Anti-immigration Republicans were dealt a hearty smack in the face by American Conservative editor, Ron Unz in the March 01, 2010 issue of the publication. Conservative bigots have argued for years that crime statistics prove recent Latino immigrants are dangerous. In His-Panic / Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness, Unz looked at federal crime rate statistics and found that such conservative claims are the result of lazy, prejudiced thinking.
Bumbling dolts, ensconced in thinly veiled white supremacist justifications of know-nothing hate, have made claims that crime stats prove that the incarceration rate for Hispanics is 150% that of Caucasians. Rather than resorting to flimsy liberal gabble about how this stat does nothing but prove the prejudice of the American legal system, Unz actually analyzes the crime data.
His findings? When the “data are controlled for things like age (the Hispanic population tends to be younger and more male than the white population) and location (some states incarcerate everyone at higher-than-average rates), the Hispanic incarceration rate is within a few percentage points of the white incarceration rate—and in some states, it’s lower.” (Slate, Feb 18, 2010)
Attacking xenopobic, conservative anti-immigration fear-mongering, Unz asks, “… are these concerns rooted in the same excitable and ideological mindset that produced endless stories of Saddam’s notorious WMD, with activists and their media accomplices passing along rumors and personal beliefs in pursuit of a political agenda rather than bothering to determine the facts? Does America face a Hispanic crime problem or merely a Hispanic crime hoax?”
This is an entirely valid question. Why do we put up with axe-grinding, numbnut imbeciles like Dick Cheney and his relentless campaign to justify his disastrously irresponsible, nightmarishly isolationist and utterly fear-based foreign policy? An embarrassingly pronounced flank of conservatives love nothing more than inciting fear in their followers. When you take this kind of fear and turn it against immigrants (as Glenn Beck and his various incarnations do), the results spell an indisputable megaflop for basic human relations and intercultural respect.
Then there’s the flipside of all this. Let’s not forget Ron Unz himself is a conservative. Obviously, it is equally lazy to label all conservatives as fanatical, enthnocentric dum-dums. “Conservatives aren’t anti-immigrant, they’re anti-criminal, much like liberals are anti-tax filing. Loving your country enough to request that anyone who wishes to be a member abide by their immigration laws, is not anti-immigrant, and making such an assessment by accusing the entire conservative philosophy as being racist is… well … anti-intellectual,” says Rusty Weiss in News Busters.
Fair enough. But if the conservative gripe is with crime rates, then perhaps it would behoove Republicans prone to blanket pronouncements to actually study the data instead of quivering over the dangerous world beyond their white picket fences.