Rep. someone just called and informed me that Sean Perkins has switched parties, he is leaving the Dem and going Rep. We Democrate are in trouble. We cannot afford to lose outstanding young men like Sean. I read this information on othorcainreport.com. under othor's blogs. It is really sad to read Sean's comments. Wake up Democrates, I am troubled by this.

Author
maad
Date
2007-11-05T16:56:29-06:00
ID
115422
Comment

That's reminds me of an old saying: "If an 'outstanding young man' wants to leave the Democrats, let him go . . . if he really loves us, he'll come back. If he doesn't, he was a ------ ------ Rat to begin with . . ." Or something like that.

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-05T17:03:27-06:00
ID
115423
Comment

Yes, unless the Dems insist on being faux-wingnuts. (Or real ones.) I'm telling y'all—look out for the New Republican Party. With their state nationally, and as the dinosaurs go extinct (or get indicted), they have to change.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-05T17:07:20-06:00
ID
115424
Comment

We're at the mercy of the republicans. We can't seem to overcome the prayers and machinations of great republican ministers like Ted Haggard and Gary Aldridge praying against the Democrats and turning would-be Democrats into republicans. What's up with Gary Aldridge? It seems he took loving thyself to another level.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-11-05T17:26:29-06:00
ID
115425
Comment

There can be nothing "Orwellian" about a private enterprise, Maria. "1984" was about the government. Otherwise, I have no obligation to provide you a forum to troll my site, and your first post out the gate did just that. Tell Blount hey and get lost.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-06T11:12:52-06:00
ID
115426
Comment

Personally, I think the insult to Mississippi voters was all Mr. Blount's doing. He assumes that making a last-minute effort to make anti-immigrant rhetoric part of his campaign (in TWO different mailings I received) will cause someone to vote for him. You may not agree, but I equate anti-immigrant rhetoric with racism. It is an unreasoned fear and hatred of Hispanic people because they are different. If a "deeply ethical" Democrat in 1963 had attacked a Republican opponent for failing to be "anti-integration", would you have excused it? I hope not.

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-06T11:13:10-06:00
ID
115427
Comment

I held my nose and voted for Blount this morning. But it was difficult after getting a mailer from Blount yesterday stating that “ David Blount will work with Phil Bryant to fight crime in Hinds County” and a picture of ole Phil in the center of the mailer next to a picture of Blount. It also states that " Richard White worked to defeat Phil Bryant in the primary election..." The more and more i think about it I'm regretting voting in the race. I'm looking at the mailer and it makes me sick as hell.

Author
jd
Date
2007-11-06T11:18:15-06:00
ID
115428
Comment

I agree, Sherm. People have to take personal responsibility for their actions. If people want to come on here and defend Blount on the merits, so be it, we can have that conversation. But Democrats from Belhaven are no more welcome than anyone else to come on this site and get personal about me, my newspaper, my staff and the bloggers here because you don't like that we called out someone's anti-immigration rhetoric. Grow up. I've long taken it from the left and the right, and to be honest with you, when it comes down to it, people are people. (It is fun, though, to have trolls from the left start whining about how the "free press" isn't "free" because I won't allow them to hurl personal insults here because they disagree with me. Folks, "free press" means independent and free from government and partisan influence. And this proves it.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-06T11:19:02-06:00
ID
115429
Comment

Wait, what? Blount sent out a mailer about Phil Bryant? Huh? Did he mention Franks? What the hell is going on with him?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-06T11:22:57-06:00
ID
115430
Comment

no, i looked at and honestly i was confused as hell for 3 minutes. i didn't get it at all. The gist of it is that he will work with phil bryant to fight crime in hinds county and that richard white worked to defeat phil in the primary election earlier this year. (i'm guessing white endorsed charlie ross) it even has three pictures, sheriff mcmillin, bryant, and blount

Author
jd
Date
2007-11-06T11:25:27-06:00
ID
115431
Comment

Well, if that's true, one needn't feel obligated to vote for Mr. Blount out of party loyalty. Not that I did, anyway, but that seemed to be the focus of some who posted here.

