“Segregation now! Segregation forever!” is what the pols used to roar in the old “Hey, Boy! We don’t serve your kind” South.
They got votes with it, too.
“Sanctuary now! Sanctuary forever!” the so-called sanctuary city mayors roar as ICE comes prowling around the door.
They get votes with it, too.
Ideology changes in America, but the business of buying votes with crowd-pleasing, bellowed stupidity does not change.
If it’s 1952, and you’re mayor of a southern city whose principal business is pandering to one ethnic group, you’d better stand for oppression if you want the white bigots out in the neighborhoods to hand you a vote. If it’s 2017, and you’re the mayor of a city whose principal product is pandering to several ethnic groups, you’d better pander to the brown bigots out in the neighborhoods.
There are very few American mayors who can ignore the Hispanic vote these days, and so a lot of them have lined up behind the idea that their city can righteously resist any federal law that will cost them votes.
That’s why I believe (horror of horrors!) that the Trump administration (if that’s what is) has every right to cut funding to cities that refuse to assist in the enforcement of federal law. I believe that because, if the federal government hadn’t national-guarded the hell out of places like Little Rock, Arkansas, segregation would probably still be alive in the South. Hell, if you built a wall around Alabama, and left ‘em alone, they’d have slavery back inside of 30 years.
Everybody hates the big federal government these days, but there are things it does well. One of them is to step in (sometimes with bayonets fixed) when your local government is stupid, vicious, greedy, venal or corrupt.
A big city American mayor, often Hispanic himself or herself, is damn well aware that he didn’t get elected until the white population of the city fell to below 50 percent. Now, he or she walks the line between blacks and a collection of Hispanics from a number of countries, some of whom are legal and some of whom are so wet they’re standing in a puddle.
And he damn well doesn’t need to start handing people named “Delgado” over to immigration, not if he wants to stay in the big office that looks out on the entire city, not if he doesn’t want to go back to running a community outreach center in a neighborhood where more than a third of the residents have a neck tattoo.
So he pimps, just like his long-ago white southern mayor ancestors pimped. And he’ll fold up like a toy if you get tough with him, because mayors have polls in place of principles. Sure, the mayor loves his semi-constituents here illegally, and will gratefully accept their illegal votes, but pull the money the city uses to hire teachers and fix potholes, and he’ll get real reasonable real fast.
I’m a quiet guy, a pay-my-taxes, recycle, put-money-in-the-parking-meter guy. I think there is such a thing as illegal immigration, and, rather than build a wall out of dollar bills, I think we need to enforce immigration laws IN the country. I think we need to make employers liable if they hire people here illegally. Employers are no different than mayors. They’ll hire $8-an-hour workers here illegally until they get sued by the feds and forced to cough up a $2 million fine. Then, they’ll raise wages to $15 and go find some Americans to do the job.
And if you think this column is too “conservative” coming from a guy who is often on the liberal side, just remember, I’m not a politician. I don’t trade principles for politics.