To read the story this letter inspired in the Santa Barbara News-Press, please click here.
Dear Mayor Pro Tempore Murillo:
The incident with the Santa Barbara News-Press recent headline, “Illegals Line Up for Driver’s Licenses,” is very disturbing on many levels. Your comments are disturbing as well.
First, as a retired publisher of 15 years the headline should have read, “Illegal Aliens Line Up for Driver’s Licenses.” One of the most important tenets of journalism is accuracy. For better or worse we have never “created” a word that specifically identifies those who have crossed our borders illegally or overstayed their visa. However, the public at large completely understands who is being spoken about and what they have done when the term “illegal alien” is used.
You as well were not accurate when you said, “We need to have respect for our immigrant families in the city of Santa Barbara.” Are you talking about people who legally immigrated to the United States, those who illegally immigrated or both? See the confusion you have created. I will guess that you are talking about all people who have immigrated both legally and illegally. That begs the question, “Are people who immigrated legally not being respected in Santa Barbara?" And if so, why is that? Are those legally not being respected because they are immigrants? Are those who illegally immigrated not being respected because they are immigrants or because they came here illegally or both?
The Los Angeles Times hasn’t been able to decide what to call these people. On January 3, their headline read, “Immigrants flock to DMV.” No they weren’t. Last summer they called the “unaccompanied minors” migrants. (Migrants are people looking to work. Were these children coming here for a job?) You can see what happens when political correctness infects journalism. Could you imagine any newspaper running a headline, “Baptists to Picket Serviceman’s Funeral?" Oh but wait. It’s the Westboro Baptists that picket servicemen’s funerals. Adjectives are very important.
Just because a group doesn’t like a term that describes who they are and what they have done is not a reason to change it. I think rapist is a pretty harsh term. Let’s start calling them “unwanted sexual partners.” Hopefully now you get the idea.
Here’s what I find disrespectful. Four years ago my son was killed by an illegal alien. He was one of more than 5,000 people killed that year by illegal aliens. He was one of more than 100,000 killed by illegal aliens since the last amnesty. As drivers they kill at a rate five times higher than the general public. They drive drunk at a rate five times higher and they hit and run at a rate 10 times higher (Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety). And no, licensing people does not make them safer drivers but that’s a whole other story.
Despite those horrific numbers (more deaths than any war we’ve fought in other than World War II and the Civil War), have you ever heard any of these people or any of their supporters apologize for all of the carnage they’ve caused? Talk about lack of respect and denial.
I realize that most of the people who have come here illegally are nice people who work hard and just want better lives for themselves and their families. But that doesn’t make it right or acceptable. If, as a country, we can not function without undereducated, poor, mostly non-English or poor English speaking people sneaking across our borders we have a much bigger problem than what we call them.
All people deserve respect until such time as their actions cause them to lose it. At that point they need to earn it back. Unfortunately, these people don’t want to earn the right to live here. They just want it to be given to them.
For that, they deserve no respect.