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-06T11:25:39-06:00
ID
115432
Comment

Remarkable. If he hurries, he could hold a press conference and switch parties before the polls close.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-06T11:27:26-06:00
ID
115433
Comment

Jaydortch, that mailing would have likely bothered me gravely as well. I might have called them and gone off after receiving that. Anyway, some of us know Donna has done a wonderful job with this paper. I remember the first time I picked it up, and I quickly said "there is no way in hell anybody from Mississipii is writing or producing this paper." It was/is too forward-thinking and prgressive-minded for ole Mississippi. Real Mississippians know you have to think, act and behave so southern down here so that we all know you haven't really left 1862. I haven't seen any evidence of looking down on or acting superior to others. This is a common false claim by people who feel one of us has forgotten our place. Keep up the good work Donna. You're doing us proud. Sho Nuff and that's the double truth.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-11-06T11:34:08-06:00
ID
115434
Comment

Thanks, Ray. The truth is, our readership and our ad revenue is steadily growing, and we get dozens of comments like yours every week (and I say that with awe and modesty and appreciation), and about one like the troll's a month, if that. It's always funny when someone gets offended because we don't parrot their view and decide to tell us how much we suck, suck, suck!, and how we're not "FREE" because we don't allow them to have personal temper tantrums on our watch. Everyone isn't supposed to agree with everything in this paper all the time, regardless of their chosen spot on the political spectrum. We don't pander to one political party, or the government or anyone else. And that is EXACTLY what the history of a "free press" is in America. It's funny to me to have someone lecture me about doing exactly that—thinking independently from conventional wisdom. Also, I don't give a damn who calls me "arrogant"—as a confident woman willing to speak your mind, I know well that that is a tired tactic. Bottom line: This little ole "leaden" newspaper is not going to turn our heads on the "new racism," regardless of who does it or why.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-06T11:53:01-06:00
ID
115435
Comment

Not sure why you were "horrified and dismayed". This is Mississippi politics afterall. You've got anti-immigrant David Blount versus Anti-gay Richard White. In the end, they are both typical Mississippi politicians.

Author
LambdaRisen
Date
2007-11-06T20:44:13-06:00
ID
115436
Comment

That's the sad thing, Lambda. Some of us thought David Blount represented a new way forward -- a progressive, pragmatic problem solver for all Mississippians. He raised nearly $100,000 more than the incumbent, mostly on his record as a pro-public education activist, but spent that advantage on a last-minute play for anti-Hispanic votes with a series of non-rational, blatantly bigoted mailings. He won convincingly, but there is no joy in my heart about that victory. It's a victory for "[Southern] politics as usual."

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-07T00:14:52-06:00
ID
115437
Comment

I've been following this thread for the last few days, and have wanted to respond, but have been too busy getting ready for the election. I am writing this, under my own name, as a historian with a Ph.D. in American Immigration History, a reader and supporter of the JFP since its first issue, and as the volunteer coordinator for David Blount's senate campaign. The opinions expressed are solely my own... David's victory yesterday is something that all progressives should celebrate. He beat an extreme right-wing incumbent in a strongly Republican district. He won by hammering away at one central issue: funding public education. Of his many mailings, the vast majority were about education. One, was about immigration. Donna said she was going to PDF the actual mailing, and I wish she had. The postcard has no picture of immigrants, or "foreigners." No Willie Horton-style race baiting. The policies he outlines in the mailing include preventing state contracts with businesses that hire undocumented workers (hiring undocumented workers is against federal law, by the way), raising the criminal penalties against human smugglers (who often exploit undocumented immigrants), and requiring businesses to maintain accurate employee records. Contrast these with what many state Republican candidates around the country are advocating: mass raids, deportations, cutting off Medicaid and other public programs, blocking undocumented residents from public schools, etc. David's approach to this issue stands in stark contrast to the right wing immigrant bashing that's rampant across the country. As we were campaigning in the district, we talked to lots of voters. Believe it or not, the issue they brought up the most was immigration. While editorial writers have the luxury of dismissing voters' concerns as bogus, politicians do not. The genius of the campaign was to take conservative issues like immigration, crime, and family values, and engage them from a progressive perspective. Contrast David's anti-crime TV ad, which called for increased funding for police, with that of Phil Bryant, who called for "two strikes and your out" sentencing laws for drug dealers. Progressives must not cede these issues to the Republicans, by claiming they are drummed up or illigitimate. We must engage them. Donna: I wish you would also put up his "Mississippi Values" mailing which talks about public education and the grocery tax as MORAL issues. Family Values shouldn't just mean pro-life and hatred for gays. David worked hard to reclaim the idea of "values" from the right-wing. Last night, at the victory party, a big chunk of Progressive Jackson turned out to celebrate. It's a shame that the JFP, which has done so much for Jackson's progress, could not join us. It's a shame that progressives often seem to eat their own. I will continue to be a loyal reader and supporter of the JFP. I won't "rescind my endorsement" just because I disagree with them on this issue.

