Wingers Go Gandhi

Yesterday, Sen. Tom Coburn suggested that President Obama’s immigration executive order might lead to “civil disobedience”, “anarchy”, or even political “violence.” I asked just what that civil disobedience might look like and TPM Reader FS has an idea of what anti-immigrant forces might have in mind …

My suggestion for what civil disobedience should look like is to move to Phoenix, trade their imitation Army rifles for shovels, and do a protest march through the residential subdivisions, pulling weeds as they go.

They should march into restaurant kitchens, offering to wash dishes for free. Or volunteer to man the drive through at any of a hundred fast food joints. Maybe ask a California cabbage farmer if they have anything needs harvesting. Those are the jobs illegal immigrants might be taking away.

A little background. I lived in Phoenix for 13 years, the last eight as a homeowner. Ours was the fourth house completed in our neighbourhood and I’d often sit on the porch drinking beer and watching Hispanic workers build our neighbors’ houses. For a few bottles of Pacifico, I learned most of the workers were from Mexico or Guatemala, and none were employed directly by the builder.

For all the anti immigrant bluster for which Sheriff Joe Arpaio is famous today, he could’ve effortlessly rounded up 100 immigrants a day in any new subdivision being built anywhere in Maricopa county, from about 2000 to 2007. But that would’ve really inconvenienced the real estate developers, so Sheriff Joe found other stunts like making prisoners wear pink underwear. He didn’t come to hypocritically discover anti immigration fever until the bubble burst and people turned on each other.

My time in Arizona made it really hard for me to get mad at a man who wants to work in 110 degree heat, for cash. But those are the jobs in question. Anyone who wants to protest should start there.

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