Letter to the Editor: Propaganda in bad taste

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    Dear Editor,

    I was disturbed Sunday to learn of the distribution of certain fliers to the cars of students parked outside the N. Eldon Tanner Building during church services. The fliers are entitled “Politically Correctness is Responsible for the Tragedy in New York,” and the thesis is, “If we hadn’t let them in, it wouldn’t have happened.”

    The flier goes on to complain about the costs of illegal immigration to our social services and the influence of immigration on our crime rates. The flier also asserts that our government “discriminates against white European immigrants, the group of people that will most likely assimilate into our culture, speak our language and obey our laws.”

    Allegations are made that Islamic immigrants celebrated the bombings. The allegations are “substantiated” by two news stories naming isolated incidents (in one of the cases, the perpetrator was not even an Arab).

    Finally, the flier asserts that the reported hate attacks against Islamic mosques in the United States are “nothing but lies” fabricated by Arabs who are “playing the race card.” The flier ends with a flat demand to stop all immigration and deport all illegal aliens.

    Now, I have never been a fan of “politically correctness,” as the flier’s authors call it, nor have I been enamored with the idea of illegal immigration. However, using the recent tragedy in New York as propaganda for this debate is simply a cheap shot.

    This campus has many immigrants – permanent or otherwise – who contribute immeasurably to our culture and, in many cases, our workforce.

    The atrocities in New York and Washington were committed by a fraction of 1 percent of the total number of Muslims living in America. Are we to judge an entire religion and people by the conduct of a few of its members? If so, perhaps the man who sued The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of abuse by another church member was justified.

    The flier’s author complains that the public has been “dummed down” by the biased press. If our society has been dumbed down, it has not been done by the press. It has been done by a vocal minority that eschews rational debate in favor of virulent rhetoric.

    I don’t know what we should do about our immigration policy. But I’d rather not have my judgment clouded by hasty generalizations founded in racism as I try to make up my mind.

    James Smith

    Lodi, Calif.

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