Author
Stuart Rockoff
Date
2007-11-07T12:34:56-06:00
ID
115438
Comment

It's a shame that the JFP, which has done so much for Jackson's progress, could not join us. It's a shame that progressives often seem to eat their own. Stuart, I appreciate your posting under your own name; that's better than the anonymous screeds condescending to this bad little girl that I've gotten from some Blount supporters in recent days. One could even call that eating your own. It is simple: David's anti-immigrant strategy was a huge disappointment, and I would have been a hypocrite to support him after every thing I've said against the Republican's southern strategy and all the people who have not spoken out against coded racism over the years. It's great that he is supportive of education and the grocery tax and such—but that in no way negates the message that his immigration mailing pushed, and it's a message of intolerance, pure and simple. That was such a shame. As I've said, Jim Giles and I agree on tort reform and some other issues, but that doesn't mean I can go along with his race rhetoric. There is really no need to talk to me about what else David supports and tell me, nonsensically, that that outweighs his immigration rhetoric. Maybe that rationalization works does for you, but I'm a native Mississippian who has watched this kind of thing in my state for years now. I cannot dignify it by defending it, no matter who that disappoints. I either mean the principles I espouse, or I don't. I really am tired of politicial candidates who pick one or two sacrificial groups (this election: gays and immigrants), and then tell the rest of us to go along with the bashing of those groups for the sake of stuff we believe in. No. Now, we anxiously await word on the legislation David intends to introduce in January to get all those jobs back that immigrants have taken from Mississippi. And the evidence to show that it's true. I'll be happy to put that mailer up when we get a chance to PDF it. My assistant editor who does the PDFs was busy doing something more important and didn't get around to it. But it's in my purse.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-07T13:53:04-06:00
ID
115439
Comment

I should also add that I got e-mails thanking me for taking this stand—and, funny, none of those people were anonymous.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-07T13:53:38-06:00
ID
115440
Comment

Actually, he sent two on immigration. The second one was the one with Haley Barbour's picture on it. The one you are referring to was headlined, "Illegal immigration is costing jobs for Mississippians." Is that your view? And do you think state government can constitutionally criminalize transporting illegal immigrants or require employers to keep more detailed records than the federal government mandates? More importantly, perhaps you can enlighten us on why Mr. Blount chose to highlight that issue at the end of his campaign?

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-07T13:57:22-06:00
ID
115441
Comment

Sherm, was that the same one that talked about Phil Bryant? I didn't get that one—probably I wrote the campaign after getting the immigration mailer and told them not to send any more of that hateful trash to my home.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-07T14:01:21-06:00
ID
115442
Comment

Stuart posted: As we were campaigning in the district, we talked to lots of voters. Believe it or not, the issue they brought up the most was immigration. While editorial writers have the luxury of dismissing voters' concerns as bogus, Just to clarify - no one here is saying that immigration is not an important topic. I'd be very happy to see Blount, and other legislators, address the issue in a thoughtful, rational, non-divisive way. No one here has said that he should have ignored the issue, especially if it was coming up in his conversations with people. What's disappointing is that he missed an opportunity to inject some reality and decency into the conversation, and declined. The fliers with him sucking up to Bryant and Barbour also make me gag.

Author
kate
Date
2007-11-07T14:03:47-06:00
ID
115443
Comment

No, it was the one you posted here. I didn't get the Bryant one either, so I haven't based any of my thinking on that allegation. Believe me, I was happy to see David Blount run against White, and I supported him financially and otherwise. I was stunned to see him jumping on the anti-immigration bandwagon. To me, that rhetoric is the same as a politician saying he or she is for the flag because it's Mississippi history, as if there aren't truckloads of people who like the flag because it represents white supremacy. It's a knowing use of coded language in either case, and the attempts to "soften" the message don't change that.

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-07T14:07:19-06:00
ID
115444
Comment

Exactly, Kate. We need to have an intelligent discussion about immigration, as current law does not make sense. However, starting with a fallacy designed to appeal to anti-immigrant rhetoric won't get us there. Like I said, I look forward to hearing about Blount's plans to take back all those jobs that Mississippians have lost to illegal immigrants. And remember that his criticism of White was that he had not *sponsored* legislation to do that, so it's in Blount's court to sponsor said legislation, and back it up with facts, figures and intellectual honesty, with any luck.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-07T14:32:44-06:00
ID
115445
Comment

Folks do not want to admit it, but we could make it so all the people coming to America were legal and there would still be a problem. The problem is not so much that these folks are illegal because they are a major portion of our economy. "Natives" typically have a problem with folks of other ethnicities coming in in mass numbers. The same thing went on in NY when all the immigration was legal.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2007-11-07T14:38:41-06:00
ID
115446
Comment

