Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mark Krikorian is a Racist, Anti-Immigrant Immigrant

A commentator for the rightwing organization the Center for Immigration Studies (note the fact that it seeks to give the academy access to correct information on immigration as if the academy's own biases make this impossible) and Armenian immigrant, Mark Krikorian makes a fairly telling comparison (on National Public Radio) between how worthwhile immigrants are to the United States and some sort of national doughnut orgy:

Krikorian says we can think of immigration like a good fat-filled doughnut.

"When you're 11 years old, you eat all of the doughnuts that your parent will let you eat, and they're probably good for you at that point," he says. "When you're 50 years old, you can't eat doughnuts like that anymore. There's nothing wrong with the doughnuts. They're the same doughnuts. But your metabolism has changed. And our body politic's metabolism has changed so that we need to start now looking at what's good for our grandchildren, not what was good for our grandparents."

This comment with its veiled allusions to immigrants as sugary foods that not only pollute the bodies of elder members of a society, but also poison generations to come evinces ideas of racial/cultural purity, albiet ones impacted by a crude behaviorism. As much as this comment seems downplay its racism by reverting to a metaphor of unthreatening food, it still reeks of miscegnation panic of previous decades and centuries.

If you needed a little more convincing Krikorian's "post"racism observe his enlightening comments on Haiti following the earthquake:

"My guess is that Haiti’s so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough…But, unlike Jamaicans and Bajans and Guadeloupeans, et al., after experiencing the worst of tropical colonial slavery, the Haitians didn’t stick around long enough to benefit from it. (Haiti became independent in 1804.). And by benefit I mean develop a local culture significantly shaped by the more-advanced civilization of the colonizers."

Commentators from Think Progress follow this comment up nicely with:

"In fact, Haiti’s comparatively short-lived colonial history might be the best thing the island had going for it. Haiti’s revolution inspired the fights for independence across Latin America and ushered in the end of slavery in the New World. Meanwhile, a never-ending sphere of Western influence and self-serving intervention probably offers a better explanation for why Haiti is as “screwed-up” as it is. Unlike the islands of Jamaica, Barbados, and Guadalupe, Haiti has long been the 'poster case for the vicious circle of colonial and foreign intervention, poverty, violence and political instability.'"

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