No. Not Every Single Person in Western Kansas Loves All the Immigrants...
Live from WTF?!?!: James Fallows is very good. But. Um. No. #NotEverySinglePerson:
The Other Story About White America and Immigrants: "Fallows is reporting from western Kansas... Dodge City and Garden City...:
...where Hispanics are now a majority... big meat-packing plants... Mexico... Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Cuba and more recently Somalia.... You’d think this area would be a hotbed of tension where the forces of immigration meet up with small town American nativism. But you’d be wrong:
Every single person we’ve met here--Anglo and Latino, African and Burmese and other, old and young, native-born and immigrant, male and female, well-educated and barely literate, working three jobs and retired and still in school—of all these people, we’ve asked the same questions. Namely: how has Kansas handled this shift in demography? And how does it sound, in this politically and culturally conservative part of the country, to hear the national discussion about ‘building a wall,’ about making America ‘a real country again,’ of the presumptive Republican nominee saying even today that Americans are ‘angry over borders, they’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over, nobody even knows who they are.’ And every single person we have spoken with--Anglo and Latino and other, old and young, native-born and immigrant, and so on down the list--every one of them has said: We need each other! There is work in this community that we all need to do. We can choose to embrace the world, or we can fade and die. And we choose to embrace it...
WTF?! "Every single person"?!
"Every single person... has said: We need each other! There is work in this community that we all need to do. We can choose to embrace the world, or we can fade and die. And we choose to embrace it"?
Fallows couldn't find a single person who would say: "We need them. But only if they come in legally"? Fallows couldn't find a single person who would say: "We need them. But only if they stop talking Spanish right now"? Fallows couldn't find a single person who would say: "We need to ship 'em back, before they start having babies, collecting welfare, and crowding our schools"? Fallows couldn't find a single person who would say: "They gotta learn their place. If--and that's a big if--they learn and remember their place, I don't mind their staying"?
When I drive through western Kansas, I hear those conversations from the booth behind me at Subway when I stop to rehydrate.
Hell, I even hear those conversations--occasionally, and much more rarely than in Western Kansas--from the next table at the Starbucks in Walnut Creek, California.
Now it is true that people do tend to speak differently to you when you wear shorts, an AC/DC T-shirt, and a Royals cap than dress shoes, slacks, and a shirt with a collar...
But "every single person"? There is something very wrong with shoe-leather reporting that carries you this far inside your bubble, If it leads you so far away from the views of the majority of the people who, you know, vote, there is something wrong.
Some people are "responding to real demographic change" in a way "better, still truer to ourselves, than some of our politics now suggests". Some people. Not every single person. And not a majority of those who vote in western Kansas.
And Fallows should have gone to the mat to get rid of this headline. Shame on the Atlantic. Nancy has this right:
The Other Story About White America and Immigrants: "I have a bone to pick with either Fallows or his editors...:
...whoever is responsible for a headline that reads: A Note About Trumpism, From the Real America. Referring to any part of this country as ‘the real America’ is offensive. Full stop. It should have no place in our politics or media...