OK, Stuart, here's my question for you and David: What legislation can/will he introduce in January that criminalizes transporting illegal immigrants or requires employers to keep more detailed records? Please give us some specifics of what is coming, so we can discuss it. Also, I'd really love to see y'all answer Sherm's questions above; here they are again: Actually, he sent two on immigration. The second one was the one with Haley Barbour's picture on it. The one you are referring to was headlined, "Illegal immigration is costing jobs for Mississippians." Is that your view? And do you think state government can constitutionally criminalize transporting illegal immigrants or require employers to keep more detailed records than the federal government mandates? More importantly, perhaps you can enlighten us on why Mr. Blount chose to highlight that issue at the end of his campaign? As a journalist, I'd really like y'all to start with providing your evidence that "Illegal immigration is costing jobs for Mississippians," being that that was the horrifying fact that your other ideas are ostensibly designed to reverse. Also, should we assume that you and David are in favor of immigration law as it is today—i.e. that everyone who is currently considered "illegal" should be? That is the implication of the mailer; if that's not the case, please let us know. Finally, if as you say, David was doing so great in this campaign due to his education support (which I can believe), why did he need to put out those salacious mailers at the end of it? And even you have to admit that there is, must be, a way to have an intelligent conversation about immigration without resorting to overblown scaremongering? And do you reject the idea that such rhetoric is not good for our young people to hear?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-07T23:09:41-06:00
ID
115447
Comment

I really don't want to get sucked into an unending thread. I just wanted to say my piece, and did. But I will try to answer Donna's questions, with the understanding that I am speaking for myself, not David Blount. He might answer these questions in some form, or he might not. Frankly, I don't think he owes anyone here an explanation for his campaign strategy. As for legislation, forcing companies that contract with the state to use resident aliens or US citizens is certainly an area where the state has authority. Such a law would require up to date records on the status of each employee. The mailing was sent to address voters concerns. Like it or not, people around the state and the country percieve illegal immigration as a national crisis. Again, I would ask you to compare what David proposed on the issue as compared to many other politicians around the country. I challenge the claim that these mailings were salacious, or damaging to our "young people." The comparison to 60's-era race baiting is also specious, and shows a lack of understanding of the district or the dynamics of the race. To end, why are you spending all this time dissecting direct mail pieces from Democrats? Why don't you spend as much time dissecting pieces from Corey Wilson, Phil Bryant, et al. You probably noticed that the state Republican Party sent many mailings attacking Democrats (Hillary driving the bus?). Did you see ANY from the state Democratic Party? Mississippi Dems are already so outgunned, that it seems perverse to get attacked from the "progressive" alt-weekly in Jackson. I'm not saying you should never attacks Dems, but the amount of vitriol this one mild mailing elicited on this website is extraordinary. This will be my last post on this issue, (I have work and family to catch up with). Donna, if you want to continue this dialogue, you're welcome to contact me.

Author
Stuart Rockoff
Date
2007-11-08T08:13:42-06:00
ID
115448
Comment

Great post though Stuart. Too many people have given the Democrats the burden of saving Mississippi and the country from the "no good" republicans as Charlie Reece called them on tuesday. But they won't vote for Democrats unless Democrats say exactly what they want them to say and believe. They expect perfection from Democrats while not even expecting decency or morality or anything good from republicans. Most people who won't vote for the Democrats or hold the republicans accountable are essentially hidden republicans no matter what they choose to call themselves or claim as excuses for not voting the Democratic way. You can't serve two maters, you will always hate one and love the other, in my view. Probably a muddy view but my view nevertheless. This is not meant for Donna.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-11-08T08:58:35-06:00
ID
115449
Comment

Stuart, curious that you are spending your time criticizing me for daring to criticize the anti-immigrant rhetoric by a progressive rather than answering the substantive questions posed by Sherm, and repeated by me, above about just how Blount is going to address these taking-jobs concerns (not to mention supporting that statement of "fact"). You can attack this messinger all you want, and call me "perverse" for daring to call out a progressive who stoops to such tactics (which have been called out for YEARS in this newspaper), but it is not going to change the fact that I refuse to be a hyprocrite and to turn my head because y'all don't want me to call out a very dirty campaign trick. From where I sit, the most "vitriol" this mailing produced was from Blount's campaign supporter, including in my e-mail. That's your right, but I sure don't have to be impressed. I will *never* apologize for being sassy enough to call out the new racism, or the old, and all the twisted rationalizations you come up with here will not change that. I have no desire to continue this conversation one-on-one. That doesn't lend anything to needed public dialogue, and I have no reason to hide my views on the topic. Respond here or not; doesn't matter to me. But I do wish you would answer the actual questions posed.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-11-08T10:02:54-06:00
ID
115450
Comment

