My Comment on: Bigger Than Immigration | NYTimes

NOV. 23, 2014

Don’t let yourself get lost in the weeds. Don’t allow yourself to believe that opposition to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is only about that issue, the president’s tactics, or his lack of obsequiousness to his detractors.

This hostility and animosity toward this president is, in fact, larger than this president. This is about systems of power and the power of symbols. Particularly, it is about preserving traditional power and destroying emerging symbols that threaten that power. This president is simply the embodiment of the threat, as far as his detractors are concerned, whether they are willing or able to articulate it as such.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last week found that the public “wants immigration policy along the lines of what President Barack Obama seeks but is skeptical of the executive action.” When The Journal looked at some of the people who “say they want to see a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants — which is beyond what Mr. Obama’s executive order would do — but say they disapprove of presidential executive action,” it found that the group was “overwhelmingly white and more likely to be Republican than not” and some said that they simply “don’t like anything associated with the president.”

Pay attention to the overall response from all sources, particularly the rhetoric in which it is wrapped.

Speaker John Boehner has accused Obama of acting like a “king” and an “emperor.” Representative Louie Gohmert referred to Obama’s “ new royal amnesty decree.”


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Rima Regas

Mission Viejo, CA

It is about race now. It’s been about race all along. It’s been about race, using the same age-old tactics of diminishment at the mild end of the spectrum, to bait and switch in the middle, all the way to the most frightening of the Jim Crow-era violence evident in the rise in police killings, the high-handed tactics in Ferguson – both by local police, and going all the way up to the governor.

In Congress, the tactics are identical. Block the president and then, in perfect deadpan, blame him for it, call him imperial, lazy, and all kinds of other names we all know the double-meanings of.

So, how much longer do we stand for this. How much longer do we sit by, watch this, understand the subtext, and do nothing?

Enough already! I commend Charles for his courage in continuing to point out what’s been obvious for some time. Let’s shoulder the weight with him and do our part. Join a cross-racial grassroots group. Work for change – real change – to get these people voted out, removed from office – whatever is needed. Please.

* Edited for typos


Rima Regas

Mission Viejo, CA

Some examples of things we *all* recognize for what they are, in no particular order of importance.

Rudy Giuliani on Meet The Press had some nerve on Sunday. He had the misfortune of having Professor Michael E. Dyson at the top of his form, on with him: http://www.rimaregas.com/2014/11/michaeledyson-to-giuliani-its-the-defen…

A two-minute clip of American writer and thinker James Baldwin from 1968. I challenge anyone to tell me, and Charles, what of what he says here isn’t relevant this minute: http://www.rimaregas.com/2014/09/jamesbaldwin-on-racism-101-minutes-of-t…

** Main comment was typed in a dark parking lot on a tiny phone without my other pair of eyes… This should have read “Let’s shoulder the *weight* with him


Curated from www.nytimes.com