Frankly, I don't think he owes anyone here an explanation for his campaign strategy. Um, no, I'm afraid that's not true. Mr. Blount just became a state servant, and he owes any of his constituents any explanation about public policy they request. Additionally, I helped PAY for those mailouts, and I have written the campaign to protest them as a contributor (using my business/non-anonymous email), but I haven't heard anything back yet. The mailing was sent to address voters concerns. Like it or not, people around the state and the country perceive illegal immigration as a national crisis. Again, I would ask you to compare what David proposed on the issue as compared to many other politicians around the country. People around the state and country mis-perceive a lot of problems. One such mis-perception, which I hope our new Senator and I can agree on, is that integration of public education was a mistake (George Will just wrote a column on that). Another one is that "illegal immigration takes away jobs from Americans/Mississippians." That one assumes a lot, including, just for starters, the fallacy that the number of jobs available is a zero-sum proposition. But if Employer A (oh shoot, let's just call it Nissan) brings 100 new workers to Mississippi (which they did), the wages paid to those workers grows the economy and creates more jobs (just look at Madison County). Surely a real liberal addresses mis-perceptions such as these, rather than pander to them. The comparison to 60's-era race baiting is also specious, and shows a lack of understanding of the district or the dynamics of the race. Here's what I understand. There aren't many Latinos or Hispanics who vote in the district, so dumping on them didn't cost any votes. Guess what? That's the same dynamic as the 60s. As for legislation, forcing companies that contract with the state to use resident aliens or US citizens is certainly an area where the state has authority. Such a law would require up to date records on the status of each employee. Well, that wasn't the "solution" I was attacking. Obviously the state can restrict who it contracts with. But I doubt that the state can require employers to maintain better records on the national origin of employees without running afoul of the constitution's supremacy clause and the delegation of immigration issues to the Federal, not State, government. And don't you think such record-keeping will provide an excuse for employers not to hire native-born Hispanics? To end, why are you spending all this time dissecting direct mail pieces from Democrats? Because we care. Because the Democratic Party is the party that, in the last 50 years, has been the advocate of racial and ethnic inclusion. And, in my case, because I gave this campaign and others on the Democratic side MY MONEY and I don't appreciate it being used in this way. This will be my last post on this issue, (I have work and family to catch up with). I can appreciate that. perhaps the new Senator will make himself available to be interviewed on this and other issues in the near future.

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2007-11-08T10:29:56-06:00
ID
115451
Comment

Just found this quote. It needs to be on this thread: I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong. - Abraham Lincoln

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-05T09:33:42-06:00
ID
115452
Comment

I really do not have a problem with him saying illegal immigration is a problem. I would hope there is more to it because everyone against illegal immigration is not racist. I do however believe a lot of people are, but I give people the benefit of the doubt. Illegal immigration is a ligitimate issue. The mere nature of it being illegal mandates that we not accept it. I personally would like to find a be more in the spirit of how the country was founded. A lot of people just do not like immigrants, especially brown ones. I would be an opponent of illegal immigration, but I would be a proponent of finding the most expeditious way to make all those that were eligible citizens. Lastly, I do not see much difference between Democrats and Republicans in MS, they are interchangeable. A white Democrat in MS is a Republican just about everywhere else.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-01-05T23:20:05-06:00
ID
115453
Comment

More from Abraham Lincon: "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume V, "Letter to Horace Greeley" (August 22, 1862), p. 388. "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois" (September 18, 1858), pp. 145-146. I'm guessing with political statements like those Ladd wouldn't have voted for him either...

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2008-01-06T22:09:15-06:00
ID
115454
Comment

I'm guessing with political statements like those Ladd wouldn't have voted for him either... Good research, and a good example of coded language, but the contexts couldn't be more different. The pro-slavery politicians knew what Lincoln stood for; that's why his election alone -- that is, before he even did anything -- caused the succession of the Deep South states. The code speak on "illegal immigration" is just the opposite. Who in Mississippi knows how many hispanic residents are citizens or legal residents, and how many are not? They don't. Neither, apparently, does Mitt Romney, as he has taken pains to explain why he has repeatedly hired immigrants without visas. Rather, the whole panic is based on the assumption that the brown-faced workers you saw at McDade's after 5 were "illegal aliens," etc., etc. When politicians talk about the immigration issue in terms of "saving jobs," they are using nativist rhetoric to tap into this fear. If they really cared about the jobs we're losing to "foreigners" they would talk about outsourcing, instead. And if they really cared about border security, they'd get our troops home from Iraq and use them to patrol the border.

Author
GenShermansGhost
Date
2008-01-06T23:10:06-06:00

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